M'Lady and I had the pleasure of seeing Cheap Trick open the 2014 Three Rivers Festival at Headwaters Park in Fort Wayne last night. What an awesome time! I was never a huge Cheap Trick fan - never owned any of their music - but I liked them alright. They are one of those bands that is much better live than just listening to their music (imho). You also realize that even though you might not be able to name too many of their songs, you recognize them all as soon as they start playing.
I'm surprised I wasn't more of a fan of theirs. They hail from Rockford, Illinois - just a mere 90 minutes from where I grew up and lived most of my life. They also started playing and touring during my high school years. Perhaps I was already set in my musical ways, or maybe I just wasn't paying attention. Anyway, it was nice to see that Robin Zander, Rick Nielson, and Tom Petersson were still together. They may be a bit older, but boy do they still know how to put on a show! It was well worth the $25 day-of-show ticket price.
There was also a great crowd there. Perhaps the largest crowd I've seen at the park in my years here. I was glad to see it. We arrived at maybe 7 o'clock or so and there wasn't an empty chair to be found anywhere, and standing room was even somewhat limited. We hung out in the alleyway that led to the porta-potties for the opening bands (Orange Opera & Unlikely Alibi). We also took several walkabouts through the grounds under and just outside the pavilion. We finally settled on leaning against a gate section on the south side of the stage. It is a favorite spot of mine. You are behind the speakers (to try to save what's left of my hearing), and you get to see all the behind-the-stage happenings. I think it's interesting to see how different musicians warm up or prepare to take the stage. You also get to see them interact with other band members, roadies, and workers.
I suppose they played most of their hits. Which was nice of them. Can you imagine going to work every day for the last 30+ years and doing the same thing... and looking like you're enjoying yourself!! But they did. It was a great show. I had a blast not only listening to the music and watching their performance, but I thought the crowd was great too! I love people-watching, and there were plenty of characters to put a smile on my face last night.
We did run into a few people we knew. We saw Amish John and the Sizzler (Mike). We chatted with them for awhile. We hadn't seen them in a long time and it was good to visit. We also saw Bob & Leta from our old church. We chatted briefly, but not long once they mentioned church.
I could probably write about the experience for awhile, but that's probably enough. A very fun night, a great way to kick off the festival, and I'm glad Fort Wayne supported them bringing in a 'name' band to headline. Very nice.