Music for Hangovers

Cheap Trick

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Music for Hangovers Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

There are two kinds of Cheap Trick diehards -- the ones that love everything the band ever did and the ones that love just the first three albums, plus "Dream Police." There are a lot of the latter -- so much so, they were the target audience for the band's series of concerts at the Metro in Chicago, where they ran through Cheap Trick, In Color, and Heaven Tonight, plus At Buddokahn, over the course of four nights. It was a treat for those diehards, but it's kind of diluted in its audio and video presentation, since they decided to cull highlights instead of present the concerts in full (which is a good idea, since few people would buy four-disc boxes of new live albums). The featured selections are pretty good, but they're just slightly skewed away from the basic canon -- "Surrender," "I Want You to Want Me," "Taxman, Mr. Thief," "Mandocello," and "How Are You?" are all here, but there are no "He's a Whore," no "Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School," no "Southern Girls," no "On the Radio." And that kind of complaint is the kind that's born from years of obsessing over records, never knowing what the band actually played in concert, since those 45-minute platters still seem vibrant and alive, decades later. So, even those that love the records may find it surprising that Cheap Trick never played "Gonna Raise Hell" until these concerts -- a revelation revealed on the commentary track on this DVD. The commentary is lively and entertaining, but it has a major flaw. Billed as a "Mystery Science Theater 3000"-styled commentary, the boys' silhouettes don't move -- they just sit there, motionless, since they're not the shadows of Bun E, Robin, Rick, and Tom, they're just an artist rendering. It's a dumb-ass idea made all the more frustrating because you can't hear the commentary without this visual. And, really, this, plus the bonus five-minute interview, is the reason to pick up the DVD if you're a fan. Sure, the performances are good, but if you love the three albums, that's what you're going to want to hear when you want to hear these songs -- but if you're looking to dig a little deeper, to get a sense of the songs, or at least the band, this commentary is essential. It's just too bad that it's presented in the ugliest visuals imaginable.

blue highlight denotes track pick