Family affair

The Nielsen Trust a family affair for Cheap Trick, Rusted Hearts

Nielsen Trust will perform its final show of 2021 on Saturday at the Appollo Theater in Belvidere.

Miles Nielsen was playing about 100 gigs a year with his band, The Rusted Hearts, when his mother suggested he start a band with his dad and brother to play in his spare time.

Nielsen’s father and brother are Rick and Daxx Nielsen, respectively guitarist and drummer for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Cheap Trick, which performs approximately 150 shows each year.

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However, the Nielsen matriarch had her say and with the addition of Miles’ wife Kelly Steward, a singer-songwriter herself, The Nielsen Trust was formed.

“It’s my mom’s fault,” Miles said. “She was like, ‘You and your dad and your brother don’t work enough, so when you don’t have any other jobs, why don’t you form a band so you can work more?'”

Miles jokes that his mom probably just wanted his dad out of the house.

“She likes it at home for about a week and then she goes, ‘Okay, now go,'” he said. “Fifty-two years of marriage is a long time.”

The Nielsen Trust started before the pandemic, and the band had several shows scheduled but only played two shows at the Wisconsin Dells before live music was shut down.

The band – with keyboardist Adam Plamann and bassist Dave McClellan of The Rusted Hearts accompanying them – are playing make-up dates in December and January for gigs that had to be postponed due to the lockdown.

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hometown show

The group will present their last show of 2021 on Saturday at the Appollo Theater in Belvidere. The show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12.50 for general admission and $50 for the balcony.

Have a good time

Although Rick Nielsen has been the driving force behind Cheap Trick for nearly 50 years, his son and daughter-in-law are in charge of this project.

“Kelly and I are sort of the leaders of the group because we’re used to getting things done,” Miles says. “Cheap Trick has a lot of people running their stuff for them, so Kelly and I kind of fell into the role of husband/wife group leaders because we’re just the ones who are like, oh, the website has to be Website needs to be updated. Van needs to be loaded. Merchandise needs to be ordered. We’re just the ones used to doing these things. We fell into the role, but it doesn’t pay any better.

Cheap Trick usually plays in front of thousands of fans at their shows, but Miles thinks his dad appreciates the intimacy of the shows in these small venues.

“There’s this storytelling aspect of the shows that he really enjoys,” he says. “He doesn’t have that experience with Cheap Trick. … He tells stories that I haven’t even heard, so it’s fun for me too. I get a glimpse of what was going on in the 70s or early 80s, the kind of stuff I wouldn’t have known before he told these stories from the stage.

The Nielsen Trust will play hits such as “Surrender” and “I Want You to Want Me”, while delving deeper into the Cheap Trick catalog. They will also resurrect songs from Harmony Riley, a former band of Miles and Daxx, and include Rusted Hearts songs such as “Hey Hey Hey” and “Sarah” which have a connection to Rick, Daxx and Kelly.

Cheap Trick released ‘In Another World’, the band’s 20th studio album earlier this year and will tour Europe early next year, followed by a tour with Rod Stewart this summer.

Miles and The Rusted Hearts released their last album, “OHBAHOY,” before the pandemic hit and were never really able to turn around, so they’re making up for lost time now. The band has a bunch of new songs they plan to record for their next album in the spring.

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The Nielsen family is having a great time with The Nielsen Trust.

“I think we’ll keep going as long as everyone is having fun doing it,” Miles said. “It’s more about finding the holes to be able to get out of it. This is the biggest obstacle. Cheap Trick is very busy. It’s a question of when we actually get to play. We’ll probably do a handful of shows each year, about a dozen. It’s just my guess. I mean, it could be more, but we’ll keep going as long as everyone’s having fun doing it.

This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: Apollo Theater at Belvidere: Nielsen Trust, Rusted Hearts Band Live