Last night I saw Poison/Dokken and Sebastian Bach at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati. Per usual, I attended with Eric and Heather. Before I say anything else, I must note that this was perhaps the most prompt concert I've ever attended. Bach took the stage just a few seconds after 7pm. I find that very impressive. On to the show.
Dokken took the middle spot last night, which was a flip from Rocklahoma. Again, the set list was similar to the festival, relying heavily on the Tooth and Nail album. Some of the classics Cincinnati heard last night were "Into the Fire," "Dream Warriors," "Alone Again" and "Breakin' The Chains." Dokken also played for about 45 minutes. Unlike Sebastian Bach, I would say Don Dokken sounded weaker last night than he did at Rocklahoma. I also noticed a lot more people sitting during Dokken, whereas it seemed everyone was standing for Sebastian Bach. By the end of Dokken's set, I will admit most of the collective crowd up and moving.
Finally, Poison. I've seen Poison live several times now. In fact, I would guess that over half of the very large crowd at Riverbend have seen Poison live at least once before last night. If you've ever been to a Poison show, you know what to expect: pyro, a guitar solo, confetti and lots of ladies hoping to get featured on the jumbotron. Last night was much of the same. Poison played these songs for just over an hour:
Look What the Cat Dragged In
I Want Action
Ride the Wind
What I Like About You
C. C. DeVille guitar solo
Something to Believe In
Your Momma Don't Dance
Rikki Rockett drum solo
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Talk Dirty To Me
Nothin' But a Good Time
Now, I know many people may disagree with me, but I have to say it: I think Bret Michaels sounded hoarse yet again last night. I swear, he's destroying his voice by performing so many solo gigs in addition to his Poison duties. As Heather pointed out, you couldn't hear half the lyrics because the amps were turned up so loud. I presume this was in an effort to compensate for Bret's weak vocals. At any rate, the crowd really was having a good time - and please believe there were a lot of people at the show. In fact, I would bet last night's show was one of the fullest of the entire tour. Low ticket prices and a Saturday night contributed to the crowd.
I think I'm getting sick of Bret's story about his one guitar lesson and the ending of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." Still, I have to admit that I actually found myself thinking about Bret's one $12.50 lesson. You see, my lessons are a little more expensive but it is 2008, not the dawn of the 1980s. I bet Bret's dad really *does* still complain about the price of that lesson. After all, that was a lot of money back then. No matter Bret turned a little talent and a lot of moxie into a Glam empire and has made up for that lesson price a million times over. No, I get it. My parents still remember how much something cost 20 years ago, too.
Back to the show. As you can see by the set list, it was all the Poison hits. We all knew what we would hear last night, and that's ok. There was one variation: C.C. DeVille has recently added a bit of "Amazing Grace" to his guitar solo. This was at the urging of his pastor. I will say it was a bit odd to hear a hymn and then look at the giant screen behind the band projecting images of nearly naked women. Overall, I thought both the guitar and drum solos were too long. Of course, there is a practical reason: Bret uses these solos to check on his blood sugar and monitor his diabetes...and yet...too long. I've never noticed the Poison solos to take up that much of the set, but maybe the band is trying something new.
During the stage banter, Bret thanked the crowd several times for coming out and also mentioned Rock of Love quite a few times. There was an after-concert party at the Blue Note club in Cincinnati with Bret. I can only imagine that debauchery.
Concert week rolls on: Tuesday is Crue Fest again at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati.