Bret Michaels Rocks Turning Stone

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:

set

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.

Yeah, I was THAT close!

Yeah, I was THAT close!

Here is the entire BMB’s set list:

  1. Talk Dirty To Me
  2. Look What The Cat Dragged In
  3. Sweet Home Alabama
  4. Your Mama Don’t Dance
  5. Ride the Wind
  6. Something To Believe In
  7. Unskinny Bop
  8. Band introductions and solos
  9. Snippet of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”
  10. Cover of Sublime’s “What I Got”
  11. Every Rose Has Its Thorn
  12. Fallen Angel
  13. 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.

Click the pic to watch video!

Click the pic to watch video!

 

 

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Cool Album Titles

Recently, an odd and perhaps unanswerable question popped into my brain, sparked by the Classic Hits we play on Z93.

Whatever happened to cool album titles???

The ‘90s hits we play get me reminiscing not only about the good ol’ days, but the actual records, cassettes, CDs, what have you, that the songs came from. I don’t have to wrack my brain to recall the title of these albums, even the One Hit Wonders, because the names were just so… well, memorable. Original. Clever. Unique.

So WTF happened???

I am skimming over some of the Top 10 albums of 2013, and the titles are just so boring, dull, and unimaginative. I don’t care how many millions of copies One Direction sells. Can’t they (or their publicity team) think up a better album title than Take Me Home? I mean, it sounds like a blatant pickup line from 1982! Miley Cyrus just put out a record called Bangerz. Not that I’d expect any less, but really… sounds like an appetizer on the Tilted Kilt menu. Maroon 5 had the balls to call their latest effort Overexposed. John Mayer has had some pretty cool album titles in the past, like Room For Squares and Continuum. This year, he released Paradise Valley. Sounds more like an offering from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Country-Pop crossover acts Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum both turned to color for inspiration: Red and Golden, respectfully, both of which are about as exciting as Beige.

Rewind to the 1990s. A whole ‘nother world. Maybe we used up all the words in the world, and their possible combinations. Here are some of my favorite album titles from a coupla decades back, whether I liked the actual album or not. In no particular order. Okay, in alphabetical order.

August and Everything After Counting Crows

Bigger, Better, Faster, More! 4 Non Blondes

4 Non Blondes

4 Non Blondes

Bloodletting Concrete Blonde

Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? The Cranberries

Grave Dancers Union Soul Asylum

Soul Asylum

Soul Asylum

Jagged Little Pill Alanis Morissette

Alanis

New Miserable Experience Gin Blossoms

Gin_Blossoms-New_Miserable_Experience-Frontal

Pet Your Friends  Dishwalla

Tragic Kingdom No Doubt

Under the Table and Dreaming Dave Matthews Band

Under+The+Table++Dreaming+UnderTheTableAndDreaming

Yourself or Someone Like You Matchbox 20Yourself+or+Someone+Like+You+HQ+PNG+cover

Hello

Sorry for my unimaginatively titled first post. For a writer, I don’t know what to write about!

I will start by saying that I’m really grateful for a chance to work at a station like Classic Hits Z93. I get to relive “the best years of my life” (to quote Bryan Adams). Short of a time machine or a Fountain of Youth, where else can I suddenly be 16 again???

Aerosmith… Poison… Guns N Roses… INXS. Seems like just yesterday, their pictures hung on my bedroom walls, ripped from the pages of Circus Magazine. Now I’m playing them as “Classic Hits”??? I would say that I feel ancient, but I’m comforted by the fact that we also play the likes of Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson. A little something for everyone.

I hope to share music news, as well as personal memories connected to powerful songs here. Hope you enjoy the stuff I share!

And feel free to make suggestions/ requests anytime. My email address is: z93hollyrivers@yahoo.com

All The Best,

Holly

Aerosmith Permanent Vacation era

Aerosmith Permanent Vacation era