I was tooling down the Beltline not too long ago, scanning the FM radio dial on one of the rare occasions when it’s not set to the left-of-the-dial college stations. And it landed on one of the commercial rock stations just in time for Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” to start up – the version from 1979’s epochal “Live at Budokan,” of course. And it was kind of stunning how fantastic that still sounded, going on four decades later. They’ve never been hip or trendy, then or now, but Cheap Trick remains the quintessential under-appreciated heartland band.
Still hard at it, they play Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre on Wednesday alongside another veteran with a monolithic ’70s-vintage live album to his name, Peter Frampton. Showtime is 7 p.m. and tickets are $40-$75. See boothamphitheatre.com for details.
- Locals Air Crash Detectives mark the release of their new pop-rock album “Shock Therapy” Friday at Raleigh’s Southland Ballroom, and the notable part will be the onstage presence of pianist Steve Nieve (who also played on the album), who is sticking around an extra night after accompanying his boss man Elvis Costello at Walnut Creek the night before.
- Friday also brings Wild Fur to Kings in Raleigh, Punjabi rapper Heems to Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle and the Piano Guys to Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater.
- Lauryn Hill, who was fantastic last summer at Red Hat, returns to play Durham’s Carolina Theatre Monday. Also Monday, Death From Above 1979 dive-bombs on into Raleigh’s Ritz.
- More from this week’s golden-oldies file, Culture Club is at Booth on Tuesday and Counting Crows play Red Hat on Wednesday, the same night venerable wild-man guitarist Col. Bruce Hampton comes to the Ritz.