When this popped up on Facebook earlier this afternoon, I wasn’t quite sure how seriously to take it. After all, when Titus Andronicus played the First Unitarian Church back in October, they kind of made fun of Philly party rockers Free Energy – did a shticky joke song called “I’ve Got A Date Tonight” that totally lampooned our dudes and their joyful Cheap Trick-isms. So was this – Titus frontman Patrick Stickles doing his take on “Hey Tonight” – going to be some smarmy, sneering Brooklynite cover of Free Energy? I don’t need that noise.

Turns out, whatever jokes they made in the fall, it was all in friendly jest, since Stickles and the boys are buds, and he briefly filled in on guitar for them in spring of 2011, after founding guitarist Geoff Bucknum left the band and before current guitarist Sheridan Fox joined. (For visual evidence, Key contributor Joe Del Tufo got this photo of Stickles and Free Energy singer Paul Sprangers when the band played Arden Gild Hall in May of 2011.)

So, the cover – it’s fun. It sounds like Stickles recorded it in his backyard with garage band drum presets and the old guitar you see in that photo, but he keeps the celebratory vibe. Listen to the re-done “Hey Tonight” below, and take our recent free at noon with Free Energy for a spin here (via the WXPN media player).