Cheap Trick To Play Free Festival In San Francisco

Posted by Billyjam, September 2, 2017 01:59pm | Post a Comment

Cheap Trick, who play the Shoreline in Mountain View later today, will be returning to the Bay Area in a month to play a free gig in San Francisco as part of the upcoming, always free Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (HSB) music festival in Golden Gate Park, according to an inside source. Traditionally HSB, now in its 17th year, attracts three quarters of a million music fans to check out dozens of musically diverse acts across seven different stages. The annual free event (thanks to the generous funding of the late Warren Hellman) will take place this year from October 6th to 8th. Those dates were officially announced a couple of weeks ago. Since then HSB organizers have been unveiling online, short three-minute music medleys containing snippets of songs by artists on the upcoming that folks have to guess. These HSB Music Medleys of uncredited songs/artists (the third and latest on published four days ago) act as teasers for fans to guess some of the artists on the 2017 schedule. So far the medleys have included such artists as Randy Newman, Conor Oberst, Béla Fleck & Abigal Washburn, Gillian Welch, Rodney Crowell, Poncho Sanchez, Chuck Prophet and Sturgill Simpson. Not identified however in any of these three teaser medleys was Cheap Trick whose inclusion in the upcoming festival lineup is according to a reliable source within the organization who asked not to be identified. For more general 2017 HSB info  or here to volunteer @ HSB.

Cheap Trick’s first of two Bay Area performances in the upcoming five weeks takes places tonight (Saturday Sept 2nd: 7pm doors) when the longtime Illinois rockers play Mountain View’s Shoreline Amphitheater as part of Bay Area classic rock radio station The Bone 107.7FM’s Bone Bash XVII that will also include Foreigner, and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Exp.  Tix and info.  It is now forty years since Cheap Trick released their debut album but the band have continually recorded and toured over the decades since. In fact this summer the band released their latest, 18th studio album: We're All Alright! (also avail on LP/vinyl) on Big Machine Records

And while the band have enjoyed different waves of success over the decades, their most commercially successful period remains the late 70’s/early 80’s. Notable is how that initial rise to becoming global rock superstars took the band until the release of their fourth album in 1979.  Perhaps most unusual about that breakout album was that it was a live concert album: something that even established rock bands don’t always score success with. But Cheap Trick at Budokan, recorded in Japan where they had enjoyed initial success unlike back in their native United States, broke tradition. 

As noted in Cheap Trick's Amoeba biography, none of the bands first three LPs broke into the Top 40 Billboard charts. But in the meantime, all three LPs had gone gold in Japan! Cheap Trick at Budokan outsold the band’s previous three albums combined (up til that point) even though it had live versions of the same songs on it such as “Surrender” and the live album's lead single "I Want You to Want Me" which had originally appeared as studio version on their second album, 1978’s In Color. Another unique thing about this album was that 20 years later and after its initial release, the band would go back into the studio with noted producer Steve Albini to re-record the entire album. This was reportedly so that they could do so without a record label A+R interfering in their creative process, as happenedl first time around.

With some personnel changes over the years, the band’s current line-up  consists of vocalist Robin Zander, guitarist Rick Nielsen, bassist Tom Petersson and Nielsen's son Daxx Nielsen on drums.  As of the past eight years (and following some infighting), original drummer  Bun E. Carlos no longer performs with the group. Last year the band were honored with being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. Meanwhile their music continues to sell with both new and longtime fans, with many of their albums getting reissued on vinyl/LP including the aforementioned At Budokan. Budokon and their previous three LPs: all remain rock classics. See their full available list of CDs and vinyl from the Amoeba online store.

Relevant Tags

Rodney Crowell (1), Gillian Welch (6), Cheap Trick (4), Dream Police (3), At Budokan (1), In Color (1), Bone Bash Xvii (1), Hsb (1), Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2017 (1), Golden Gate Park (5), Classic Rock (2), Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame 2016 (1), Randy Newman (6), Conor Oberst (11), Béla Fleck & Abigal Washburn (1), Poncho Sanchez (7), Chuck Prophet (7), Sturgill Simpson (6)