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Austin & Galveston Shows - Feb 1999 (A.M.CT Review)

I had a good few days in Madison early in Feb before heading down to Texas, including seeing Aurora openers, The Wizenhiemers in New Glarus WI. Saturday night there was rowdy, but good to see The W's again, and thanks to them for putting me on their guest list. They played most of both their old and new albums, also a number of covers. These included Ain't That A Shame, and a very accurate IWYTWM, which really got the crowd rocking. Thanks also to Rhiazann for her hospitality in Madison, and for putting up with me.

Weds 10 Feb

The venue, La Zona Rosa, at the end of a backstreet in the middle of nowhere Austin, was large, somewhat stark and dark, with ventilation tubing on the ceiling, concrete floors and a couple of seating/bar areas, as well as the standing area in front of the stage. The sound seemed to be pretty good though.

Opening Band : George Devore, who were apparently in the style of The Dave Matthews Band. I thought they were pretty good, and they went over pretty well.

RN: Black suit, white on black "Sick Man of Europe" t-shirt, beard tag AU - TX

RZ: Unshaven, black leather pants, black/white hooped rugby style shirt,

black leather Hard Rock Philadelphia jacket

BEC: Blue cap (later black cap), black pants, grey shirt

TP: Black shirt, long black jacket, black pants

Cheap Trick soundchecked late afternoon with Taxman, which sounded very crisp. Their later set was:

ELO, Daddy, Taxman, Cry, Candy, Hot Love, Speak, Whore, Mandocello, Speck, Shelter, Can't Hold On, IKWIW, Surrender, Voices, Dream, Goodnight

The band seemed very relaxed and sharp, and rested after 3 weeks off. After Candy, Rick held up a fan sign of Homer Simpson quoting "I prefer to listen to Cheap Trick". Rick said "Homer Simpson, one of our brighter fans!". Stop This Game was on Robins setlist, but got changed to I Know What I Want. Rick broke a string on his second neck towards the end of Surrender. Before Voices, Rick wished Connie from Minneapolis a happy birthday. Nice of Rick to look out for Chris from Dallas before Mandocello, to congratulate him on his new baby. The Q&A was well organised, with everyone leaving the venue, and only 3 night pass holders allowed back in. However, the actual questions were similar in standard to at other Q&A's.

Thurs 11 Feb

Opening Band was the local Cadillac Voodoo Choir, an energetic, funky 5 piece band, whose singer reminded of Steve Tyler and who performed barefoot.

RN: Black checked suit, Mysterious Rick t-shirt, beard tag - TX - Z

RZ: Blue velvet suit with long jacket

BEC: Blue cap (replaced with black cap), black pants, white flowered shirt

TP: Light brown suit, black shirt

Cheap Tricks set was:

Hello, Eyes, Downed, IWYTWM, Talk, Caroline, Clock, Southern, Come On, So Good, Ghost Town, 8 Miles, Need Your Love, Goodnight, Can't Take It, Aufie.

Rick admitted to "f*cking up" during Downed, and Robin did too. Before Ghost Town, Rick asked Robin (sidestage) what the next song was, Robin just held up his lit lighter ..... though it was actually Ghost Town. Ghost Berg performed by Robin was awesome. Bun had problems during the song, not sure what, and got severely pissed off. He actually dropped out of the song halfway through, but the lack of percussion only served to accentuate RZs vocal. During the show, Rick mentioned MFH being released "in the next month or two" on CD, DVD and video. After the show ended, we discovered that the 4 boxes of posters had all been given out to everyone leaving early, NOT 3 day pass holders.

Fri 12 Feb

Opening band were The Wannabees, apparently the best known of the Austin opening bands. They were very loud, and got almost no response from the crowd. They performed a 13 song set and must have been relieved when they finished.

RN: Black pinstripe suit, black t-shirt with bug eyed Rick (on motorcycle, from In Color LP), beard tag - TX - #3

RZ: white t-shirt, purple velvet suit

BEC: black pants, black cap, grey shirt

TP: long maroon jacket, black roll neck shirt, black pants, amber cross.

Cheap Trick's set was Claire, Surrender, Top, Cal Man, Roller, Aufie, Takin', Radio, Heaven, Stiff, How Are You, , Voices, Fan Club, Stop This Game, Just Got Back, IYWML, Gonna Raise Hell.

A rowdier night, as it was Friday, Mardi Gras parade night in Austin. A bead necklace was thrown on stage during Surrender, which Robin put on. Top had some different riffs at the end, Aufie had a long, long intro, as Robin took an age to get his guitar on. Rick got Rustys Kiss Visa card at the start of Takin', to which he said "they ought to bring out a Cheap Trick credit card". Local DJ Johnnie Walker did the DJ piece for On the Radio, and did a tremendous job, though seemed to talk forever ! The latter part of the show got pretty rowdy, with people throwing ice at the stage, most of it hitting those at the front rather than the band. At the end, a handful of lucky pass holders DID get a poster, as there were just a few left, but most left disappointed again on that score.

Sat 13 Feb

Galvestons Mardi Gras may have been smaller than New Orleans, but it didn't seem to lack the excitement. There were thousands on the street, and hundreds in the windows or on balconies, throwing down bead necklaces. It was definitely hard work getting down The Strand to The Budweiser Stage, where we caught the tail end of 38 Specials set.

RN: Black suit, Wisconsin shows t-shirt

RZ: Black/brown striped pants, shades, dark olive shirt, lots of beads, long dark brown jacket. Also had a lot of beads on his guitar when he walked out, which he threw into the crowd

BEC: black pants, black cap, mauve shirt over black long sleeve "Drum Shop" t-shirt, the mauve shirt soon came off

TP: black hat, shades, dark brown pants, black roll neck shirt, green cross.

Cheap Trick took the stage at 4.20 (headlining early, because of the Mardi Gras Parade at 6pm). Their set was:

ATAS, C'mon, Tight, Anytime, IWYTWM, IKWIW, Wrong, IYWML, Voices, Need, Southern, Surrender, Dream, Goodnight.

Beads were being thrown on stage throughout the performance, though it was all good humoured. At the end of Voices, Rick gave his see through yellow guitar to a bemused security guard, though Sven quickly retrieved it. During Surrender, the HT album flat got stuck in a small tree in the middle of the crowd area, which one brave soul climbed and got intact. That impressed RN. There was a MAD scramble for picks, more than at "regular" shows, and several people ended up sprawled on the ground behind me.

It was good to meet up with old and new friends in Austin and Galveston, and thanks to Randy, Danny and Connie for ticket and hotel arrangements, also Lisa F for booking the van in which we travelled to Galveston. It was a pity I came down with bad flu on day #2 in Austin, and felt so unwell that I almost passed out during Heaven Tonight. Unfortunately I carried the flu throughout the rest of my stay, and back home to England too.


(They persecute me right here in Leeds, England)


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