Milwaukee wrapped 2014’s Big Gig with one of its biggest loves: Cheap Trick.
The perennial favorite hit the BMO Harris Pavilion stage Sunday at 9:50 p.m. and proceeded to knock out its hits with a wall of guitar-heavy sound.
An audio collage of Cheap Trick references (yes, including Homer Simpson reminding us that he’d "prefer to listen to Cheap Trick") served as a prelude to the show.
From there, the band played what you’d expect, opening with "Hello There," followed by "Big Eyes" and "California Man."
The obligatory shout-out to Milwaukee came after about the sixth song, namely, "That '70s Song." Of course. They continued with the usual hits, like "The Flame," "Dream Police" and, yes, "I Want You To Want Me." Just like they always do.
The crowd responded accordingly but just couldn’t seem to muster a true fan’s enthusiasm. Perhaps blame the end-of-the-party vibe. Maybe attribute it to the rain that washed out most of the crowds standing outside the covered portion of the Pavilion. Or chalk it up to the fact that Cheap Trick has been a Summerfest staple since, well, as long as this 41-year-old Milwaukee native can remember.
To their credit, the members of Cheap Trick don’t take their adopted hometown for granted. They delivered a show with big, grateful showmanship, a wardrobe of guitars and enough glitz to make Elton John a bit envious.
If the rain or the prospect of a Monday morning alarm clock kept you from the 2014 Cheap Trick show, don’t worry … you know there’s always next year.
Led Zeppelin tribute band No Quarter opened the show.
Ain't That A Shame
That '70s Song
Need Your Love
Ballad of TV Violence
I Know What I Want
I Want You To Want Me
Never Have A Lot To Lose
Velia Tarnoff counts among the loves of her life her daughter, her husband, her friends, writing, developing theories, dancing, live music, Southern California, black coffee and red wine. She's happiest when she can put as many of those together as possible. WWith more than 20 years of experience as a radio reporter and public relations professional, Velia is a natural communicator who loves to hear stories, to share stories and to tell it like it is.
Velia earned her B.A. from the UW School of Journalism and is thankful for every moment she spent on that wonderfully wacky campus.
And, in the interest of full disclosure, Velia is the wife of OnMilwaukee.com Publisher Andy Tarnoff.