Cheap Trick

From Tokyo to You: Live in Japan

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Japan has always had a special place in its heart for Cheap Trick. As we all know, it was Japan that gave the rocking Rockford quartet their first break (captured on 1979's extraordinary live set, At Budokan), and in 2003, the band returned to their adopted homeland once more, which serves as the basis for the DVD release, From Tokyo to You. Mixing interview segments and live performances, the DVD is a fine document of the state of Cheap Trick 2003. More than a quarter century after their first album was released, few veteran rock bands can go out there, play like they still mean it, and not be a parody of themselves -- and Cheap Trick is certainly one of the few exceptions (further proof: how many other still-existing bands of that era don't have to rely on extra-added side musicians and backing tapes?). The DVD's track list does a solid job of balancing classics ("Dream Police," "Surrender"), oft-overlooked gems ("Fan Club," "Big Eyes," and a fine acoustic reading of "Lookout"), and more recent fare ("Scent of a Woman," "Pop Drone," "Special One"). Complaints are few, but they would have to include that no full-length songs are included (most are inter-cut with dialogue, and begin mid-way through), and that a rediscovered crowd-pleaser of the last few years, "He's a Whore," is not included. Also featured are a few "bonus" features, the best of the bunch being a spot where three of the four members talk about each song performed on the DVD. Although not the finest Cheap Trick DVD release (you can put money on 2002's Music for Hangovers), From Tokyo to You is still highly recommended.

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