Just as their new wave fan base has aged and grown up to lead daily, regimented lives with families and other responsibilities, so have the members of Cheap Trick and Squeeze. The two prolific groups which helped define the earliest era of alternative pop music showed just how they have held up over the past three-plus decades as they shared a double bill Sunday night at Cleveland’s House of Blues. As a way of ensuring their trademark sounds and stamina would hold up, the two bands, which rotate headliner and opening act on tour, each played predetermined 75-minute sets. Within the context of that setup, both bands reached back in time and came forth with sounds reminiscent of their early days as burgeoning pop rock icons. The only missing variable from an otherwise spirited concert was the lack of spontaneity or surprise. Cheap Trick, known for its stadium-style classic rock sound opened with three-fourths of its original line-up intact. Ring leader and guitarist Rick Nielsen, lead singer Robin Zander, bass player Tom Petersson were front and center. Missing was Bun E. Carlos, as Nielsen’s son, Daxx Nielsen, has taken over tour drumming duties for the time being. From the opening number, “Way of the World”, it was evident that all the polish and predetermination worked like clockwork. Zander’s raspy rock vocals were spot on. Nielsen, when not flipping several dozen guitar pick souvenirs into the crowd, was at his crazed-showman best, changing guitars at least five times, including his five-neck special, while Petersson and Daxx kept the rhythm. The band picked through a 16-song set from its catalogue of songs which spans 35 years. Crowd favorites were “I Want You to Want Me”, “Surrender”, “Heaven Tonight” and their infamous renditions of the Beatles classic “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. Not wanting to play beyond its allotted time, the band finished its opening set and came back on stage in less than two minutes to encore “Dream Police” and “Good Night”. Their English counterparts for the tour, Squeeze, much like Cheap Trick, stuck to a tight list of its more popular hits, as it performed with a video screen backdrop playing as visual wallpaper. The infamous songwriting duo of lead singer/lead guitarist Glenn Tilbrook and guitarist Chris Difford led the charge with Squeeze veteran bassist John Bentley back on stage. Also rejoining the band tour from Tilbrook’s solo project band, The Fluffers, were past drummer Simon Hanson and keyboardist Stephen Large. Named the “Spot the Difference” tour after their latest re-recorded greatest hits, Squeeze performed numbers from several albums in its set. Tilbrook got things started with an up-tempo, jazzed up take on the hit “Black Coffee in Bed”. His melodic voice actually seems to get stronger as the night went on. He belted out each hits song including, “Tempted”, “Hour Glass”, “Goodbye Girl”, “Another Nail In My Heart” and “Annie Get Your Gun”. Difford sang the group’s most atypical ’80s new wave hit, “Cool for Cats”. Much like Cheap Trick did earlier; Squeeze saved one last hit for its one-off finale, “Pulling Muscles from a Shell.” So, while a majority of the crowd, 40-and-up, was happy to not have to go beyond midnight, both bands might have added a few twists to the performances or interacted with the crowd a little more. But, I guess for them, the fewer surprises the better. This group wanted the hits and got them.