Cheap Trick | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Cheap Trick 

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Cheap Trick has been treading water on record for years, but live they're peerless, capable of turning on classic-rock radio punters and youthful music snobs alike. As with their last few studio efforts, the recent Rockford (Big 3) is being touted as the return to form fans have been waiting for since 1979's Dream Police. It's not quite that good, nor does it have the focus of their 1997 self-titled comeback album, but it's no Busted either. Produced in part by longtime Trick collaborator Jack Douglas and die-hard fan Steve Albini, Rockford highlights more than a few moments of Rick Nielsen's peculiar lyrical wit and the band's uniquely muscular melodies. Setting aside the first single, "Perfect Stranger," doctored by hack-to-the-stars Linda Perry, it's a record that definitely belongs in the upper half of the band's discography, and the songs can only sound better in concert. Wisconsin roots rockers the Wandering Sons--managed and produced by Nielsen's son Miles--open. Sun 9/3, 7 PM, Pavilion, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay & Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park, 847-266-5100, $45, $15 lawn. All ages.

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