Besides the fact I viewed the film on an airplane, Cheap Trick’s cameo in the mirthless 2003 Eddie Murphy vehicle Daddy Day Care was only other thing which kept me from walking out on it. Even then, however, the filmmakers ruined the scene by having actor Jeff Garlin sing lead vocals, rather than Robin Zander, on “Surrender,” one of Cheap Trick’s biggest hits.
All signs indicate neither Murphy nor Garlin will be in attendance to ruin Cheap Trick’s Wednesday, July 29, concert at The Paramount in Huntington, where they’ll be appearing along with British-born guitarist Peter Frampton, a platinum-selling artist like Cheap Trick.
“Cheap Trick performed with such energy and crowd-pleasing style, it’s dangerous to follow the band on stage,” according to an Orange County Register reviewer who wrote this after one of the group’s California shows last month. The writer added, “Frampton, armed with his wonderful skills, personality and splendid band, did so successfully. Yes, two great live acts, lively as ever.”
The Illinois-based Cheap Trick, which formed decades ago, reached the top spot of the Billboard singles charts with “The Flame.” Yet, “I Want You to Want Me” and “Dream Police” are also instantly recognizable songs to even casual music fans. Zander remains Cheap Trick’s front man, and he is backed by Rick Nielsen on guitar and vocals, along with Tom Petersson, on bass, guitar, and vocals. And while founding member and drummer Bun E. Carlos is on the outs with the band over a lawsuit that was dismissed earlier this year, Daxx Nielsen, Rick’s son, is the band’s timekeeper on the current tour.
Younger generations have come to appreciate Cheap Trick’s music while playing video games, with a few of their songs providing portions of the soundtrack for Guitar Hero and Rock Band. They also wrote and performed the theme song for Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, a program which concluded its run earlier this year.
Frampton is best known for his fifth solo album, Frampton Comes Alive! Released in the 1970s, it remains one of the top-selling live records of all time. “Show Me the Way” and “Do You Feel Like We Do” are among the guitarist’s biggest hits from that album, along with “Baby I Love Your Way,” a song which an animated version of Frampton sang to Peter and Lois Griffin on Fox’s Family Guy a few years ago. Moreover, Frampton’s Fingerprints won a Grammy Award in 2007 for Best Pop Instrumental Album.
Last year, Frampton released Hummingbird in a Box. It featured seven original guitar pieces which were inspired by Frampton’s 2013 partnership with the Cincinnati Ballet, which used music he created specifically for them.
Since its 2011 opening, the 1500-plus seat Paramount has established itself as a popular venue for nationally-known comedians (“Weird Al” Yankovic is appearing there on Saturday, Aug. 1), and musicians (Graham Nash is performing at the site on Wednesday, Aug. 12, and Todd Rundgren is doing the same on Tuesday, Aug. 18). Joe De Guardia’s Star Boxing cards have also drawn crowds and ESPN’s cameras, to Huntington’s New York Avenue, with the next series of bouts scheduled for Friday, Sept. 11.
To make it easier for visitors to take mass transit on the nights of its live performances, the Paramount offers free trolley rides to and from Huntington’s Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station. More information on the service can be found online at www.paramountny.com.
Mike Barry, vice president of media relations for an insurance industry trade group, has worked in government and journalism. He can be reached at email@example.com.