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Re-Viewed: Cheap Trick at Ravinia

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 5, 2006 5:38PM

2006_09_cheaptrick.jpgSunday was supposed to be our recovery day from college football, but when a friend called with free tickets to Cheap Trick at Ravinia, we got off the couch and gathered our music festival gear. We jumped on Metra's Ravinia Special and were dropped off right at the festival's entrance - quite the service for a $5 round trip price tag. We set up our lowly space with a couple of blankets and cooler, which was nothing compared to some of those around us who had buffet tables set up complete with warming trays. We were ready to hear Rockford's favorite sons.

Cheap Trick has been around as long as we have, and they played just about every hit - "Surrender", "The Flame", "I Want You To Want Me", "If You Want My Love", and "Dream Police". Although we enjoyed the hits as much as the rest of the crowd, the songs sounded muddled, as though the band figured that there was no reason to practice them because they had them down pat from years and years of play.

The songs from Cheap Trick's latest release, Rockford, were much tighter and fresh-sounding, which proved that Cheap Trick can learn new tricks and why they have endured. From the Lita Ford sounding intro of "Welcome to the World" to "Come On Come On Come On" and "If It Takes a Lifetime" we realized that Cheap Trick is the rock equivalent of comfort food - they aren't the best we've ever heard, but somehow it still feels right.

After their set and brief encore, we headed back to catch the train with the other concertgoers. The train ride home was a total party complete with Apple Martinis and an elaborate bartering system to get more beer from those who had brought more than enough in their enormous coolers that took four men to carry. Cheap Trick's concert was practically forgotten with all the mayhem riding the rails that night.