Listen: Cheap Trick Live at Rockford’s National Guard Armory in 1977
What a night this must have been. Cheap Trick's star was burning so brightly. This was the band's first headlining show at Rockford's famed National Guard Armory.
It was a Saturday night in downtown Rockford. For live music fans in Rockford, it was about to be an unforgettable night, as our hometown heroes were about to make their headlining debut. For years, Cheap Trick had been the opening act for so many at this venue, but on this night, they were the headlining act.
I honestly didn't know audio from this concert was available online until a friend of mine shared it on Facebook. The show heard in this recording happened on Saturday, October 8, 1977. I mention that date because it was just one year later to the date, that the band's best-selling album Cheap Trick at Budokan, was released. While that album changed everything for the band, this night at the Armory was also career defining. After years spent hustling the club circuit and landing some prime opening slots for Kiss and Rush, this was their first time headlining the legendary Armory.
On this night, Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos, were absolutely on fire. Just look at this setlist:
01 Intro - Hello There
02 Come On Come On
03 Elo Kiddies
04 Taxman Mr. Thief
05 Oh Candy
06 You're All Talk
07 Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace
08 Big Eyes
09 Southern Girls
11 Loser (has 2 cuts)
12 Ain't That A Shame
13 Please Mrs. Henry
14 I Want YOU To Want Me
15 He's A Whore
16 Down On The Bay
17 Goodnight Now
18 Clock Strikes Ten
19 Auf Wiedersehen
Nobody rocked like this and nobody ever will. As my friend mentioned in his Facebook post, the sonic quality of the audio makes listening to this much more enjoyable, too.
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Steve Shannon is host of The Steve Shannon Show on 97ZOK. On the air weekday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. and a special 'Rewind' show, featuring favorite moments from previous shows, on Saturday mornings from 5 to 7 a.m.. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and like his page on Facebook.