Cheap Trick

Wellmont Theater, Montclair, NJ

Cheap Trick
2019 World Tour!
The Wellmont Theater
Montclair, NJ
March 1, 2019
Article & Photographs By Estelle Massry
Additional Article Contributions by Dennis Morgillo
 
Cheap Trick is an American Band. The Greatest American Band of all time, some might say. Others may say, the Greatest Band Ever, Period!
 
Since the 1970's, Cheap Trick has created some of the most innovative, original music. They are known for their high energy, stellar live shows and have perfected their performances over the last 40 years and 5000 shows.  
 
I manage to get to the front, up close and personal, to catch the intimate moments from my lens. They open up with "Hello There". I get a chill from the opening Guitar buzzsaw riff from Rick Neilson. "Hello there ladies and gentlemen, Hello there ladies and gents, Are you ready to rock, Are you ready or no?" The answer is Yes! This crowd is ready to rock. I'm ready to rock, we're all ready to rock! These guys still have it and are showing no signs of slowing down. 

Rick Nielsen blew me a kiss, while on stage in the middle of the song. I felt like a school girl. Rick threw what seemed like hundreds of guitar picks into the crowd, throughout the show. I heard they were all one of a kind and I was fortunate to get a handful later during the show from side stage - but that’s the next story.
Robin Zander, one of the best singers in the business, sounded great and looked even better in top hat and pin stripe pants and vest. Rick Neilsen in his signature cap, strutted about, made faces and had a great time up there shredding on his many guitars. Rick's son Daxx Neilsen, and Bassist Tom Petersson shined on "You Got it Going On". 
 
It was a night of hits, killer riffs, surprises and deep tracks, but every song was a winner. I was unaware of "Sick Man of Europe", from "The Latest", released in 2009, but I just loved it and its going on heavy rotation now. 
 
The build up for "Ain't That a Shame" is one of the great moments in Rock, and maybe one of the best covers ever. You cannot stay still during this song. The crowd is going crazy. Singing, dancing, and smiling just like we did when we first heard "Budokan" in 1978. Such great playing by the band and Rick's lead gives me more chills. 
 
A great surprise is Tom Petersson singing lead on "I'm Waiting For The Man", a Velvet Underground cover. 

Next is "The Flame", the crowd is holding up cellphones as lighters and swaying, and weeping in joy. "Wherever you go, I'll be with you, Whatever you want, I'll give it to you"  What a beautiful song. 

There is a nice audience sing along during "I Want You to Want Me", and then the band kicks it into overdrive. "Dream Police", "Clock Strikes Ten", and of course "Surrender"!  "Mommy's alright, daddy's alright, they just seem a little weird. Surrender, surrender, but don't give yourself away, ay, ay, ay." 

I was lucky enough to sneak off to the back and watch the last 3 songs from the side of the stage which was surreal. As Rick Nielsen came off stage to the side (where I was) to change his guitar (after every song), he quickly would shout out something to us each time. I think the last time my friend said to him “nice rack” - speaking of his guitar and he looked at my friend Lou and pointed to me and said “yes I know she has a nice rack!” - and there you have it! 

I went backstage after the show and officially met Rick quickly but it was a very brief encounter, he was a bit out of breath and needed to retreat after this amazing show!

What an amazing show. What a talented band. What a fun night!

"Good night now ladies and gentlemen
Good night now ladies and gents.
That's the end of the show, now it's time to go.

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