I got word that there were still tickets available for Bret Michaels’ April 30 concert at Turning Stone Resort and Casino just mere days before it was to take place. First of all, how did I miss the original memo? Secondly, could I afford to go? And was it feasible on a Wednesday night, a work night for my honey, who has to rise and shine at 4AM the next morning? Most importantly, would there be any decent seats left???
Yup. Stage table seats. Next to each other. Still available. Holy crap. How could I say no??? A few clicks through Ticketmaster later, and I had my ticket to “Ride the Wind”!
The stage setup was pretty impressive, as you can see here:
The show started about 5 minutes late… not too bad. The band seemed to have shot out of a cannon, for all the thundering, earth-shaking energy they possessed. They didn’t waste anytime getting to the meat of the musical meal, digging right in to the classic Poison hit, “Talk Dirty To Me.” (I’ve generously provided a video at the end of this review… Click the last photo of Bret!)
Bret is great at stage banter, and had some interesting personal stories to tell, informing his fans that “Look What the Cat Dragged In” was the very first song he wrote with his old band, Poison, and that “Something To Believe In” was dedicated to all members of the service, because so many members of his family had served in various branches of the Armed Forces. The hackneyed Lynyrd Skynyrd hit “Sweet Home Alabama” was a song Bret had learned as a kid in a camp for kids with diabetes. Between hits, the band members were introduced and got the chance to do their prerequisite solos, with much favor and overly generous time allotted to the drummer, I thought. I was more interested in the wild bass player, “Crazy Ray”… Alas, his time in the spotlight was reduced to a short stint, thumping out the hook of “Play That Funky Music,” of all things.
Here is the entire BMB’s set list:
- Talk Dirty To Me
- Look What The Cat Dragged In
- Sweet Home Alabama
- Your Mama Don’t Dance
- Ride the Wind
- Something To Believe In
- Unskinny Bop
- Band introductions and solos
- Snippet of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”
- Cover of Sublime’s “What I Got”
- Every Rose Has Its Thorn
- Fallen Angel
- Nothin’ But a Good Time
It was the second time I’ve seen Bret live, and both times I was surprised that he did not play any of his solo music. I mean, the majority of his fans want to hear the old stuff that they remember from their high school glory days, but why does he record and promote his new tunes on his website/ Facebook page so heavily, if he’s not gonna do them in concert? He could pepper in one or two, at least. Bret’s website brags that his most recent single, “A Beautiful Soul,” snagged “2 million views in 2 weeks and counting,” besting recent releases by One Direction and 50 Cent. And he didn’t perform it??? What gives?????
I was pleasantly surprised to hear Bret and the boys do the near-forgotten gem, “Fallen Angel,” a fave of mine when I was a a stonewash-wearin’, gum-chewin’, MTV-watchin’ teenager. This was the fake finale. Of course, the audience stayed on their feet and demanded more. I knew he hadn’t done one of Poison’s best-loved hits, “Nothin’ But a Good Time,” and that he wasn’t gonna get away WITHOUT doing it, unless he wanted to start a riot. Sure enough, the band returned and treated the crowd to an extended version of the party anthem, even dragging some lucky fans onstage to sing along.
After the final number, some of the music lovers closest to the stage scrambled up to get pics with Bret. By the time I meekly dared to scoot by butt up there and inch my way towards the rock star, a burly, no-nonsense-looking guard in a suit appeared out of nowhere. His eyes locked with mine, and I slunk down the way I’d come, like an eighth-grader who’d just been caught cutting class by the Principal. So close, and yet so far…
Fans were encouraged to head out to the lobby to purchase (overpriced) merchandise, from bandanas to t-shirts to Bret’s very own signature cologne, “Roses and Thorns.” I’d intended to buy his CD, “Jammin’ With Friends,” a live hits collection featuring guest stars as diverse as Ace Frehley, Loretta Lynn and Miley Cyrus. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it out on the merch table. Guess I’ll have to order it online.
Pretty awesome concert. At 51 years young, Bret still rocks! I give the show 7.9 out of 10 stars.