Luxe Life Blog
Photos: Cheap Trick leads the party in Sgt. Pepper Live at Paris
By Don Chareunsy, Vegas DeLuxe editor
The biggest surprise from the first night of Cheap Trick’s Sgt. Pepper Live at Paris on Friday? Lead singer Robin Zander’s voice, which is surprisingly strong, versatile and adept at singing Beatles songs, yet still sounds very much like Cheap Trick. This from the singer of “The Flame” and “I Want You to Want Me,” no less.
Last night was media night at Sgt. Pepper Live, but this write-up is based on the first-night performance Friday. Zander was front and center most of the show -- that’s why he’s the frontman and guitarist; vocalist and guitarist Rick Nielsen served as the very funny emcee with his Beatles-adorned guitar; vocalist and bassist Tom Petersson had spotlight time with the Indian Ensemble of sitars, a double violin and more; and Daxx Nielsen did his thing as drummer and vocalist. Bill Lloyd served as guitarist and vocalist and Magic Cristian as keyboardist.
Bill Edwards’ show, co-produced and sound directed by the legendary Geoff Emerick, the original producer of The Beatles’ landmark 1967 album, was helped immeasurably by The Sgt. Pepper Symphony and background vocalists Jake Snyder, Zackery Snyder, David J. McClellan, Rick Duarte, Paul Campanella Jr. and Michael Johnson, whose harmonious vocal prowess was matching by their stylin’ black suits with solid pink, white, orange, blue, yellow and red ties.
The symphony and background vocalists were perched on an elevated stage far above Cheap Trick, while two showgirls -- one dressed in pink feathers, the other in blue feathers -- completed Sgt. Pepper Live as an energetic and splendid Strip spectacular. Thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue for his photo gallery for Vegas DeLuxe. (Based on Donoghue's photographs, it looks as if there are a few costume changes with Nielsen and the background singers' ties.)
The Beatles and Cheap Trick set list from the program: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “With a Little Help From My Friends,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “Getting Better,” “Fixing a Hole,” “She’s Leaving Home,” “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” “Within You Without You” (featuring Indian Ensemble and Petersson), “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Lovely Rita,” “Good Morning Good Morning,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (reprise), “A Day in the Life,” “The Flame” (performed by the symphony), “Dream Police,” “I Want You to Want Me,” “Smile,” “Surrender,” “World’s Greatest Lover,” “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight,” “The End” and “All You Need Is Love.”
Mayor Oscar Goodman declared June 11, 2010, as “Sgt. Pepper Live Day” before Friday’s performance, and Cheap Trick was on hand to receive the proclamation, while Emerick received a key to the city. “I Want You to Want Me,” “Surrender” and the show-closing “All You Need Is Love” received ovations.
Senior Editor John Katsilometes provides fun facts and figures in his The Kats Report today from last night’s show, and loyal Vegas DeLuxe reader Richard Corey posted his videos on YouTube.
The 90-minute show ended with a shower of pink heart confetti, a small but nice touch. All you need is love … or pink heart confetti … to brighten the night.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.