Hard-core Cheap Trick fans will bristle at this comment, but after their first few records, the band became exactly the type of flashy arena rock outfit that it had mocked. Cheap Trick used smart hooks, trashy lyrics, an... more »d a passionate yet fun approach that made other late '70s dinosaurs seem even sillier. But after their breakout record, Live at Budokan, it seems the boys began believing in the stuff they were singing and playing a little too much. The band's still around, and their live act can still make for an entertaining evening, but you got to take a lot of the bad with a bit of the good. Same applies to this DVD, in which the band was filmed in Australia during their comeback in 1988. The awful power ballad "The Flame" had restored interest in the band, and energy-wise at least, Cheap Trick seems psyched to be center stage again. Guitarist Rick Nielsen is all over the place (both physically and in terms of his playing), while Robin Zander's (is there a better name for a lead vocalist?) hair... Well, you've just got to see it. The classics (Surrender," "I Want You to Want Me") are great, "The Flame" sucks, and the fact that Cheap Trick plays the pretentious hit "Dream Police" live at least shows they maintain a sense of humor. Right? Let's hope so. --Dave McCoy« less
Cheap Trick circa 1988 with Petersson, power and presence.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Filmed in Sydney 2/10/88 following strong sales of the Band's "Lap of Luxury" LP in Australia & a successful tour "Downunder" in April 1988. I attended one of Cheap Trick's performances at a Melbourne venue called "The Palace" in April '88 and this video offering brings back the memories with a vengence. Bun E. lets rip with the drum intro to "Just Got Back" and the audience are left in no doubt they're in for some rock and roll when Rick appears and crunches his guitar with Pete Townsend like glee. There is not a dull moment on this video and the highlights, I guess, are a matter of personal taste; but for mine "If You Want My Love" (Rick invites us to join in)and the powerhouse three song finale in "I Want You To Want Me", "Surrender" & "Auf Wiedersehen" whip the audience to a fever pitch and certainly gets the viewer pumped and wanting more. "Top of the World", "Dream Police", California Man" are included and "The Flame" gives the girls' tear ducts a workout. There may be plenty of people who have no prior interest in Cheap Trick but I am convinced that once they see the Band live, many are converted and few are left unmoved by the sheer power, presence and LOUDNESS of a truly original outfit. In the words of Rick Nielsen "...I'm conviced it's an addiction too, I feel just great again." Buy it and get into Cheap Trick - I know I have."
Worthwhile purchase for fans
David Whittle | Knoxville, TN United States | 02/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD has a few problems.... The picture quality is late 80s industrial video quality, and the stereo sound mix is only so-so. Rhino Records has updated the sound with a new optional 5.1 mix that sounds TERRIBLE! Trust me, stick with the 2 channel stereo mix on this DVD. The non-concert footage (the band touring Sidney) doesn't really do anything for the package, but thankfully it doesn't interrupt the songs and can be skipped easily (thank God for DVD!).With that said, this video captures one of the 80s most underrated band at their best. If you've had the pleasure of catching Cheap Trick in concert, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, here's proof. Robin Zander may fall out of key here and there, but he sings with so much feeling that it simply doesn't matter. The rest of the band rocks rocks rocks!Despite the forgivable problems, fans will eat this DVD up. If you know anyone who doubt how great of a show CT puts on, show them this."
Older video suffers
S. R. | 07/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is not as good as "Silver" but its still essential for Cheap Trick fans. Sound is not as clean nor is the picture as good. Production values are kept to a minimum.The band, however, gives a top notch performance going through all the hits. I don't understand Dave McCoy's comment about Cheap Trick mocking other 70's bands then becoming all that they had mocked. How did he pick up on this notion? Was he even alive at the band's conception? They've never took a position of mocking the state of rock and roll however it may have been or will become. This is tripe. Is perhaps he confusing the band with The Tubes? Which mocked everything about American life, rock and roll included. Failed writers become professional reviewers. Go figure. At the time Cheap Trick was a puppet of the record company EPIC who held ALL the cards for the band. They were forced to record "The Flame" as they had been forced to work with a never ending series of producers for their releases each one with a different "vision and sound" for the band. Listen to the crisp, sparse production of Jack Douglas's 1977 release "Cheap Trick" then compare it to Tom Werman's balless, gelded, thin sound for also 1977's "In Color" album. Talk about a 180-degree sound change. Cheap Trick never had time to "start believing the stuff they had been singing or playing" Mr. McCoy because Epic Records called all the shots, bad or good. They never got control until they signed with RED ANT Entertainment and released the superb "Cheap Trick" in 1997. Epic wouldn't even allow the entire show at Budokan to be released on the eventual "Live at Budokan" effort because some of the songs were too hard edged for their teeny bopper fans to hear. This is how Epic held back the band's natural progression. So take it easy with the harsh critiscism of the band they were barely ever allowed to do what they wanted by a big stupid corporate devil called Epic Records."
God, Save Rhino
Roberto Barrera | St. Petersburg, Florida | 03/21/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Just 4 days ago I saw Cheap Trick. They are still one of the best rock bands to ever perform. Ok, on this video their performance is quite good maybe excellent. The problem is with barely recognizable audio and 8mm or 1st generation consumer quality video it's really difficult to say. Is this sound recorded with one built-in cassete recorder microphone? The picture quality almost rates average when the pure white stage light shines on the band. I love this band. Please someone, release commercial qualtity video compilation or a professionally produced (35mm film/digital sound) product on this band."
Cheap Trick Makes You Feel Good Down Under!
Kenny Gott | Springfield, MO, USA | 06/05/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Cheap Trick is one of America's greatest contributions to pop culture. They've never stopped touring or recording, and as great as their records are, this band really has to be seen live to be appreciated. Go see them as soon as you can. In the meantime, the fabulous songs and the band's ever-bigger-than-life image overcome the relatively poor video and inconsistent audio production on this DVD (although the editing is not bad--you do get to see pretty much what you want to see when you want to see it.) The boys are playing hard here in support of the Lap Of Luxury release, whose hits "Don't Be Cruel" and "The Flame" put them back on top where they always belonged. "On Top Of The World", the 2nd song of the set, drives up into the starfield with 5 giant Bun E. Carlos snare thwaps as Robin Zander rears back for one of the all-time great codas. These guys deliver on so many levels, and it's great to see them performing songs you may not have seen them do in a while ("Big Eyes" and "Clock Strikes Ten" in particular), along with the core list of big U.S. hits, big elsewhere hits, small hits, near-hits, album favorites, and shoulda-been-hits-how-could-they-not-have-been. Zander is astounding, as usual, and it's really cool to hear him talk in the short clips of the band hanging out in Sidney, and compare his seemingly normal speaking voice to the roaring and endlessly diverse controlled juggernaut of his singing voice. Although "Never Had A Lot To Lose" sounds like it was recorded on a microcassette, after repeated listenings I've decided it may very well be Zander's vocal monitor mix recorded straight from the mixing board. Although the sound quality is jarringly inferior to the other songs, in a way it's pretty interesting because Zander is loud in the mix, with no reverb or delay effects, so you really hear every little thing, presumably the same way he hears it on stage--for example, on the bridge when he sings 'not 'til daylight', you hear his vocal cords break into harmonics, something you'd never be able to hear normally. Rick Nielsen is at his goofy finest, tossing flatpicks, brow sweat, and a guitar wall of mastered mayhem. Tom Petersson, inventor of the 12-string bass, doubles the height of that guitar wall by generating more tones than a color wheel, while simultaneously anchoring the songs tightly to Carlos' elegant but playful foundation. The "Silver" and "Music For Hangovers" DVD's are superior productions overall, but this one is a very good '80's snapshot of a magical band--an absolute must-have for true fans."