I'm going to the Dokken/Sebastian Bach/Poison show tonight in Cincinnati. I'm sure the show will be nearly identical to the one I saw last month at Rocklahoma. You might recall Bret Michaels, Sebastian Bach and Dokken played during the festival.
People complain a lot about Poison's set list. I've complained myself. It's true the songs never really change. Yes, it's doubtful we'll ever hear a deep cut off Open Up and Say...Ahh! I had a revelation today about myself: I need to start doing more things that take pressure off me. Quite frankly, I recently hit the burn out wall at about 100 M.P.H. I'm trying to dig out of the burnout burden, but it's going to take time. I'm sure the same happens to musicians.
Consider this: Poison tours nearly every summer (although I'm fairly certain in telling you that the band won't be on the road next year). I'm pretty confident in my guess that Bret, Bobby, Rikki and C.C. suffer from burnout. Tell me you wouldn't be burned out by playing the same 12 songs, four times a week for about 16 weeks straight. On top of that, Bret does nearly an identical set for his solo shows. Same with Vince Neil and Motley Crue.
I think bands need to choose set lists that take away the burden.
In the past, I've been the first to wave the "obscure song" flag. Hell yes I want to hear Motley Crue play "Danger." You know what? I bet the band doesn't even remember the music and lyrics for that song. To an extent, a band is just trying to play to the masses during a live show. Sure, there will always be those die hards in the crowd, but maybe relearning an obscure deep cut isn't in the cards for most acts.
At the end of the day, the bands themselves are the drivers of their own career success. The people on stage - not the agents, publicists, managers, label reps or fans - get to decide their own trajectory. I guess if Poison feels it's best to play "Unskinny Bop," "Cry Tough" and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" every night, so be it. Band members - if they are close or civil enemies - have a duty to make it through a show in one piece and do their best. Yes, they are performing for a ticket buying community -- and for our money, we do deserve high energy. We just don't get to call the shots.
**Personal note: I've changed the comments policy here as a way to lift my personal burden. Recently, a few people with a lot of spare time decided to use my website to post hate and other random drivel. I no longer have time to sit and watch my email become flooded with garbage that I have to manually remove. I've gotten lots of personal messages from regular readers asking me to do something about the nasty comments. Some of these readers have even expressed fear of posting because they don't want to be attacked. For now, all comments must be approved by me. This way, I can approve batches at a time and weed out the bad apples in one shot. Attention must be paid.