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Cheap Trick at The Paramount Huntington, NY 12 8 11


12/9/11 sometime in the morning on the rush hour train out of Port Jefferson.

It’s Friday morning and I’m on the train. We’re pulling into St. James. There are the usual commuters mingling about, slowly moving into the train. So last night was the last event for the week. Cheap Trick played at the Paramount in Huntington. It’s a new venue for Long Island which has brought some headliners. The building used to house the IMAC theatre, which had some concerts, like some new age artist you’d hear on NPR’s Echoes on Sunday nights. I saw Stanley Jordan the jazz guitarist at IMAC and a few friends and I saw Tragically Hip what ten years ago. The theatre was cool, since there were old seats and ornate moldings on the ceiling. At one time it was a vaudeville theatre. When I lived in Huntington about 20 years ago, I worked in the theatre, fixing some of the molding as best I could which later needed a professional. So, I was curious to see the changes since I heard it’s as if Long Island now has its own city club. The lobby was more open and on either side was steps that led to a bad, a large window in the back looked over New York Avenue. MTS and I walked up a slight slope which led out to the floor. One either side a large bar was set against the wall. The beers were expensive for the small plastic cup they served it in, but the bartenders as well as the folks working at the venue were friendly. The ceiling had a rustic appearance, stripped bare, the concrete roof with ceiled cracks and steel support beams appeared in tact and sound. There was a balcony on both sides which had seats and in the back were more rows of seats. From the way the place was decorated the designers were creeping close to Hard Rock Café or a House of Blues theme with flames and sheet metal, scripted flare. Inside the bathroom appeared original graffiti which the artist actually signed his name to in the corner I was too busy to notice what the painting was. If you had seats, the tickets were more money than the GA we paid, but both Mike and I prefer the floor, getting closer to band. Elvis Costello played the first event at The Paramount, BB King and I’m trying to remember who else. Willie Nelson…how can I forget? Can’t really think of any more at this time, I’m exhausted. I got to bed at 12:30ish and woke up five hours later, but really who gives a shit about my lack of sleep. Cheap Trick was amazing, I was a little reluctant to shell out that much for a band that I liked but was never a huge fan. Not to say I didn’t like them. Since I bought the tickets I took out some CD’s of the from the library, they released a live album that I think was recorded somewhere in Illinois, I will get the title, but the recording was tight, they had some appearances from the likes of Billy Cochran from The Smashing Pumpkins. Like last night, the band barley let up; if there was a second or a pause they ripped into another song, played The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour as if they owned it. She’s Tight which brought back images of the video from thirty years ago. The Dream Police which I would say in my favorite, and I Want You to Want Me. Rickie Nilsson kept flipping guitar picks out into the audience and like a kid I wanted to get one. I have one of his from when I saw them perform at LeMore Brooklyn. I have a metal First Aid box that looks like it came from the Korean War which contains my childhood mementos, and inside with some baseball cards and a Suzanne B Anthony Dollar is that white guitar pick. Rickie tossed a handful out at the end of the show and both Mike and I grabbed one. I have to write about the opening band, Mike Leigh or Matt Lee or whoever they were - sucked the fuck- out- of- Lee. The lead singer/guitarist rock star posing drunk played like shit. They played some copies like Jimi Hendrix Manic Depression which was barely recognizable, drunk fuck rubbed his guitar against the stand, the mic fell and he looked like an idiot. There was the rock star salute he sung about living in New York and wanted the crowd to sing a long, he took his mic and shoved it into some faces that yelled or hummed. If he shoved it in my face, I would have told him to hang it up shit head and get off the stage. Odd how Cheap Trick didn’t mention them when they came on the stage or at their encore.

Turns out it was Joey Ramone’s younger brother Mickey Leigh. If Joey was in the audience he would have kicked the shit out of this little brother. I wrote this review of the performance for his web site, but I can guarantee it will never see the light of day:

I was at last night’s show. Didn’t know who I was watching since there was nothing on the drum kit. or on the keyboard, or even the back drop to tell us who was on the stage. I called The Paramount, who was that? They sucked!
It’s a shame, since it’s the first time I saw Mickey perform – he appeared drunk. Their rendition of Hendrix’ Manic Depression was horrible. The band was lame. He posed like a rock star, rubbing his guitar on the mic stand. Are you serious? I haven’t that shit since 1979. The theatrics were an obvious replacement for the “musician.” Mickey mentioned wearing out his welcome last night before he tripped off the stage. Please note, if you come on stage and act like an idiot there will be little appreciation from any crowd. Cheap Trick kicked ass and schooled you, besides they didn’t mention the shit show Yorkesta once while they were on the stage.

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