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Cheap Trick with Aaron Lee Tasjan at The NYCB Theatre at Westbury

Mike Perciaccante By

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Cheap Trick with Aaron Lee Tasjan
The NYCB Theatre at Westbury
Westbury, NY
March 2, 2019

Cheap Trick has been delivering an arena/classic rock, hard rock, punk, modern rock and touch of blues mélange that consciously pays homage to Beatlesque pop. For well over 40 years, Rick Nielsen on guitar; Tom Peterrson on bass and Robin Zander on vocals, along with touring drummer Daxx Nielsen (Rick's son) and touring guitarist Robin Zander, Jr. have delivered a musical onslaught of crunchy pop chords and strong yet melodic vocals. The group's lyrics have been crafted with tongue planted firmly in-cheek. They are sly, wry and in many cases could definitely be described as having as many double entendres as possible.

The band was formed in Rockford, IL in 1973 and released its self-titled debut album on Epic Records in 1977. It first found success in Japan with the release of its second Epic Records album, In Color, later that year. Cheap Trick broke through and gained mainstream success with Cheap Trick at Budokan (Epic Records, 1979) propelled by the Top 10 single "I Want You to Want Me." In 1988 "The Flame" became a No. 1 hit single, and the album it was released on Lap Of Luxury (Epic Records) achieved platinum status. In addition to Cheap Trick at Budokan which went triple platinum in the U.S. and Lap Of Luxury, Cheap Trick also achieved success with Dream Police (Epic Records, 1979) which went to No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified platinum within a few months of its release. Cheap Trick has also released other hit songs including: the cover of Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame," "Need Your Love," "Voices, "Gonna Raise Hell," "If You Want My Love," "She's Tight" with its innuendo-filled lyrics, the cover of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel," the cover of Big Star's song "In The Street" that was used as the theme song for the FOX comedyThat '70s Show and "Surrender."

In 2010, Bun E. Carlos, the band's original drummer, stopped touring with the band and Daxx Nielsen took over behind the skins. Over the course of its career, Cheap Trick has remained popular and has toured consistently. The band is reputed to have performed over 5,000 shows. On April 8, 2016 Cheap Trick was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Aaron Lee Tasjan is singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer based out of Nashville TN. He grew up in New Albany, OH, about 25 minutes northeast of Columbus, OH. Tasjan likes to quip that, "Ohio is the home of the most U.S. Presidents and the most astronauts. That means it's the state with the most liars and the people that want to get as far away from Ohio as possible."

A child prodigy, Tasjan had performed with Peter Yarrow by the age of 16. He was offered a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music and has received the Outstanding Guitarist Award in the Essentially Ellington Competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Tasjan has been a founding member of Semi Precious Weapons, performed as the lead guitarist with the New York Dolls and formed his own band, The Madison Square Gardeners, which was described by The Village Voice as, ..."the best NYC has to offer." Tasjan remained with them for three years, during which time they released the Taste The Thunder (2010), Teeth of Champions (2010) and Tune It Up, Dime It Out (2011) EPs on First of 3 Records. Tasjan's debut full-length solo effort, In the Blazes (First of 3 Records) was released in 2015. New West Records has released his two most recent efforts Silver Tears in 2016 and Karma For Cheap in 2018.

During his career, Tasjan has collaborated with Jack White, Sean Lennon and Irina Lazareanu and BP Fallon in BP Fallon & The Bandits, which included Clem Burke, Ian McLagan, and Nigel Harrison. Pat Green recorded Tasjan's "Streets of Galilee" on his Songs We Wish We'd Written II album (Sugar Hill Records, 2012). The song reached number 15 on the Country Billboard Charts.

Tasjan is perfectly suited to open for Cheap Trick. His music is a tasty onslaught of crunchy pop chords and powerful yet melodic vocals. Some have described is as gritty indie folk. His lyrics are wily, ironic, witty and often feature clever wordplay.

On a cool early March evening Cheap Trick and Tasjan warmed the hearts of the Long Island faithful with a fantastic evening of powerful rock and pop. The evening's performance began when Tasjan and his band took the stage. Tasjan's British pop influences were clearly on display, as were his leanings toward twangy Americana, psychedelic-pop and indie rock.

Tasjan and his band appeared on the stage intimate venue's circular stage with the of the Westbury audience largely unaware of his music. In short time, Tasjan and his band connected with the audience and, by the end of the set, were the recipients of a rousing standing ovation. Highlights of his electrifying performance included "If Not Now When," "The Rest Is Yet To Come," "Songbird," "Dime" and "Memphis Rain."

After Tasjan and his band exited the stage, he did brisk business at the merchandise stand. His new fans were lined-up through the venue's lobby to purchase and get Tasjan to sign their copies of Silver Tears and Karma For Cheap.

Following a short intermission, Cheap Trick was introduced with what has become the classic quartet's usual, and by now expected, recorded preamble. A pleasant female stated, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, please welcome to the stage, the best fucking rock 'n' roll band in the galaxy—Cheap Trick!"
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