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Concert Week: Poison/Dokken/Sebastian Bach Live Review

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.

I was expecting the same set lists from Rocklahoma, and I was basically correct. Sebastian Bach performed "Back in the Saddle," "18 and Life," "American Metalhead," "Love is a Bitchslap," "Monkey Business," "I Remember You," "Youth Gone Wild," and more. I will say that I think Mr. Bach sounded better in voice last night in Cincinnati, Ohio than he did last month in Pryor, Oklahoma. He can still hit a majority of his most famous notes, but when he can't he covers nicely. Heather was excited to hear, in her words, "Skid Row songs they way they should sound." For better or worse, Sebastian Bach singing "Youth Gone Wild" live always gets a crowd whipped into a frenzy. All told, Sebastian Bach sang for a solid 45 minutes.

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
Unskinny Bop
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Fallen Angel
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.

Reader Comments (14)

Poison have musician solos... that must be bad... neither cc or rikki are anything more than competent...
August 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterstuff
I was there, too. I had fun & didn't spend tons of money. I attended the after party & was very annoyed. I really didn't realize how "OBSESSED" people really are with Bret Michaels until last night. Not only did cops arrest 2 people for both starting fights (over who would be getting closer to the stage to where Bret was) but also - Big John got super pissed & told all the awaiting fans they needed to leave and let bret rest. There were fans trying everything to get to him. I know one of the bouncers and my 2 friends are I were hanging with him @ the end of the after party - We didnt get to meet Bret because of early deoparture. Cincinnati crazies are to blame for this. People need to chill out! Just thought I'd share my review of the afterparty.
August 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCandiCe
The Blue Note was an abosulte mess. It was pure chaos when Bret arrived. Girls pushing through the line and skanky sluts of a sizes, creeds, and colors claiming that they where gonna be on Rock of Love 3. Yeah right. I feel damn sorry for anybody who didnt get free tickets to it "like I did". I cant imagine paying 20 dollars to stand in a crowd and you MIGHT get Bret's autograph. Also, You had to buy an 8x10 for Bret to sign! WTF!!! So let me get this strait... You now have to A. Buy a ticket to the show. B. Buy a ticket to an afterparty. And C.. Buy something for him to sign. Im extremely dissapointed in Bret's new MONEY FIRST philosophy. Oh... And screw all the "new" Poison fans that are only there because of his VH1 show. Us REAL fans dont wanna hear the same 12 songs every year. Poison and Bret were LAME.. Sebastian Bach owned that show. Dokken, as expected, were horrid. I sure hope the Motley Crue show is better.
August 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
Crap, I was planning on going to the show at Riverbend and forgot all about it! It's really bad considering that I live about 15 minutes away from it and pass it everyday on my way to and from work!

Dokken is my favorite band and the new album is great. Bummed that I missed it :(
August 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjust_jeepin
I was impressed at how many people were there at 7...Bach was playing to a near-capacity crowd. I also thought it was funny how many people sat down after Youth Gone Wild, and then stayed sitting while Dokken played. I was not impressed with Dokken, and didn't expect to be.

The only thing that kind of upset me about Poison, is there were at least 2 or 3 songs cut from last year's set with nothing added to replace them. CC did "Every Bone" last year, and they played at least 2 more songs from Poison'd last year. This year, they were just gone. I would have rather heard more Poison and less Dokken personally.

As for the afterparty, I didn't go. I thought about going to the Strass Haus in Covington, because I heard a rumor that the rest of the band was going there. I was just too tired to go though.
August 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJT

Everyone was standing during "Youth Gone Wild" on my side of the venue. People were really rowdy...especially in my section.

- Allyson
August 17, 2008 | Registered CommenterAllyson B. Crawford
I was not impressed with Poison at all, and agree it was Bach's night. Poison definitely cut songs from their set, and the solos were longer. I am sure this is because Bret's voice sounded like crap and he probably couldn't sing the extra tunes. He really sounded hoarse. I am still a huge Poison fan, but found this performance very disappointing.
August 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Allyson, yes they were standing during YGW all the way up to the top of the lawn. And VERY rowdy. But that's how it should be during a song like that! :)

Bach was awesome. I'm just surprised so many people were there since he was the opening act. It was practically standing room only starting at 7! If Dokken had been the opener, I doubt that many would have showed up that early.
August 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJT
Just wondering if Bret did the schtick at the beginning of 'Something To Believe In' where the touring keyboardist "screws up" the intro and Bret stops everything and says something like "These people paid their hard earned money to see a Posion show and we're going to give them the songs the way they remember them."

He did that when they toured on the first reunion with Ratt & Great White and it was cool. When he did it EVERY tour up to and including opening the KISS tour, it got ridiculous.

Setlist looks good but they need to pull out 'What I Like About You' & 'Your Momma Don't Dance'. I'll take those instead of 'I Hate Every Bone In Your Body But Mine'.....that is the worst Poison song ever, covers included!

Heavy Metal Addiction
Frankly Bret's voice was shot in Pittsburgh on Sunday. The doctors didn't even think he should perform. Since it was late he didn't want to cancel the show. Frankly I think the announcement by Big John was a way to let the fans know (duh) that they shouldn't expect much for MR. ROL in way of vocalization. Let's face it, no one is gonna confuse Bret with Missers Halford or Dickenson.
Big John did announce that Rikki would be doing an aftershow meet-n-greet with Melanie Martel at our venue. THEN at the end of the show, Bret says "see ya at The Lighthouse in Imperial." People took THAT as Bret was coming over. Frankly I knew THAT wasn't gonna happen, A.) Bret WAS sick as a dog B.) I didn't PAY Bret C.) I didn't pay Bret.
People were pissed at me, but I told them...The show was advertised as a Meet-n Greet with Rikki as well as an acoustic performance with him and Melanie. Although Will (Poison's keyboardist) came and played with them. Getting him the exact keyboards was a feat LOL.
People bitched and complained because Rikki played before signing autographs. It was a Sunday and they wanted to meet him and run. However, Rikki wanted them to hear Melanie. She has an absolute BEAUTIFUL voice by the way. Much better than what her MySpace would have you believe. They did a bunch of cover tunes including closing the show with Cry Tough. KILLER.
There were those that demanded money back cuz Rikki didn't sign at THEIR convenience, but I stuck to my guns this time and wouldn't refund a DIME.

THIS IS WHERE I'D LIKE YOUR OPINIONS...was it wrong of ME or THEM? I gave everything that was advertised PLUS some. Rikki stayed and met and took pictures with EVERYONE. Being both gracious AND accomodating to each individual person at the end of a very long night for him A true consumate professional. NO he did NOT bring anything to SELL to the public and signed anything and EVERYTHING set in front of him.
Sadly AND happily, Sebastian was going to come to the club after the show and sing with him (UNadvertised) but as we were having a glass of wine he got a call and got visitation with his daughter in Jersey for Monday. SO he drove out immediately to Jersey, they had a show there on Tuesday. SO fans did miss out on something that would have just blown EVERYONE away. Baz KILLED at the Pittsburgh show and unfortunately Dokken (one of my favorite bands) played a little better than eh..ok. Could it be because its just DON Dokken and a band of good backup musicians? Now THAT is NOT truth in advertising. Simply put at WORSE, Dokken should be Don, Mick (playing with Nuge), and Jeff (out with Foreigner). Don needs Pilson's vocals to give it that Dokken sound. As for George...great guitarist but I have never seen BOTH he and DON put on a great performance TOGETHER. Everytime I had seen them you either got a great George show or a great Don show. The two NEVER clicked in the 33 times I seen them in the past.
Sorry for the ramble...
much love,
Sweet Lou.
August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSweet Lou
Lou, you are absolutely right in your stance brother.
August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
At least Bret has stopped talking about his 'cousin Bobby'. Now if we could only get Big John off of the stage...
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterfletch
I was just reading all this whiny bullshit and thinking WTF??!!! Yep sure enough,Kenny Ozz AGAIN. Would someone please fuck him. geeeesh
August 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBuckeye
The show was awesome.... Im a 13 year old and I loved it all except for all the drunks. The music was great though I love Every Rose has Its Thorn as well as fallen angel. I just loved it all. I cant wait for the show to come out again. Its just all amazing!!!
August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

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