Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On watching Cheap Trick at the Thunderdome, Edmonton, 1997

In Edmonton did Doctor Paul

A stately Thunderdome decree:

Where Rock, the sacred music, ran

Through speakers measureless to man

Down to a black-lit sea.

So half a block of fertile ground

With beer signs and posters girdled round:

And here were riggings bright with synchronized strobes

Which spotlighted many a classic-rocking band;

And here the servers, scanty in their robes,

Went running cool drinks with steady hand . . .

And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil dancing,

As if this earth in tight hot pants were prancing,

A mighty rock band momently was forced,

Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst

Huge anthems vaulted like rebounding hail,

With crafty notes 'neath Robin Zander's wail:

And 'mid the dancing rockers at once anon

They flung out immediately the sacred song.

Six words meandering with a crazy motion

Through guy and girl "I Want You to Want Me" ran,

Through those speakers measureless to man,

And pumped the tumult in the lively ocean:

And 'mid this tumult I heard some talk

Ancestral voices prophesying rock!

A guy with six or so guitars

Was playing in that place:

It was that Rick Nielsen fellow,

And his playing was real loud (not mellow),

And one axe had his face.

Could I revive within me

That symphony and song,

I'd be so glad (like Steve Albini),

That with music loud and long

I would build that 'Dome in air guitar,

That smoky 'Dome! those babes so nice!

And all who heard should see them kick,

And all would chant, Cheap Trick! Cheap Trick!

Their brand-new songs, their classic licks!

And though I'm poor, can't pay my lease,

and barely keep myself well-fed,

I'll be happy, now, when I am dead:

'Cause I've heard the chords of Dream Police.

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