My all-time favorite band of all time, Cheap Trick,
continues to kick ass, nightly, and I would bet that’s partially because they challenge themselves every show. Case in point: they write up their set list right before they hit the stage, they nearly always switch up the songs, usually adding two or three rarely played songs every night. How many rock bands rarely change the set list during an entire tour, let alone multiple songs? Yes, Cheap Trick always plays the big hits: “I Want You To Want Me,” “Surrender,” etc., but virtually every night there’s a couple of gems which makes life-long, hard-core fans like me go overboard without a life raft. Like the killer “Standing On The Edge,” the title cut from their awesome 1985 album:
Its this sort of thing which puts me a little bit more in awe of my “all-time favorite band of all-time.” Think of it: a veteran band, who have been hitting stages for forty-five years, with, what, 19 albums in their catalogue, switches/changes about a 1/4 of their set-list nearly every night. There’s nearly always a surprise or two – “Standing On The Edge’ is a great example – they might play songs that the bass player never recorded, co-wrote, or even played, in any sort of regularity.
Here’s the bottom line:
A band that still challenges themselves is a band that still cares. Cheap Trick still care. They no that there’s hardcore fans who absolutely love hearing these rarely played gems. They still give a damn, and they still bring it, every night! And damn it if that doesn’t make me incredibly happy.