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|Hard-core Cheap Trick fans will bristle at this comment, but after their first few records, the band became exactly the type of flashy arena rock outfit that it had mocked. Cheap Trick used smart hooks, trashy lyrics, and a passionate yet fun approach that made other late '70s dinosaurs seem even sillier. But after their breakout record, Live at Budokan, it seems the boys began believing in the stuff they were singing and playing a little too much. The band's still around, and their live act can still make for an entertaining evening, but you got to take a lot of the bad with a bit of the good. Same applies to this DVD, in which the band was filmed in Australia during their comeback in 1988. The awful power ballad "The Flame" had restored interest in the band, and energy-wise at least, Cheap Trick seems psyched to be center stage again. Guitarist Rick Nielsen is all over the place (both physically and in terms of his playing), while Robin Zander's (is there a better name for a lead vocalist?) hair... Well, you've just got to see it. The classics (Surrender," "I Want You to Want Me") are great, "The Flame" sucks, and the fact that Cheap Trick plays the pretentious hit "Dream Police" live at least shows they maintain a sense of humor. Right? Let's hope so. --Dave McCoy|
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