Lunatic's Serenade

Boston / Cheaptrick
at The Joint, Las Vegas 7/26/14

What a night to remember and it’s a good thing I wrote it down!

My brother took me to see two iconic bands from the mid 70's. Boston and Cheap Trick on a dual headline show! Boston started as a basement project with Tom Scholtz (guitars, bass, vocals), Jim Masdea (drums) and the late great "Voice of Boston" Brad Delp. Over the years, they paved the way for a more extreme sounding rock band; listen to "Don't look Back" and listen to that guitar tone!

Cheap Trick - what can I say? They are a truly fun band! They bring all the elements of rock and pop in their music and stage presence - get a load of the song "Surrender" when you can and thank me later. Cheap Trick came out swinging (the singer had on his "Dream Police" outfit) and they hit us with the tune "Big Eyes", Aint that a Shame" and "Gonna Raise Hell". The venue's PA could barely contain the barrage of sound!

The fun continues as they run through classics like "California Man", "Tonight it's You" and "Southern Girls", before going off on a killer bass solo, and then they go into "Stop This Game"..Oh, and the bass solo? Have you ever seen a 12 string bass? Yeah, me neither! Looked live a Silvertone or a Gretch - awesome tone from an awesome bassist.

After that, I could have gone home satisfied, but I wanted to go deaf and they obliged. Coming back full force into "If you want my Love", "I want you to want Me", "Dream Police", "Never had a lot to Lose" and ending with my personal fave “Surrender".  Yeah, Cheap Trick rules!

After intermission the lights dimmed, people cheered and when the cheers died down - dark stage and nobody there yet, then one spotlight on main guitar guy Tom Scholtz. He's doin' guitar stuff, showin' off a bit and hold a note for a minute and BAM! They hit us with "Rock N 'Roll Band". Everyone is going bananas! "Smokin'" was faster than ever and the new song "Last day of School" was pretty cool. And the hits kept on comin' as they smoothed into "More than a Feeling", punched you with "Piece of Mind" and slammed "Cool the Engines".

Season 9 finalist of American Idol, Siobhan Magnus, joins them for the tune "Walk On" and she can belt out some screamage with those pipes! They don't stop there! No! "Don't Look Back" "It isn't Easy" "Amanda" and "More than a Feeling" that led into another guitar solo. After another song I can’t remember, the keyboard guy took a solo and the bassist took a solo too! Man! Is it over yet?! uhhhh NO!

"Have you ever seen a 12 string bass? Yeah, me neither!"

The lights dim again as they go into "Foreplay/Long Time". (For those that don't know, "Foreplay" is the title of a Hammond B3 organ solo...not the other thing) And they topped off the night with "Taking my Time", one of their many radio hits.

I am so glad I grew up in the mid 70's to enjoy the origins of hard rock and heavy metal.

If you can, go see this tour or any of the greats that are still playing. Special thanx to my brother Art, Guinness , Jack and Coke and Java cigars for making this night a memorable one.

Tim Duran, HMS

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