My Dad was a rocker. With long-ish hair and denim jacket, he bounced to Black Sabbath and AC/DC concerts during his younger years. He’s kind of moved out of that phase now (he’s in his fifties), but there was a time when he thrashed his head to the rock bands of the 70s and beyond. How do I know? He’s told me the wild and crazy stories, of course.
As you may have heard, Christmas just passed. It’s always sort of tough to buy presents for my dad, seeing as how he never tells anyone what he wants. But, after scouring the interweb, I always get him something nice.
This year, I have to say that my present to my dad was pretty damn cool. I bought him tickets to see one of those bands that he used to bang his head to. I got him tickets to Cheap Trick.
For those of you who don’t know who Cheap Trick is, they’re the band that crafted the mega-hits “Surrender,” “Dream Police,” and, of course, “I Want You to Want Me.”
I was super excited for the show. Cheap Trick is an iconic band, and I was going to see them live with my dad. What could be better?
We got to the room where the concert was going to be, and we just sort of sat there for a while. You could see all the band’s gear and instruments, which just made me more pumped to actually see them. We were waiting in quiet anticipation for some sort of light show or grand entrance in introduce the band.
Then, they came on.
I have to admit, I was worried that the guys in Cheap Trick were a little to old to put on a good show. The guitarist is 67, I think.
But as soon as they came out, any worry I had about the band losing its musical energy or ability was gone. They sounded exactly like they did on all my dad’s old records and they were sprinting around like maniacs.
I’m sorry that the quality of this video isn’t that great. I only had my phone to take pictures and stuff with. It’s also kinda short because I was, ya know, trying to actually watch the concert. I think you’ll get a good sense, though
These old dudes were rockin’ it. They sounded awesome and they were a ton of fun to watch. The singer, Robin Zander, was wearing this glitzed-out captain uniform (the laughing in the background is me cracking up at his ridiculous outfit). Rick Neilson, the guitarist, must have had about 20 guitars, all with some sort of crazy design. He was constantly running around like a little kid, shredding some insane riff or changing his guitar. They definitely hadn’t lost any of their luster.
The crowd seemed a little underwhelmed, but I didn’t care (that’s me woo-ing in the background). I was having an awesome time. More importantly, my dad was having an awesome time.
They played for a few hours, belting out their greatest hits and even a few that I hadn’t heard before. But, like most of the people sitting in that room, I was waiting for them to play “I Want You to Want Me.” I knew it was coming eventually, but it seemed like they just kept coming up with songs to put in front of it.
Then, finally, they started to play it. It was quiet for a few seconds. Then, Zander shouted, just like he does on their “Live at Budokan” record, “I want you….to want me!”
As soon as those words left his mouth, I thought the place was gonna explode. The very tame and somewhat elderly crowd turned into a pack of wild animals. Everyone stood up (it was a sit down concert) and started screaming their asses off. It was honestly one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever been a part of. This was an anthem to most of these people. A song that defined a large part of their generation. And they got to hear it live, and go insane while they heard it.
Through all of this more-than-middle-aged madness, I glanced over at my dad. He wasn’t screaming or shouting or jumping. He was just standing there, watching, and smiling.
At first, I thought to myself, “Come on, old man, get into it!” But then I realized what he was doing.
He was reliving some of the greatest memories of his life. All of his younger years, all of the times he spent with his friends, all of the times he spent at concerts. All the times he spent listening to “I Want You to Want Me.” He was taking it all in, letting the memories flow back. He stood there with a gigantic smile on his face and watched the sixty-somethings of Cheap Trick bash out their most popular song of all time.
He stood there. And he was happy.
And I was happy. Because I was there to see it.
You can’t put a price on putting a genuine smile on someone’s face. Yes, the tickets were a little expensive, but there isn’t a price I wouldn’t pay to see my dad smile like he did for those few minutes. It was something that I’ll never forget, and I hope that he won’t either.
My dad and I, sharing happiness through music.
My dad and I, being happy together.