LIVE: Cheap Trick @ the Palace Theatre, 2/7/20


Cheap Trick brought their rock show back to the Palace Theatre in Albany for the first time in twenty years on Friday February 7, 2020.  The show started with a simple P.A. announcement.  

“Please welcome the best fucking rock band you’ve ever seen, Cheap Trick.”

And so began a roughly 80-minute set filled with hits and select covers. During the second song of the night, frontman Robin Zander sang the lyrics, “Hello there, ladies and gentlemen are you ready to rock?”    The answer was a resounding “YES” from the large audience.    

Zander, along with long-time bandmates Rick Neilsen and Tom Petersson know what their fans want and have been delivering it for 47 years.  Cheap Trick has become somewhat of a family affair. Neilsen’s son Daxx has been manning the drum kit since the departure of original drummer Bun E. Carlos in 2010.  Zander’s son, Robin Taylor Zander fills the band out on rhythm guitar.    

Neilsen claimed that the band had not played the Palace since 1980, but he may have forgotten that they played here in April of 1999.  Hard to fault the guy. 47 years represents a LOT of shows in a lot of venues.  

Age hasn’t touched Zander’s vocals.  His range and tone are still spot on.  “I Want You To Want Me” straight into “Dream Police” showcased his timeless pipes.  Neilsen commanded the stage, wielding almost a dozen different guitars, even more, if you count each of the five necks on one guitar he used for set closer “Goodnight Now.”

The best fucking rock band I have ever seen? That is a tall order.  I will say that Cheap Trick is impressive, entertaining and ageless.  I definitely encourage everyone to check them out.    

Setlist: Just Got Back, Hello There, Way of the World, Come On, Come On, Lookout, ELO Kiddies, Magical Mystery Tour (The Beatles Cover), The In Crowd (Dobie Gray Cover), Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace (Terry Reid Cover), The Ballad of TV Violence (I’m Not The Only Boy), Ain’t That a Shame (Fats Domino Cover), I’m Waiting for the Man (Velvet Underground Cover), The Flame, I Want You to Want Me, Dream Police Encore, California Man (The Move Cover), Surrender, Goodnight Now

Photo Gallery by Claude Sawyer

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