Having just released their 18th studio album, We’re All Alright it’s pretty clear how influential Cheap Trick are within the rock industry. Spanning a history of over 40 years it was no surprise to walk into the Forum Kentish Town to find what can only described as a more mature audience ready for a night of guilty rock pleasure. In fact it took me about 10 minutes of being in the venue before a rather friendly couple tried to ask me a questions about the venue’s history because “sorry darling, you looked a bit young for a cheap trick fan so we figured you worked here” in their defence I was wearing my usual gig camouflage of all black attire… haha.
Before the main acthit the stage the crowd was treated to the sounds of support act, Stone Broken. If you’re yet to hear of this band, their a UK based breakthrough rock group who definitely know how to work a crowd. It’s quite clear that the subpar weather outside The Forum has not deterred the crowds tonight and each song that Stone Broken dish out is greeted with unison head bobbing and nods of appreciation.
When announced that one member of the audience had travelled from US just to see them play (Wes if you read this you’re a true legend dedicated to the rock and roll cause!) the band was so impressed they dedicated song Wait For You to their American friend.
After what seemed like a lifetime of waiting, rock legends Cheap Trick hit the dimly lit stage as crowd erupted with applause, Opening the show with Hello There, the band wasted no time in strumming through a set of rare gems, hits and even covers of classic rock songs.
When the band erupts into Top Of The World we get our first mass sing along for the night, with the crowd drowning out lead singer Robin Zander‘s own lyrics chanting “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight,” if it made one thing clear it showed the cheap trick fans were definitely here tonight.
As I hike my way up to the bar at the top of the forum staircase I get chased by security, once again I’ve been mistaken for a member of staff. After a hilarious exchange I grab my beer and plant myself against the rail upstairs with a group of lads who seem to cheers their beers every song. As Trick bursts into crowd favourite Ain’t That A Shame I cant help but get lost watching the various dance moves that break out in the crowd below me.
Tonight’s show is low on crowd banter, with a few small exceptions including the band talking about the time Michael Jackson tried to sue them for releasing their cover of Magical Mystery Tour’that he commissioned them to create. I have to admit that before tonight I hadn’t heard the Cheap Trick cover and I must way I was mighty impressed
As the band arrives at the tail end of their set we’re hit with a pretty succinct burst of hits as they work their way through When I Wake Up Tomorrow, I Want You To Want Me and Dream Police all in succession. They even spontaneously add in The Flame to please the song’s writer whojust happens to be in the audience tonight, “We better play it, otherwise he might sue us to!” gets a pretty unanimous applause.
The band head off and quickly re-emerge to play personal favourite Surrender as an encore and its at this point I finally see (well hear) a kid in the audience cheer and scream “Yay the Guardians Of The Galaxy song”, did I not mention how influential Cheap Trick have been across their 40 year career!
It is quite incredible to think that I was exposed to these rock legends at a young age through my parents vinyl collection and now we have another generation being exposed through the wonderful word of cinema.
After two more songs, we all make our way out of the Forum and I can’t help but think at this stage we’ll probably still be rocking out with these guys for another 40 years.
Live Review & Photography by Geoffrey D’Unienville of CheapTrick at Forum Kentish Town on 27th June 2017
Geoff has his own great photography site here: https://500px.com/geoffdphotos