MUSIC PREVIEW: Cheap Trick class act

Cheap Trick GigCity EdmontonFor all the complaining from members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they still get to stick “Member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” to their names – and that’s no cheap boast.

Speaking of which, Cheap Trick – member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – returns to the Edmonton area on Saturday night at the River Cree Casino. Along with classic anthems like I Want You to Want Me and Dream Police is an unbroken string of honest, simple power pop songs from music dating back to 1973, including the latest album fresh off the presses: Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello. Now there’s a title.

The new River Cree tent holds as many people as the Jube, and it’s a fitting space for a great band that should’ve been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a long time ago. Guitarist Rick Nielsen told Billboard magazine in December, “It’s kind of like baseball players and that hall of fame. If they wait too long people forget about the players from the past. So the fact that we could’ve gotten in or nominated years ago and we weren’t forgotten, and to come up this year and now to make it, that’s pretty great. I mean, we’re just four guys from Rockford, Illinois. It’s not like we were destined for this or that. We’ve always kind of gone out and been us. We didn’t try to be anything but what we are. We didn’t try to fit into anything. We just played our version of what we liked to do, so it’s like, ‘Wow, we’re gonna be inducted into the thing.’”

Now see? That’s the way to handle it: Be grateful. Humble. Act like a class act even if the very idea of a stodgy museum for music – in Cleveland, of all places – pisses you off.

Steve Miller was also inducted this year and made everybody feel really dumb and awkward when tore a strip off the Hall for various crimes against nature (not enough female inductees, not showing proper respect, $10,000 plus-ones), comparing music industry people to gangsters (and not gangsters of love), saying that Hall Of Fame inductees are “kind of dicks and assholes.”

Ha, you just burned yourself, Joker!

Cheap Trick: We double dog dare you to perform a cover of Take the Money and Run at your concert. Show at 9 pm, tickets from $42 advance.

Thursday 21

Collective Soul – Hey! It’s been a while since this Georgia fivesome came to town – on this night at the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre in Spruce Grove, close enough for rock ‘n’ roll. Led by singer-songwriter Ed Roland, the band hit the green on the first shot in 1994 with a hit called Shine and its distinctive guitar riff followed by just one word: “hey.” They’re been recording and touring ever since, on and off, and the very title of their latest album says it all, See What You Started By Continuing. Doors at 7 pm, advance tickets from $50.

Friday 22

Upper Lakes – Full name: Upper Lakes – The Northern Alternative. In yet another area band named for a place on a map, this Edmonton synthy rock band releases its debut EP at the Mercury Room. With the openers We Were Friends and Evan Freeman, 8 pm, $10 advance

Dead Honey – There’s a new female fronted band on the Edmonton scene, a grungy, Hole-y sort of group led by the fire-haired singer Medina, one name only, with a single out of the gate, Sirens and Secrets. Bohemia, with The Dropouts and No Room For Subtlety, 9 pm, $10 at the door

Saturday 23

Choir and Marching Band – Neither choir nor marching band, Trevor Rockwell’s new project (he’s been involved with a who’s who of Edmonton’s indie elite over the years) has been getting a lot of gigs lately. And why not? The band is a refreshing, artful, sometimes noisy and droney pastiche if hi-fi and low-tech, and compelling songs, as can be heard on their one album so far, So Duh Pop – and live this afternoon at the Black Dog, 4-6 pm, no cover

Whale and the Wolf – We love animal bands around here almost as much as bands named for geographical locations. These locals whose singer sounds like a grittier version of the guy from Death Cab for Cutie has a heavy, melodic, dramatic sound. They want to call what they do “erotic rock.” We’ll see if that catches on. Brixx, with Magik Spells and Savage Playground, $10 advance

Tuesday 26

George Thorogood and the Destroyers – What’s this?! George Thorogood hasn’t been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? He’s eligible. Bad to the Bone came out in 1982. Other similarly bad-themed hits followed, including Born To Be Bad, I Drink Alone, and Haircut, all drawing heavily from the traditions of the deep blues, from people like Hound Dog Taylor and John Lee Hooker – and they’re not in the Hall, either. Who needs the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, anyway? Jubilee Auditorium, with The Ben Miller Band, advance tickets from $36