The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Billy Idol Cheap Trick – Review

March 14th 2015

BILLY IDOL: It's been a while since Billy Idol visited us down-under - thirteen years ago to be exact when he came out for the 2002 'M-One Festival Tour' and 'almost' played at the NRL Grand Final. It was a sight to see with Billy triumphantly arriving in a hovercraft before jumping on stage and... nothing happened, no power, no nothing... then he hung around for five minutes before the spot was cancelled... it was one of those nightmare moments that thankfully wasn't repeated.



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BILLY IDOL SETLIST: Postcards from the Past | Cradle of Love | Can't Break Me Down | Dancing With Myself (Generation X song) | Flesh for Fantasy | Save Me Now | Ready Steady Go (Generation X song) | Sweet Sixteen | Eyes Without a Face | L.A. Woman (The Doors cover) | Guitar Solo | Whiskey and Pills | Blue Highway | Rebel Yell | Encore: White Wedding | Drum Solo | Mony Mony (Tommy James & the Shondells cover)

After playing a North American tour of predominantly medium sized theatres earlier in the year Billy is back to play Australia's 'An Evening on the Green' to considerably larger crowds, before stepping up even further to the big European Festivals in the Northern Summer.

Starting off with 'Postcards from the Past' one of the standouts from last year's return to form album 'Kings and Queens of the Underground' its immediately clear that whilst everyone here is more than pleased to welcome Billy back not all are entirely familiar with the new material, which is a shame as it and songs like the new video 'Can't Break Me Down' and the other song that made it into the set: 'Whisky and Pills' are pretty damn good.

With Billy though it's all about the hits and we get the expected numbers liberally peppered throughout the set-list with 'Rebel Yell' the last song of the main set and 'White Wedding' the first of the encores almost powerful enough to blow away the rain, but certainly more than enough to warm the crowd.

There are a few interesting numbers amongst the hits the 31 year old 'Blue Highway' from Rebel Yell gets a look in, as does the acoustic-led 'Sweet Sixteen' from Whiplash Smile, which produced the far better known 'To Be a Lover'. To some, like us, it's obviously cool to hear a little variety in there.

The bands performance is magnificent throughout and whilst a guitar solo from Steve Stevens (last with us in 2013 playing for the all-star 'Kings of Chaos') is both expected and entertaining, and pays homage to greats like Hendrix, Page and Van Halen; the drum solo in the encore was rather unnecessary... All in all it's a great return by an artist who has just put out his best album in years. The rest of Australia and New Zealand are in for a real treat.

CHEAP TRICK SET-LIST: Hello There| Big Eyes | Elo Kiddies | Baby Loves to Rock | California Man (The Move cover) | Lookout | On Top of the World | I Know What I Want | If You Want My Love | I Want You to Want Me | Dream Police | Ain't That a Shame (Fats Domino cover) | Surrender | Goodnight

CHEAP TRICK: Before Billy Idol took the stage it was the turn of Cheap Trick to entertain the damp King's Park crowd. For some like us, Cheap Trick were actually the band we were there to see on their first visit since pairing up with Def Leppard on their 2008 tour.

After they leave us Cheap Trick will embark on a mammoth US tour with Peter Frampton - a great double-bill as I'm sure you'll realise in the 70's these guys had the two biggest 'Live Albums' out there. But that's another story.

Tonight as always Cheap Trick shine through the weather bringing an evergreen set-list that really highlights what a great band they are live. Starting off with the traditional 'Hello There' it's a roller-coaster of pop-tinged rock that is both infectious and so much fun.

We of course get the set-list staples like 'Big Eyes'; 'If You Want My Love' (which I’m pretty sure they omitted last tour); 'Dream Police'; 'I Know What I Want' and our favourites 'Surrender' and 'I Want you to Want Me'. They also pull out a storming version of 'Ain't That a Shame' and throw in early gems like 'Elo Kiddies'; Baby Loves to Rock (from 1980's 'All Shook Up') and 'Lookout' (that first appeared on 'Live at Budokan') before closing with the traditional 'Goodnight'. And whilst we're mentioning that seminal album 'Live at Budokan' it's worth adding that we are actually only two songs away from that complete album here - surely it wouldn't have been too much to add the missing 'Come On, Come On' and 'Clock Strikes Ten'?

The only disappointment for the crowd as a whole is the lack of the majestic ballad 'The Flame' which receives more than a few requests from the audience, but there you go: sometimes you just can't have everything! If you want to see a 70's Rock band that have never lost their edge then Cheap Trick is the ticket.

THE ANGELS AND THE CHOIRBOYS: The evening kicked off with sets by two of Australian Rock's icons The Choirboys who proved that really on a stage like this they have very little to compete apart from the pub singalong 'Run to Paradise' (though even that kind of grates after hearing it a million times). Conversely The Angels, now led by Dave Gleeson always manage to show why they have been so damn important and influential to so many bands both locally and abroad over the years. It's always a pleasure to see The Angels and this afternoon is no exception.

Review by Andrew Jones | Main Cheap Trick photo by Duncan Barnes 2015