Skip to content

Cheap Trick at the St. George Theatre, Friday, September 25th, Reviewed


Cheap Trick 2015 by Elizabeth Victoria Ross

It’s nice to know that when you haven’t seen a band in over thirty years, they can still rock as if time stopped. Such was the case when I saw Cheap Trick at the St. George Theatre in Staten Island on Friday night, September 25th. Add to that the beauty of the venue and the fact that I live in the building around the corner – makes things wonderfully convenient.

Even without drummer Bun E. Carlos’ presence (which I admit, I missed – it just didn’t feel right because he’s essential to the Cheap Trick legacy), the band put on a terrific show and Bun E.’s substitute, Daxx Nielsen (guitarist Rick Nielsen’s son) did a fine job in getting the parts right and keeping those songs moving and explosive. Like I said, I haven’t seen Cheap Trick in over 30 years – 35 to be exact, on the Dream Police tour – and they still keep it young and vibrant and fun, which is what a Cheap Trick show has always been about. Time has been good to the band as they still manage to get the crowd going and in turn, play with fire and abandon. Robin Zander’s vocals are as stellar as they ever were; Rick Nielsen is a master showman and dynamic guitar player and Tom Petersson’s quiet stage presence, matched with his almost-surreal 12-string bass playing had me feeling almost 15 again.

A 7:30 scheduled start was just that – on time, as the house lights dimmed and a sound collage of Cheap Trick commercials (including the legendary At Budokan radio slot) and pop cultural references (like “That ‘70’s Show” and “The Simpsons”) filled the air as the band took the stage to a packed house. The high energy was there from the moment they kicked into the still-standard opening of “Hello There” and then segued right into “Big Eyes”, which was the one/two punch even when I saw them back in ’79 and ’80. Amongst the early highlights of the show included a particularly manic rendition of “California Man” (their cover of The Move classic from Heaven Tonight), “Way Of The World” and “Taxman (Mr. Thief)” from their self-titled 1977 debut album.

An even greater sense of the fun side to Cheap Trick – Rick Nielsen’s patter with the audience aside and his odd and fascinating guitar collection, as he changed guitars after every song – was the covers they chose for the show – The Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour”, a very New Wave-sounding reading of Dobie Gray’s Mod anthem, “The In Crowd” and most fascinating, a version of The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting For The Man” seguing into “Heroin” and sung by Tom Petersson, which was a definite highlight.

Yes, they did the perfunctory “power ballad” hit from the ‘80’s, “The Flame” but brought me back to my feet with a dead-perfect “I Want You To Want Me”, which the crowd joined in with great gusto and enthusiasm and a machine-gun powerhouse “Dream Police”. A five minute break and they were back out for a few more numbers, climaxing in the everybody-sing-along “Surrender” and closing the night with “Goodnight”, following in the best tradition of all Cheap Trick shows. A solid hour and 45 minutes’ worth of classic Cheap Trick. You’re there for a good time; to be entertained and to hear a great band who still rocks with as much explosiveness as they did when the first burst on to the scene. You have to love and appreciate that and I certainly did.


• Hello There
• Big Eyes
• Just Got Back
• California Man
(The Move cover)
• Way of the World
• Taxman, Mr. Thief
• Didn’t Know I Had It
• Writing on the Wall
• Magical Mystery Tour
(The Beatles cover)
• Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School
• The ‘In’ Crowd
(Dobie Gray cover)
• I’m Waiting for the Man/Heroin
(The Velvet Underground cover) (Tom Petersson on lead vocals)…)
• The Flame
• I Want You to Want Me
• Dream Police
• Encore:
• Bang Zoom Crazy Hello
• Surrender
• Gonna Raise Hell
• Goodnight

1 Comment

  1. Robert Nevin on September 28, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    No “She’s Tight”? And what happened to Carlos?

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1985 (Volume 17, Number 1)

By Steve Crawford | March 20, 2023 |

Creem, at this point, seemed to be looking for new feeding hands to bite.

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 3-10-23 – 3-16-23

By Iman Lababedi | March 20, 2023 |

a potential top album of the year.

Dawes At Beacon Theatre, Saturday, March 18th, 2023, Reviewed

By Ken Davis | March 20, 2023 |

Refreshingly honest and considerate

Sneak Peaks: Upcoming New Albums 3-24-23 – 3-30-23

By Iman Lababedi | March 20, 2023 |

can they survive an entire album?

L.A. Burning, West Coast Concert Picks March 20th To 26Th

By Alyson Camus | March 19, 2023 |

Fleet Foxes are at the Belasco on Wednesday

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1985 (Volume 16, Number 12)

By Steve Crawford | March 19, 2023 |

highlighting hair metal bands simply to make fun of them was more amusing than profitable

UK Top 10 Albums 3-17-23 – 3-23-23

By Iman Lababedi | March 19, 2023 |

In the US, Morgan will be pushing Miley out in a week or two but in the UK…?

A Superhero For Late Night TV Is On The Way

By admin | March 19, 2023 |

On his way to save the day… and the night

Robert Smith Is Fighting The Good Fight: Will Scalpers Always Find A Way?

By Alyson Camus | March 18, 2023 |

How is Vividseats able to get around this technical problem?

Taylor Swift Began Her Latest World Tour Yesterday in Arizona… Here is the setlist

By Iman Lababedi | March 18, 2023 |

she really underrepresented her first ten years

Scroll To Top