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Cheap Trick - UK Tour,  April 2002

The band returned to the UK less than 12 months since their three night album show run in London in July 2001. Consecutive weekend shows at the "All Tomorrows Parties" Festival in Sussex (on the south coast of England) allowed them to schedule 3 public shows, and these shows were geographically spread, to the benefit of many more fans than last summer.

I was unable to go to either of the ATP Festivals, but the setlist at the first of those shows was:-

All Tomorrows Parties - Camber Sands, England - Sun 21 April

Just Got Back, Clock Strikes Ten, If You Want My Love, Hot Love, Borderline, High Roller, I Know What I Want, She's Tight, Voices, Tonight Its You, Anytime, I Want You To Want Me, Surrender / Dream Police, He's A Whore, Goodnight Now

Whilst the band were closing the 3 day Festival playing the set listed above, a friend from Chicago (Patricia) arrived in Leeds from Chicago, and we later drove to Manchester Airport to meet Mari, who arrived in Nagoya, Japan at 11pm after a 26 hour and 3 flight journey. They were just of few of many fans who travelled into Britain from overseas for the midweek shows. Others that I know of came from Japan, the USA, European countries like Ireland, Sweden, Holland, Germany and France, as well as all over Britain. At the three shows I went to, I met several British fans who were seeing their first CT show and it was nice to see a wide range of people coming to see the band, both old fans and new!

The Garage, Glasgow, Scotland - Mon 22 April

A dry but cloudy morning saw Mari, Pat and myself driving the 220 miles from Leeds up to Glasgow. We drove into light but persistent rain as we approached the outskirts of Glasgow, the only bad day of the "tour" (at the least the shows we were going to).

"The Garage" was situated on the famous Sauchihall Street, and could be identified by the front end of a yellow truck sticking out from the building over the entrance, forming a covered marquee of sorts. Given the on/off rain, any shelter was welcome. A handful of people were already there when we arrived mid afternoon, with two woman from Japan heading the queue as they did at each shows.

The inside of the venue was reached up a fairly long stairway, then turning left and entering into the rear of the actual concert room. The room was large, predominently coloured purple and black, and with a small balcony right at the back. Behind the fairly small stage was a backdrop with a funky "Garage" logo, and on either side of the room above head height were false windows with "aliens" leaning out and looking at the stage! Odd! The left hand side of the room had two levels of steps that people could sit or stand on.

The band arrived late in the afternoon to soundcheck, playing "She's so Bad" and "Ghost Town". There were limited amps on stage, and Bun E's drumhead featured the "stoned rabbit" graphic.

The doors opened around 7.30pm and the support band were on at 8.02. Span were an energetic and loud 4 piece from Oslo, Norway. They got the usual lukewarm "support band" reception until the middle of their 30 minute set, when the lead singer introduced the band members and then announced the band were called "Span". The crowd, myself included, thought he'd said "Spam", and an impromptu Monty Python-esque "spam spam spam spam" chant started up, which seemed to get the crowd to connect with the band and they were warmly received for the rest of their set.

Cheap Trick came on stage at a minute after 9pm to a warm reception, this being their first show in Glasgow for around 24 years.

RN - Black shiny suit, black Piece logo t-shirt

RZ - Black suit with fine white piping, black shirt, shades

TP - Black pants, black and turquoise bowling shirt

BEC - White shirt, tie (interesting 70's look), black pants, yellow cap

Hello There, Big Eyes, If You Want My Love, He's A Whore, I Know What I Want, I Want You To Want Me, High Roller, Borderline, Anytime, She's Tight, Voices, Tonight Its You, Southern Girls, Surrender / Ghost Town, Dream Police, Gonna Raise Hell

The band performed a fine, high energy set, and fed off of a very enthusiastic Glasgow crowd. Despite the drizzle and cool weather outside, the 800 or so bodies (my guestimate only) in the room quickly made it very hot indeed. The band were very quickly sweating under the stage lights as well as the other heat in the room.

Rick introduced Tom as usual for "I Know What I Want", asking Tom if that was a new bass guitar he'd brought over for the tour, Tom's "No" was so deadpan! "High Roller" was an interesting addition to the setlist, and "Anytime" was stunning. Robin made a rare vocal error at the start of verse two of "She's Tight", with Rick carrying the vocal through until Robin rejoined the song. Before "Voices" Rick remarked that they'd be heading south tomorrow as they'd heard England was air conditioned, his remark met with a loud chorus of boo's! Rick quickly picked up on the centuries old Scottish disdain for England by quickly adding "We hate it too!". After "Voices" Rick noted Swedish couple Nilsson and Pettersson in the crowd, asking them if they were married yet? They replied "no" to which Rick quickly relied "But you're still having sex, right?"!

Upon returning to the stage for the encore, Rick reported that they'd flown in the day before (Saturday), and on the Friday night they'd finished recording the last track in New York for the long awaited new album. "Ghost Town" was fully electric and a little faster than usual (in my opinion). Dream Police saw Robin having prolonged problems with his in-ear monitors. Gonna Raise Hell was, as usual, a storming ending to the set, with a particularly long Bun E solo. The band looked to be having fun throughout, and there's no doubt that the enthusiastic crowd helped in producing a memorable night. Also watching the show were Joe Elliot of Def Leppard, Billy Rankin from Nazareth and two members of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

Tuesday 23 April

The off-day saw us leave Glasgow mid morning and drive down to the Lake District en route back to Leeds. Despite it being cloudy, Lake Windermere and the nearby scenery was spectacular, and myself and my overseas visitors enjoyed an English cream tea before heading home and later watching the Music For Hangovers DVD w/commentary track, also the CT related parts of the Heavy Metal and Rock'n'Rule video's.

Debating Hall, Manchester University, England - Weds 24 April

Wednesday was bright, sunny and warm, and we drove the 75 minute journey to Manchester to arrive early in the afternoon. After parking up close to the University, we headed back into the city centre and lunched at the Hard Rock Café. It was fairly quiet when we were there, the other patrons mostly being German football supporters of Bayer Leverkeusen, in town for a big European Champions League semi final match with Manchester United that evening.

The band soundchecked back at the University a little after 5.30pm, playing "I Can't Take It", "Taxman" and "Ghost Town".

The venue was on the first floor of the University Student's Union, above the bar, and was basically a large, dark rectangular room. There was no balcony, the walls were black and the room had a high ceiling which helped keep it cooler than Glasgow had been.

Span again opened, and got a decent reaction I thought, in particular from those fans who'd seen them in Glasgow. Their lead singer had quite a stage presence, with an arrogance and energy that reminded me of a Jagger or Morrison. I and many others enjoyed seeing them again.

Cheap Trick came on at 9pm to a warm welcome from a crowd of (I guess) 800-1,000.

RN - Black shiny suit, black Apple logo t-shirt, Piece pin

RZ - Black suit with fine white piping, white shirt, shades

TP - White "Detroit Special Crystal Oil" gas station shirt, black jeans, unshaven

BEC - Black t-shirt, black jeans, salmon coloured cap

Hello There, Big Eyes, If You Want My Love, He's A Whore, I Know What I Want, I Want You To Want Me, High Roller, Borderline, Anytime, She's Tight, Voices, Tonight Its You, Southern Girls, Surrender / Ghost Town, Dream Police, Gonna Raise Hell

The set was the same as at Glasgow, and whilst the show was well performed and received, I didn't perceive quite the same level of intensity as at the Glasgow show. The crowd seemed a little less enthusiastic and vocal, and the band seemed a little tired from the travelling. This was coupled with a number of sound problems, with Robin having difficulties with his in-ear monitors during the show. Although difficult to tell near the front of the stage, Robins vocals didn't sound high enough, and at times nor did the guitars.

Before "I Know What I Want", Rick commented on there being a big match this evening and that he'd heard that Manchester (United) were kicking some ass! He seemed somewhat surprised to get a roomful of boo's, to which he asked if everyone in the hall was German! He did point out the one German fan (Kai) in the front of the crowd, but said "he's a Cheap Trick fan, so he hates football!" Before"Anytime" Rick mentioned the Silver and Music For Hangovers DVD releases (though MFH is currently only available on import in Europe), and again mentioned their just having finished recording the new album. After Voices, Robin hadn't fully placed his mic back into its holder, so it hang limply from the mic stand. Tom wouldn't touch it, so Rick set it back in place, remarking that he was now playing roadie too!

When the band came back on for the encore, amongst the calls from the crowd was one for "Mighty Wings". Ricks laughing reply included the F-word (!), and to justify not playing it he suggested that "those with the Top Gun soundtrack, go home and listen to it!" Gonna Raise Hell was again an epic, though Rick broke a string during the second verse and had to change guitar.

University of London Union, England - Thurs 25 April

Mari, Pat and I caught a train down from Leeds late in the morning for the final "public" show of the tour. The venue was the University of London Student's Union, not too far from Euston Station. The venue was again on the first floor, and was very intimate. The stage was a reasonable size, but the room was fairly small, with a large balcony. The show was a sell out, as Glasgow and Manchester had been), and the size of the venue suggested that the crowd would be pretty packed in. However, there was a bar area off to the rear so that allowed some overflow at the back. The bottom half of the walls of the venue (room 101) were wood panelled.

The fans waiting in line were able to hear the soundcheck late in the afternoon, comprising "She's so Bad", "Oh Caroline" and "ELO Kiddies". Again the line included familiar faces such as Japanese women, as well as a number of fans in town for this one show including Maria from New York and a lady from Germany. After s/c, Rick gave an interview to BBC Radio 6's Gideon Coe Show which was broadcast the next morning on the Internet and cable TV.

At 8pm Rick walked on stage and introduced Span as being his "favourite band from Oslo, Norway", which was a nice touch. Again, they gave a nice, energetic performance and I think won a few new fans over the course of the shows. Their singer later told me that they have a website at www. which includes some MP3's to download. Worth visiting!

Cheap Trick took to the stage at 9.02pm to a warm and very enthusiastic welcome.

RN - Black suite, black Piece logo t-shirt

RZ - Black suit with fine white piping, white shirt, shades

TP - Black sparkly fine pinstriped long jacket, black pants, fuschia shirt

BEC - White shirt, tie, black pants, salmon coloured cap

The sound tonight was much clearer than at Manchester, with Robins vocal s being audible at stage front. However, Rick had to change guitars twice during songs, during "He's A Whore" and "Tonight Its You", the latter heard the guitar used being out of tune hence the change. However, those problems didn't detract from what seemed the strongest show of the short tour so far.

Hello There, Big Eyes, If You Want My Love, He's A Whore, I Know What I Want, I Want You To Want Me, She's So Bad, Borderline, Anytime, She's Tight, Voices, Tonight Its You, Southern Girls, Surrender / Ghost Town, Dream Police, Scent Of a Woman, Goodnight Now

Rick introduced "If You Want My Love" by saying it had reached #1 in Australia, #50 in the USA and it "f***in' tanked in England"! The British fans were treated to the first of two new songs, "She's So Bad" mid set. After Voices Rick again mentioned the latest two DVD's, and stated that they'd be returning to the States in a couple of days to do a couple of overdubs for the finished tracks for the new CD. He said they hoped to return to Britain "later this year" after the CD was out. Though that timing might be a little ambitious, it certainly seems as if the new CD will be forthcoming in a few months and hopefully further touring to promote it. The electric version of "Ghost Town" tonight was the best plugged version I've heard of the song. There was a terrific performance of the new "Scent of a Woman" which was very well received, and the show closed with "Goodnight Now" which wasn't on the setlist. The whole show was well received and the band seemed to have taken the show up a notch in London (as they usually do). There were a lot of smiles on stage, and it seemed that everyone had a fine time. The bar did good business after the show, and a number of us staying at the nearby Travel Inn on the Euston Road celebrated the last night of our tour with a late nightcap. Even I had a beer!

All Tomorrows Parties - Camber Sands, England - Fri 26 April

Hello There, Big Eyes, If You Want My Love, He's A Whore, I Know What I Want, I Want You To Want Me, She's So Bad, Borderline, Anytime, She's Tight, Voices, Tonight Its You, Southern Girls, Surrender / Dream Police, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodnight Now

(Thanks to Lars & Rosie in Sweden for the set listing!)

Winding up…

And so the end of a successful but short, 5 show visit to Britain. It was good that the band were able to play shows in the north, middle and south of Britain this time around, as well as play to new audiences at the All Tomorrows Parties Festival weekends. It was certainly a tiring few days, but as always, a real pleasure to meet so many old and new friends, from all over Britain as well as fans from overseas. Hopefully Britain will again host the band in the not too distant future. Many thanks as always to Cheap Trick and to Carla, and to the many people I met during the show days! And to my travelling companions for putting up with me for 5 days!


(They persecute me right here in Leeds, England - 26 April 2002


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