Thursday, 11 March 2010

554 CHEAP TRICK, Span, London University Of London Union, Thursday 25 April 2002

Hammered up the M4 for this one - I didn't get out of work until 5.15 so we didn't set off until 5.45, but we only took 1 3/4 hours to get to Shepherd's Bush to park up. Not too bad a run! Over to ULU, joining the queue; as usual, they didn't open the doors until late. D'oh!

So this meant we got in just as support band Span took the stage. They weren't bad at all; a touch of moodiness, So-Cal punk rock and spiky riffery from a vocalist whose deep gravelly voice belied his youth. In fact, he was probably the youngest person in the house tonight! One nice touch during their single was a pregnant pause, during which you could hear a pin drop. There's a knowledgeable rock'n'roll audience for you!

Took a good position towards the front, stage right, for the entrance of da Trick; bang on 9, and straight into "Good Evening Ladies And Gentlemen", which set the tone for the gig; "are you ready to rock?" Well, OK then!

After an uncharacteristically untogether start, the Trick really hit top gear with an early "I Want You To Want Me", a superb breathless descending-bass riff-led classic. After that, their blend of old-school rock, big rock riffery and strident choruses, led by the vocal gymnastics of Robin Zander and the showmanship of guitarist Rick Neilsen, hit every bull's-eye going. Highlights were the touching "Voices", accompanied by what Rick dubbed, "the University Of London all great voice choir!"; a stunning, strident "Tonight It's You"; the all-time classic "Surrender", during which Rick produced the 5-neck guitar (!); and encore "Dream Police", during which I totally lost my voice screaming along to the chorus (!).But even the unfamiliar numbers (including a couple from an apparently forthcoming new album - cool!) were spot-on during another great Cheap Trick performance.

And we made good time back as well! Out of the gig at 10.30, back in the car at 11, and home by 12.20!

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