Cheap Trick at Budokan is rightfully part of rock’s stratosphere, and “Surrender” and “I Want You to Want Me” are among my favorite sing-along tunes. But even their inclusion couldn’t get this show up to screaming-Japanese-schoolgirl expectations. Performing after quality warm-up act Brynn Marie and sizzling co-headliners Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Cheap Trick’s hyperbolic cheap tricks began with the recorded assurance that we were about to witness “the best fucking rock band you’ve ever seen” and were followed by Rick Nielsen’s usual parade of novelty guitar bodies culminating with his signature five-neck monstrosity. Robin Zander’s silvery Sgt. Pepper getup and Tom Petersson’s glittery 12-string bass completed their stock goofery. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against wacky gear or funny antics, but when the crowd just isn’t feeling it, all the flash and guitar-pick confetti ain’t gonna get it done. After “Hello There,” That ’70s Show cover of Big Star’s “In the Street” and the prescient “Ain’t That a Shame,” the set plodded downward until it reached its nadir with the numbing “Need Your Love.” Shortly afterward Nielsen queried the thinning crowd, “Why is it so fucking quiet in here?” A few grumbled “Surrender” requests popped out in response. And yeah, they did get to the aforementioned sing-along hits, including another of my favorites, “Dream Police,” but by that time, all but the die-hards just wanted to head out. ★★☆☆☆
A Peek at Life Is Beautiful 2017
Get to know the Life Is Beautiful acts. Learn about Downtown's new kaleidoscopic murals. Find tips on how to navigate schedule conflicts. And see what's on the mouthwatering menu. Here is Vegas Seven's guide to tasting, seeing and hearing all the festival has to offer, from the first afternoon set to the final headliner.
Best of the City 2017
Our eighth annual celebration of all things Las Vegas, from the best casino comebacks to irresistible pot products