Aerosmith and Cheap Trick at Target Center, 6/16/12

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Tony Nelson

With Cheap Trick
Target Center, Minneapolis
Saturday, June 16, 2012

View a slideshow here.

It was fitting that Aerosmith and opener Cheap Trick would spark off their Global Warming tour in Minneapolis. Considering the two bands jammed together across the street in 1998 at First Avenue -- for a Cheap Trick gig -- you could suggest the die had been cast for the two to pair up for what would be an incredible and historic double bill of unambiguous rock 'n' roll at the sold out Target Center.

Cheap Trick wasted no time with their explosive, short but sweet power-pop. With a sound montage intro that included a Japanese Cheap Trick commercial, name drops from Homer Simpson, Apu's rendition of "Dream Police" and a snippet of their own version of Big Star's "In the Street" from That 70's Show the "Best Fucking Rock Band You've Ever Seen" charged the stage with their own theme song of sorts, "Hello There" from 1977's In Color.

Never holding back, Rick Nielson and his guitar acrobatics perfectly complimented singer Robin Zander, who was dressed in leather pants and a sequined jacket and police hat that sparkled from the stage. Knocking out hit after hit, Cheap Trick -- with the original three members of the band that included Tom Peterson on bass and Nielson's son, touring drummer Daxx -- managed to sample a hearty selection of the band's 40-year catalog.

With a relentless charge through "California Man" by the Move and Fats Domino's "Ain't That a Shame" the band didn't shy away from newer material as well with 2009's "Sick Man of Europe" which very much continued to wow the crowd.

Ultimately peaking with "Surrender" and 80's roller rink staple, "The Flame" that brought more than a few lighters up in the air the audience stayed on their feet singing along with the sure-fire "I Want You to Want Me" and "Dream Police." Consistently swapping guitars through the night Nielson saved his patented five-neck guitar to round it off with their own outro "Goodnight" for a fully satisfying set from the legendary rockers.

While there was much to doubt about Aerosmith and their longevity the last few years with rumored infighting and Steven Tyler's latest gig as a judge on American Idol somewhat over shadowing his interest in the band any skepticism was swept aside with a furious roar as the band ravished the stage.

Popping up from the cat walk with guitarist Joe Perry at his side Steven Tyler and the rest of Aerosmith worked the crowd like seasoned pros for a full 90 minutes plus to the 14,000 screaming fans.

Ripping right into 1977's "Draw the Line", "Love in a Elevator" and for the first time live a new song, "Oh Yeah" Aerosmith defied all odds and sounded not only fresh but truly at the top of their game.

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