Concert Review: Cheap Trick @ the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH (5/12/00)

This may have been my most odd concert going experience.

On the afternoon of May 12, 2000, I was working the Cheryl & Co. annual spring warehouse sale, which allowed folks to come by and purchase frozen product from the winter and spring that had not sold at deep discounts. This allowed the company to purge the old product and prep space for the upcoming holidays, and every employee was mandated to work it. If you weren’t working in a store, you stopped by and put in a few hours. Didn’t matter, even Cheryl herself was there, which wasn’t really a big deal to me since her office was just down the hall from my cubicle.

At some point during the early afternoon, I got a call: my friend Jason, his wife, and group of his co-workers were driving to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for a special event hosted by Tommy Hilfiger. One of their co-workers was unable to attend, so they had an extra seat. I rushed to my boss LuAnn and told her about the offer, worried that I’d get in trouble for leaving the mandatory work day. She said something along the lines of “Are you kidding, get out of here!” And off I went, rushing home to change into something Rock Hall-appropriate, and I caught my ride to Cleveland.

If you’ve been, you know what the Rock Hall is like. Now imagine the whole thing turned into a giant buffet, with ice sculptures filled with shots of vodka and caviar, an entire uppp-floor converted into a dining hall (if I recall, the food was rather bland), and the entire thing empty except for the hundred or so event attendees, some bands and their crews. No crowds anywhere. Pretty cool.

Robin Thicke (son of Alan) and The Neville Brothers also played, but we pay much attention. Then Cheap Trick played. Not only was it the first time I had ever seen Cheap Trick, other than maybe two or three songs (most likely Surrender, Dream Police and I Want You To Want Me) I had never really listened to them. That changed after this concert. Besides being amazing musicians and performers, every song sounded familiar, even the ones I swore I had never heard before.

I’ve had a chance to catch Cheap Trick a few times since then, both live and televised, but the odd circumstances surrounding this show by far make it the most memorable.