Music » Critics' Picks

Cheap Trick

8 p.m. Saturday, July 22. Overlook Stage (Sullivan Boulevard, on the Arch Grounds).

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Nobody really wants or needs a new Cheap Trick album; their run from 1977 to 1980 had enough thrilling melodies, dynamic leaps and wipe-out guitar riffs to last us till the next ice age. But while they've made comeback albums before, the just-released Rockford sounds fresher, sharper and more spry than any dinosaur rockers have a right to be. Reuniting with their original hit-making producer, Jack Douglas, the bandmates don't just get their rocks off; they aim straight for the heart of power-pop and find that its heavy beat and fuzz-tone buzz is unstoppable. Robin Zander can't hit the vertiginous notes of his youth, but nobody else is trying. Plus, no other band — past or present — manages to make pure rock & roll formula sound less formulaic or more purely fun.

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