Rant: Cheap Trick is not only good for nostalgia ... and other stuff

Rant by Gabe


...is the title of one of the earliest releases by Manic Street Preachers. That single was released way before the angry young Welsh band were even close to ever releasing a full-length album.  The song is basically an observation of how obsessed we as a culture are with nostalgia.  We revel in the "Glory Days" (another song with a similar theme) and spend countless hours talking how GREAT the "good old days" were.  The irony there is that although we were complete f*ck-ups, douchebags and nerds, we still somehow only remember how young, hell-raising, wild and crazy we were.  Selective memory if you ask me.

This type of fond remembrance is great but it has its limitations. Such is the case with the warm fuzzy feeling that most people have for bands like Cheap Trick and The Ramones. Undoubtedly these are two of my all-time favorite bands that I consider myself very lucky to have seen live many, many times.  Both influenced thousands of bands who came after them and eventually eclipsed them both in terms of record sales and popularity. Thing is, both bands continued to create solid, respectable music throughout their respective careers.  Hell, Cheap Trick's last record, 'Rockford', rocks as hard as anything they've ever released! Problem is the folks who go see these bands nowadays only want to hear "the old stuff".  Sure, I want to hear CT play "Surrender" and there was nothing like the rush of hearing The Ramones play "Blitzkrieg Bop".  And you know what... those selections have ALWAYS been part of the set list on any given night for those bands. You know that.  We all know that.  But damn, once they play ONE new song, you can almost hear a collective groan erupt from the crowd while the bulk of the concertgoers immediately rush to the beer line.

I have to imagine that Cheap Trick is TIRED AS SHIT of playing "I Want You To Want Me".  Hell, they've played that on every night of every tour since about 1978 when the live 'At Budokan' version of that tune really broke them wide open.  That's 31 years of performing that one!  And bear in mind, this is a band that TOURS A LOT! They are one of the hardest working bands (still) and they rarely slow down.  I, for one, would not be heartbroken to not hear this one played live in lieu of either A) a rarely played selection or B) SOMETHING NEW!!!

If you like a band you should be interested in what they have to say today.  Maybe there's a special connection with the older material but surely there has to be at least a slight interest in hearing what these guys have up their sleeves now.  Cheap Trick can tour non-stop from now until the end of time and pack them in wherever they go.  They have that strong of a reputation as a touring band.  Unfortunately their current record sales don't reflect that.

So next time you go see CT live, PLEASE don't bellow out requests like "Dream Police" or "Surrender". They're going to play them... I guarantee you.  Instead show an interest, no matter how excruciating it might be, to hear a song you might not have heard before.  Please.

— Gabe

Respond to this post with one song you NEVER want to hear played in concert ever again and we'll give you something from the Vinyl Fever bag of swag.