Cheap Trick launches 2011 season of Austin City Limits

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

For the first time in its history, the longest-running music series in American television history, PBS’s Austin City Limits, featured Rockford’s Cheap Trick Sunday, Jan. 1.

Taped in March 2010, the band’s 60-minute set included 12 tunes, including staples “Surrender,” “Gonna Raise Hell” and “I Want You To Want Me.”

Taped at KLRU TV, on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, Austin City Limits has been showcasing everything from rock to Western swing for almost 36 years. Cheap Trick launched the show’s 2011 season.

“I feel like a fighter,” guitarist Rick Nielsen joked as he and singer Robin Zander were ushered onto the stage through a tunnel.

Drummer Bun E. Carlos was not on hand. Carlos continues to remain on the touring sidelines as Daxx Nielsen has assumed the role of touring drummer.

Cheap Trick is also preparing for a string of shows at Milwaukee’s Northern Lights Theater (Potawatomi Bingo Casino) to celebrate the 1979 album Dream Police. The event kicks off Jan. 20 and includes 12 shows through Feb. 26.

To date, Cheap Trick has sold more than 20 million albums, received 40 gold and platinum recording awards and logged more than 5,000 performances since 1974.

The band’s latest studio album, appropriately titled The Latest, reached No. 78 in the U.S. in 2009. Cheap Trick’s appearance on Austin City Limits puts the band alongside Pearl Jam, Blues Traveler, R.E.M., and Elvis Costello as some of the notable rock acts to perform on the show.

Austin City Limits first aired in 1976. In February 2011, the show will begin taping at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas.

More information, including interviews and footage from Cheap Trick’s Austin City Limits performance, is at

From the Jan. 5-11, 2011 issue

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