Cheap Trick plans to make its early 2011 "Dream Police" concerts in Milwaukee "a proper show that's different from anything anybody's ever seen before," according to frontman Robin Zander.
Zander tells Billboard.com that the 12 performances, which kick off Jan. 20 at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino's Northern Lights Theater and run through Feb. 26, will be multi-media spectacles featuring 1979's "Dream Police" in its entirety, as well as other material from the band's catalog, accompanied by the Rhythmic Noise Philharmonic Orchestra & Mind Choir.
"It will be like a three-part show," Zander explains, " 'Dream Police' being the core...There's going to be some film, some interviews, some of our other music that's going to be performed by other people -- I can't really say special guests, but guests -- some medleys done (by) just the orchestra. There will be some different renditions of songs; 'The Flame' will have a different approach to it. We've discussed putting together our own sort of ending that's kind of bits and pieces of songs that are familiar with the audience.
"It takes a lot of time and a lot of thought to not just go in and do the album from front to back but to sort of give a history of what led up to the album. It's going to cover a lot of ground."
Zander says the show is "still in the planning stages" with Cheap Trick's collaborators, including production designer Butch Allen, video and film director Jim Yukich and producer Bello Nock. He expects "Dream Police" to be "a little more difficult" to stage than its four predecessors in Cheap Trick's catalog, which the group has performed in their entireties over the years. "We had gotten a little more sophisticated," Zander notes, "adding choirs and cellos and violins and things."
The concerts will give the band a chance to play seldom- or never-played "Dream Police" songs, the latter of which include "Writing on the Wall," while Zander says "I'll Be With You Tonight" hasn't been played since Cheap Trick toured to support the album. The group may "put together a sort of horn section, like Tower of Power backing up Cheap Trick" for "Writing on the Wall," while "Voices" will receive "a pretty big production," he says. The concerts will be filmed and recorded, though he isn't sure yet how the material will be used.
"Dream Police" reached No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified Platinum by the RIAA (it has sold 104,000 copies since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales data in 1991). The title track was Cheap Trick's highest-charting song to that point, reaching No. 26 on the Hot 100, while "Voices" weighed in at No. 32. And, Zander recalls, the album was actually delayed by the unexpected success of the live breakthrough, "Cheap Trick at Budokan."
" 'Dream Police' was in the can and ready to go when 'Budokan' started taking off worldwide, sales-wise," Zander says. "Suddenly we became the biggest band on the planet, and 'Dream Police' had to be postponed for more than a year."
As for new Cheap Trick music, Zander says the group is "working on another record" to follow-up 2009's "The Latest," but quickly adds, "we're ALWAYS working on another record!"