Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Year in Music: Best Reissues

Some of the most impressive reissues that came across my desk this year happened to come from artists that hail from right here in the Sunshine State, with others coming from Texas and Scotland. Of course, the wonderful Omnivore Recordings led the charge, as usual. Read on for the lowdown...

1. The Dream Syndicate, “The Days of Wine and Roses” (Omnivore) – A vital part of LA’s Paisley Underground movement during the early ‘80s, the quartet was initially influenced by The Doors and Velvets, with a penchant for extended jams. Steve Wynn and company’s mesmerizing full length debut is often considered a seminal release of the period. Highlights include “Tell Me When It’s Over,” the slow churning jagged guitars of “Halloween,” a feedback-laden “When You Smile” and frantic title track, which continues its driving pace for nearly 7 minutes. Long out of print, the new reissue now comes with half a dozen previously unreleased rehearsal songs overseen by drummer Dennis Duck and liner note background and testimonials from members of Sonic Youth, Green on Red, Rain Parade and the Long Ryders.

2. Spoon, “Gimme Fiction” (Merge) – The fifth album by these Austin alt-rockers came after a pair of critically-acclaimed predecessors. This one was more experimental in places, but still received high marks (including a year-end top 10 slot from yours truly), a major chart debut and sales. It saw the Britt Daniel-led band utilize piano and a string quartet for the first time as well as strategically-placed drum machine and unusual time signatures. “My Mathematical Mind” ended with jagged guitar feedback, “Sister Jack” was weird avant pop bliss and the dance rock radio hit “I Turn My Camera On” recalled “Emotional Rescue”-era Stones. The 10th Anniversary edition includes the newly remastered original album on one disc; a dozen previously unreleased home demos comprise the second (the digital download boasts nine more bonus tracks). The liner notes include several rare photos, plus an expansive, frank oral history from band members and their producers – often with conflicting viewpoints.

3. Simple Minds, “Sparkle in the Rain” (Virgin/Universal) – By 1984, the Scottish art rock group had put out five albums, with two of them selling well. Yet this one was the first to go double platinum, debut at No. 1 and spawn three top 25 hits (“Waterfront,” “Up on the Catwalk,” “Speed Your Love to Me”) in the UK. The definition of grandeur and “big music,” the Steve Lillywhite-produced “Sparkle in the Rain” was rife with anthems and spirited music of the soul from singer Jim Kerr. Remastered at Abbey Road Studios and overseen by guitarist Charlie Burchill, the sound is better than ever. The deluxe expanded edition’s Disc Two includes rare B-sides - some making their CD debut for the first time – notably a live version “Hunter And The Hunted,” 12” remixes of “Waterfront,” “Speed Your Love To Me,” “Up On The Catwalk,” “A Brass Band In Africa” and “Bass Line.” The Pure Audio Blu-ray takes the sonics to a pristine level with DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and high resolution stereo mixes by Steven Wilson. Kerr looks back at the making of the album in a 2014 interview contained in the liner notes with archival photos. 

4. Jack's Mannequin, “Everything in Transit: 10th Anniversary Edition” (Rhino/Maverick) – Following the demise of SoCal alt-pop fave Something Corporate, Andrew McMahon started Jack’s Mannequin and delved into more mature coming of age stories with a less aggressive approach. Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee played on half the solid concept album’s studio songs. Both singles (“Dark Blue,” “The Mixed Tape”) should’ve been big hits, but the singer/piano’s battle with leukemia delayed label promotion until he was well. The new edition features a second disc of rarities, including two live tracks, a more majestic acoustic take on “Bruised,” breezy Christmas song “The Lights and Buzz” and standout “Locked Doors.” McMahon puts it all into perspective with a foreword note.

5. Translator, “Sometimes People Forget” (Omnivore) – Formed in LA by two musicians from a Beatles tribute show in 1979, the new wave-meets-psychedelic band found success when it moved to the Bay Area and signed to the influential 415 Records. The poppy “Everywhere I’m Not” became a college/modern rock radio hit (I remember hearing it on regular rotation on KROQ/106.7 FM Los Angeles back in the day) and garnered MTV exposure. That signature Translator tune is included here, along with 20 previously unreleased demos (often in serrated form) from 1979-85. It gives casual listeners and even major fans a great glimpse into the creative process. Vocalist Steve Barton provides a detailed history in the liner notes, while Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, Translator producers Ed Stasium and David Kahne offer recollections.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Year in Music: Best Live Albums

On some live albums, you can obviously tell some studio tinkering was involved after the fact. Then there are others where the raw energy of the concert performance shines through and hasn’t been polished to perfection. Such is the case with my picks for the best of 2015.

1. Neil Finn + Paul Kelly, “Goin' Your Way” (Omnivore) - In 2013, two of Australian alt-rock and pop music's most revered singer/songwriters from the past 30 years toured their native land together. Recorded on the jaunt's final stop at the Sydney Opera House, “Goin’ Your Way” - originally released last year Down Under - is an exceptional double set featuring 29 live tracks from their respective bands (Crowded House, Split Enz, The Messengers) and solo careers. The sound, mixed by Bob Clearmountain, is astounding. Both artists trade verses and harmonize on each other's songs with ease. It was also a true family affair, with Kelly's nephew Dan on guitar and Finn's son Elroy on drums and guitar. Kelly and Finn surprise with a lovely joint Buddy Holly cover ("Words of Love") and a hushed acoustic take on the standard "Moon River." Also impressive is a revamped arrangement of “Won't Give In,” originally from The Finn Brothers' second album “Everyone is Here.” Most of Neil Finn's best known tracks are represented, including “Four Seasons in One Day,” “Into Temptation,” “Better Be Home Soon,” “Don't Dream It's Over,” “Fall at Your Feet,” “Private Universe,” “One Step Ahead” and “Message to My Girl.” Kelly weighs in with “Dumb Things,” “How to Make Gravy,” “Before Too Long,” “To Her Door," “Leaps and Bounds” and others. A must buy for fans of either artist.

2. World Party, “Live at the Belly Up” (Belly Up Live) – The past few years have been a blessing for longtime World Party enthusiasts in North America, with Karl Wallinger suddenly touring the region with more frequency and sounding just as great as his late 1980s and early ‘90s alt-rock radio heyday. This fine hour-long set was recorded June 29, 2014 at the venerable tavern in Solana Beach, Calif. (just outside San Diego). Backed by veteran guitarist John Turnbull – whose credits include Nick Lowe, Ian Dury, Bob Geldof - and fiddler David Duffy, the Brit’s tasteful arrangements and sublime harmonies shine brightest on “Put The Message in The Box,” “Is It Like Today?,” the countryish “Sweet Soul Dream,” an epic “Ship Of Fools,” “Thank You World” and feisty “Way Down Now.” Available in the U.S. as a download via 

3. Hunter Hayes, “The 21 Project” (Atlantic) – Technically more like a hybrid EP, this 7-track collection is presented in live, acoustic and studio versions over three discs. Recorded during the enthusiastic country singer/guitarist’s opening stint on the Lady Antebellum tour this past summer, you can almost visualize Hayes grinning ear to ear while singing (believe me, he usually was: I caught the Irvine, Calif. stop on that tour). The band utilizes mandolin, bouzouki, mandola, Rhodes, B-3 organ (with several played by Hayes himself). All the new tracks are winners, especially infectious top 30 country hit “21,” the earnest “Young and in Love” and “Where it All Begins” (a duet with Lady Antebellum on the studio disc). 

4. Rick Springfield, “Stripped Down” (Loud & Proud/RED) – Inside the liner notes to “Stripped Down,” there’s a telling quote from the Aussie pop/rock superstar that says, “I’ve always written autobiographically. There’s an arc of my life with all the songs in it. People often ask me if I’m sick of playing [the hits], and I’m not, because they’re my life.” The 14-track CD (part of a set that also includes a slightly reworked order on DVD) recalls the old MTV Unplugged and VH1 Storytellers shows of the 1990s, where performers would open up about the songs’ origins in a stripped down format (hence the title). Springfield plays acoustic and electric guitars here and uses the Band in a Box app to help augment the sound to fine effect. He provides various life anecdotes with a self-deprecating sense of humor. Some listeners might be surprised hear about such early blues and power pop influences as Fleetwood Mac, Muddy Waters and Badfinger (whose “Oh Well,” “Rollin’ & Tumblin’”, “Baby Blue” are performed), while hits like “Human Touch,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “Love Somebody,” “Affair of the Heart” and of course, “Jessie’s Girl” are done with the usual spirit. 

5. Sammy Hagar & The Circle, “Live: At Your Service” (Mailboat) – Talk about bringing the rock. Hagar has put out numerous concert albums over the years, but “At Your Service” ranks among the strongest. Some of that has to do with Jason Bonham laying down the foundation. It was recorded in 2014 while on tour in Atlantic City. Along with longtime guitarist Vic Johnson and bassist/former Van Halen bandmate Michael Anthony, Hagar and company barrel through powerful VH tracks (“Poundcake,” “When It’s Love,” “Why Can’t This Be Love,” “Finish What Ya Started,” “Right Now”), solo faves (“I Can’t Drive 55,” “There’s Only One Way to Rock,” “Little White Lie,” “Heavy Metal”) and some choice Led Zeppelin covers originally done by Bonham’s father John (“Whole Lotta Love,” “When the Levee Breaks,” “Rock and Roll”).    

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Year in Music: Best Albums and Concerts

In 2015, many music consumers were busy purchasing or streaming albums by Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Maroon 5 (all of which came out the year before) or actually going into stores to buy physical CDs by Adele. The latter's "25" has already raced past the 7 million mark in just over a month's time.
But several truly daring and original releases came from acts outside the mainstream that were unafraid to pen confessional songs (often swathed in reverb), a bunch of Brits who are getting better with age, a grunge rock-era survivor who traded bombast for a fine, stripped down effort and more.
The following are my top 10 albums - in order - and some which barely missed the cut.
1. Dawes, "All Your Favorite Bands" (Hub)
2. City & Colour, "If I Should Go Before You" (Dine Alone/Cooking Vinyl)
3. Dustin Kensrue, "Carry the Fire" (Vagrant)
4. Lord Huron, "Strange Trails" (IAmSound)

5. Blur, "The Magic Whip" (Warner Bros.)
6. The Vaccines, "English Graffiti" (Columbia)
7. Josh Ritter, "Sermon on the Rocks" (Pytheas/Thirty Tigers)
8. The Cribs, "For All My Sisters" (Sony)
9. Florence + the Machine, "How Big How Blue How Beautiful" (Republic)
10. Chris Cornell, "Higher Truth" (UMe)

Honorable Mention: Joe Jackson, "Fast Forward" (Sharp Practice/Caroline); The Mavericks, "Mono" (Valory Music Co.); Stereophonics, "Keep the Village Alive" (Stylus/Ignition); Don Henley, "Cass County" (Capitol); Chvrches, "Every Open Eye" (Glassnote)
Top 10 Concerts of 2015:
by Robert Kinsler
1. U2, The Forum (Night 2), Inglewood, Calif.
2. The Lone Bellow, Stagecoach Festival (Day 1), Empire Polo Field, Indio, Calif.
3. Mike Peters, The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
4. Spandau Ballet, Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa, Calif.
5. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, The Orpheum, Los Angeles, Calif.
6. Vintage Trouble, NAMM, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif.
7. St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Coachella Festival #2 (Day 2), Empire Polo Field, Indio, Calif.
8. The Mavericks, Doheny Blues Festival (Day 1), Doheny State Beach, Doheny, Calif.
9. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Coachella Festival #2 (Day 2), Empire Polo Field, Indio, Calif.
10. Blur, Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, Calif.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Editors reveal U.S. tour dates, single remix

Editors follow the release of the 'Ocean Of Night' single by revealing a reworking of the track from Belgium's Henri PFR. Following Henri's Deep House chart topping remix of Novo Amor's 'From Gold' and work with Armin Van Buuren and Robin Schulz, Henri's remix of 'Ocean Of Night' is a deep house classic in the making, retaining Tom Smith's soulful vocals over a floor fixated pulser of a tune.

The band have just announced their first US shows in six years, with a limited run of five dates across February & March 2016. The band, whose sell out UK tour reiterated their continued presence as one of the UK's biggest and most vital musical forces, continue their extensive live work in support of their breathtaking new album In Dream.

Billboard recently premiered a video for 'Ocean of Night' from their Top 5 UK album, In Dream. 'Ocean Of Night' is one of three tracks on the album which feature vocals from Slowdive and Minor Victories Rachel Goswell, the first Editors tracks to feature any voices from outside the band.

In Dream has seen Editors gather praise for an uncompromising and stark artistic statement, leaving behind the straight rock of previous album 'The Weight Of Your Love'. It is the second album to feature the "new" line-up of the band with Justin Lockey and Elliott Williams firmly in place alongside founding members Tom Smith, Russell Leetch and Ed Lay.
After two years of global touring this five piece incarnation used the new album to stretch the Editors sound, swerving away from the rock dynamic of "The Weight Of Your Love" and marking a return to a writing process influenced by electronic music. In Dream is out now via Play It Again Sam and available to buy digitally and physically.

US Tour

Feb 26 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
Feb 27 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
Feb 28 - Washington, D.C - 9:30 Club
Mar 2 - San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom
Mar 3 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern

Buy In Dream on iTunes
Buy In Dream on Amazon
Buy In Dream on Best Buy

Rick Springfield concert review: Riverside, Calif.

Many musicians who found widespread fame in the Eighties are content to rest on their laurels.

Not Rick Springfield.

He performs live constantly and puts out new studio albums every few years (the latest, “Rocket Science,” is due in February).

The Aussie pop/rocker has also penned an autobiography and novel (Late, Late at Night; Magnificent Vibration) and continues an active acting career dating back to the 1970s (more recent examples: True Detective, Drop Dead Diva, Ricki & the Flash, Hawaii Five-O, Californication).

Springfield brought his “Stripped” tour to the Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside, Calif. on Dec. 19 (a great companion CD/DVD to these sporadic solo acoustic jaunts was released last January via Loud & Proud/Gomer Records).   

The 100-minute concert of songs and stories touched upon selected anecdotes found in Late, Late at Night and for fans, provided a fascinating glimpse behind the music.

Following a brief career montage, Springfield opened the 16-song set with “I Get Excited,” the first of three selections from platinum 1982 LP “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet.” Then some female shrieks began and would continue throughout the night.

If anything, the show shined a brighter spotlight on Springfield’s underrated musical prowess, both on electric and acoustic guitar (blues covers of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well,” Muddy Waters’ “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”), not to mention the latest technology.

During various points, he used Band in a Box software alongside a laptop to augment the arrangements to fine effect (the bright harmony-laden take on Badfinger’s “Baby Blue”) and the Pocket Guitar phone app to play another tune (“Inside Sylvia”).

One amazing moment came when a picture of new t-shirt that’s been making the rounds on Facebook emblazoned with the phrase “What if Stacy’s Mom was Jessie’s Girl and Her Number Was 867-5309” was projected on a screen. It refers to Springfield’s signature hit as well as others by Fountains of Wayne and Tommy Tutone. With help from the Box, he deftly performed all three as a mashup. Not easy and really something to behold. The crowd responded wildly.

An emotional segment revolved around Springfield’s tribute to his late father during a medley of “April 24th 1981/My Father’s Chair.” Halfway through, the singer pushed the microphone stand away and did the rest a capella for added impact.

For “Me & Johnny,” Springfield talked about teenage shenanigans with the titular friend; then and now photos of them together shown behind him. A humorous new reggae song about the rotten state of airlines was accompanied by a lyric video.

Before the strident highlight “I’ve Done Everything for You,” Springfield recalled how the song’s writer Sammy Hagar once sent over a bottle of his Cabo Wabo tequila before selling the company. “Love Somebody” and “Affair of the Heart” were other standouts.

Finally, Springfield described the genesis of “Jessie’s Girl” before the audience erupted in a massive call and response singalong. 

There was no encore, but the artist returned for a fan Q&A moderated by the local newspaper’s music critic. Springfield talked about why he changed his stage name from Springthorpe; how soap opera acting is a lot of work and not really rewarding; what it was like to meet idol Paul McCartney and the experience of working and performing live with Dave Grohl, Stevie Nicks, etc. for the “Sound City” project.

All told, this was one of the best shows I’ve seen from Springfield.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Singer Patty Smyth back after long absence for 'Come On December'

I didn't discover this title was even out until a week ago. If you're a fan and still need some fresh holiday music, read on...

After helping define the 1980s new wave aesthetic with her band Scandal, singer-songwriter and performer, Patty Smyth, continued her triumphant run throughout the 1990s, writing and performing chart-topping and award-winning singles. But since 1999's Greatest Hits, Patty hasn't issued any albums. Her first release since then is the new Christmas album, Come On December.

The album includes both standards and originals. She sings modern versions of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "The Christmas Song," "Do You Hear What I Hear," and "Auld Lang Syne." Her originals include "Come On December," "Walk With Me" and "Broken." 

Patty Smyth came to attention with the hits "Goodbye to You" and "The Warrior" with her band Scandal. Upon going solo, "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" off her eponymous 1992 album - a song written by Patty - features a duet performance by Don Henley. It turned out to be a career-defining moment, topping many charts and earning BMI's song of the year. The CD earned platinum status, and also produced the hits "No Mistakes," "I Should be Laughing" and "Shine."
Two years later, Patty was brought in to sing and co-write "Look What Love Has Done," the Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy-nominated theme from the hit Arnold Schwarzenegger/Danny DeVito comedy, Junior.
In 1999, Patty issued her Greatest Hits album with two new tracks, one of which was on the Armageddon soundtrack and sold over 8 million copies. In 2004, she reunited successfully with her old Scandal mates for VH1's Bands Reunited. Currently, Patty resides in New York City with her husband, former tennis star John McEnroe, and their children. Purchase on iTunes here

Friday, December 18, 2015

Kongos re-release debut album digitally today

Kongos (2007) is now available for purchase here:

It also serves as an homage to their beginnings in South Africa and Phoenix as they diligently craft the follow-up to 2012’s major label debut Lunatic and their forthcoming third full-length album—due out early 2016.

The debut received a limited independent release back in 2007. Before now, the album was only available at their merch booth on tour, and it has become something of a collector’s item amongst fans. 

Currently the band is in the midst of finishing a new full-length. More details will be announced soon.

In 2014, “Come With Me Now” from Lunatic put them on the map. The track went RIAA double-platinum for sales in excess of 2 million. It occupied the #1 spot at Alternative Radio for five weeks. The song had placements in The Expendables 3, Universal Studios, Dodge Ram, Samsung Galaxy, American Idol, The Originals, MTV Movie Awards, HBO, FX, CNN, NBC Sports, ESPN, NFL, WWE, Playstation 4 and more.

Its video has been viewed nearly 40 million times: They’ve hit the stage at Late Night With Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, The Today Show and more.

The brothers Kongos —Johnny, Jesse, Daniel, and Dylan—have music in their blood. Their dad John Kongos landed multiple chart hits in the seventies, and the boys picked up instruments at a young age. Now, they’ve got a musical legacy all their own.

KONGOS (2007) 

Track Listing:

1. In The Music
2. Nothing
3. The Way
4. Curious
5. Remember Me
6. Another Daydream
7. The Trouble Is
8. I’ve Been Here Before
9. Make Your Mark
10. What About You

Thursday, December 17, 2015

AC/DC 2016 tour on sale Friday

American dates for the next leg of AC/DC's "Rock or Bust" World Tour kick off in February in Tacoma, WA and run into April in New York City (see below for dates). Tickets are on sale starting Dec. 18. 

AC/DC North American Tour Dates:

February 2 Tacoma, WA Tacoma Dome
February 5 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Arena
February 8 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
February 11 Fargo, ND Fargo Dome
February 14 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
February 17 Chicago, IL United Center
February 20 St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
February 23 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
February 26 Houston, TX Toyota Center
February 29 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
March 8 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
March 11 Ft. Lauderdale, FL BB&T Center
March 14 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum
March 17 Washington, DC Verizon Center
March 20 Detroit, MI The Palace
March 23 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
March 26 Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
March 29 Buffalo, NY First Niagara Center
April 1 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
April 4 New York, NY Madison Square Garden

For more information, visit

The London Suede album details

photo by Steve Gullick
British band The London Suede has confirmed a North American release date for their seventh studio album “Night Thoughts.”

This full-length will be available digitally and in-stores nationwide CD+DVD on Jan. 29 via Rhino Records/Warner Brothers.

The album will also be accompanied by a feature film directed by acclaimed photographer Roger Sargent – to be released on DVD – as part of a special album package. Pre-order "Night Thoughts" here. Watch the film trailer here.
Featuring a full string orchestra, “Night Thoughts” was produced by long-time The London Suede collaborator Ed Buller. 

Last month, the band performed the full album alongside the film projected in its entirety against a backdrop at the London Roundhouse. The band will be taking “Night Thoughts” on the road across Europe this winter into 2016. Tour dates can be found here.

Pre-order your copy of “Night Thoughts” here



Track Listing: 

1. When You Are Young
2. Outsiders
3. No Tomorrow
4. Pale Snow
5. I Don't Know How To Reach You
6. What I'm Trying To Tell You
7. Tightrope
8. Learning To Be
9. Like Kids
10. I Can't Give Her What She Wants
11. When You Were Young
12. The Fur & The Feathers

Feature Film

Cheap Trick concert review: Riverside, Calif.

On Wednesday, the night before being announced as a 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Cheap Trick performed to a wildly enthusiastic crowd at the Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside, Calif. (located 60 miles east of Los Angeles).

Marking their first appearance there in more than 20 years, the Illinois band delivered a rousing 95-minute, 19-song set that primarily concentrated on their platinum-selling late ‘70s LPs.
Cheap Trick’s first new studio album since 2009, titled “Bang Zoom Crazy…Hello,” will be released April 1 (a week before the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York City) on Nashville-based Big Machine Records. The musicians reteamed with producer Julian Raymond and have recorded 30 songs in Nashville and Los Angeles. Singer Robin Zander has described the new songs as having a “1975 flavor.”

Among the more influential and covered power pop/rock bands to emerge during the Seventies, Cheap Trick’s music frequently pops in TV and film (most recently in Adam Sandler’s “Pixels”). After 42 years together, the band still tours steadily.

Following an audio montage of notable moments in Cheap Trick history, the band launched the Riverside concert with its signature opener, “Hello There” as Zander sang the question fans would answer affirmatively: “are you ready to rock?”

“Elo Kiddies” was thunderous, thanks to Daxx Nielsen’s drum work. “Hot Love” - another track from the self-titled 1977 debut - proved equally powerful.

His father Rick Nielsen (who turns 67 this Tuesday) showed no signs of slowing down on guitar, especially amid the fast-fingered fretwork on “Hot Love” and chugging, spacey effects of “The House is Rockin’ (With Domestic Problems).” He frequently worked both sides of the stage, threw picks out to the crowd and switched to more unusual looking axes as the evening progressed.

The group’s popular cover of Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That a Shame” was an early highlight; so was the sinister “Taxman, Mr. Thief.” Then “No Direction,” proved to be a promising new tune.

Bassist and Nashville resident Tom Petersson (pictured below) took over the lead vocal during an extended, laid back cover of the Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for the Man.” It got an overwhelming response.

Zander’s vocals on chart-topping power ballad “The Flame” were as emotionally resonant as ever.

Energetic singalong hits “I Want You to Want Me” and “Dream Police” closed the main set. 

For the encores, Cheap Trick played the title track to the forthcoming album, “Surrender” (a real crowd pleaser), a menacing “Auf Wiedersehen” and “Goodnight.”

Upcoming shows:

Dec. 18 Napa, Calif., Uptown Theatre
Dec. 19 Stateline, NV, Harrah's Hotel Casino - Lake Tahoe
Dec. 20 San Jose, Calif., City National Civic

Photos by Ken Phillips