My ears are ringing badly… why you ask… well I submitted to the Jedi mind trick my wife placed on me and I ended up agreeing to go see Poison at our local Peoria Civic Center last night. That’s right, Poison… 80’s, makeup, hairspray, latex … you got it. First a confession is in order. This is the third time I have seen Poison in the last 3 or so years (that d*mn Jedi trick must be stopped). But in all honesty, I must agree that it is a pretty fun time. Poison does give their all and their songs are catchy and don’t take a master’s degree to learn the lyrics – but the number one thing, of course, is the people watching opportunity.
Unlike the last two times I saw them, it wasn’t at the Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport. This was a real arena and there was a fronting band – let’s retry that.. there was suppose to be an opening act, specifically Sebastian Bach. You know Bach, as in Skid Row, Super Band reality show member, VH1 top 100 metal songs narrator, rehabber – I’ll stop there because the downhill terrain is getting slippery. Anyway, we find our seats, take in the view, note a tremendous amount of significantly overweight women dressed to score, spot an unusually large number of Affliction and other UFC themed shirts, settle in to the truly uncomfortable arena seats and prepare for Mr. Bach to bless us with his wonderful bygone day pipes. First his band comes out and all I could think of is what newspaper ad did he find these guys at – espescially the lead guitarist sporting the scary dude elongated sideburns, black boots and b e l l b o t t o m s – weak. The music kicks in and it’s ABSOLUTE CRAP. I’ve been to many concerts across many different genres and this is the worst I’ve ever sat through. Every single act on the Warped Tour had better sound that what was blasting my ears – distortion out of tolerable gain, vocals lost in the guitars and Bach’s wireless uplink cutting in an out. It was awful and based on the people standing around looking at each other, this was a consensus opinion. As a side note, a good indicator that you are on the way out is when you have to come onstage and open up with a song from another band (Aerosmith’s Back in the Saddle). Sebastion also has historically relied on his strong high end vocals but apparently that is gone because they had the reverb turned up so high on his mic he would stop singing way before the end of the screech. Finally midway through the roadie guy kept coming out to play with his butt monitor to see if he could fix it (there has to be some funny shots of that and based on the thousands of camera’s going off in the no-camera show someone must have it). They eventually gave him a wired mike which didn’t fix the problem but gave him the opportunity to stand on stage and due the horribly cheesy and stupid helicopter whirl with it. Nothing tops the lead guitarist’s trying to actually hit his leads – missed note there, delayed note there all cranked up so we could hear every high school chop – I finally had to laugh out loud when he tried strumming with his teeth and ended up losing the rhythm – of course he was continually stomping on his pedals trying to get them to work. I will digress again quickly – what is it about bands continually telling me where I’m at. I know where I’m at, the guy next to me knows where he is at and if the lead singer bothered to look at the arena name he would also know where he was at – so use it once or twice to fire the crowd up .. and then just STOP IT. To put it in perspective, I counted the number of times Sebastian said Peoria vs the number of times he said the F-word – guess which one won by a landslide and if you know anything about Bach, you know he uses that other word allllllll the time – the point I explained to my how before the show how it would be a great drinking game. Sorry, back to the rant. Finally they end, the audience applauds their exit (most reaction all night) and they crank up the recorded music which sounded absolutely awesome. Guns N Roses: Welcome to the Jungle, AC/DC: Highway to Hell – was as if they were there rocking it out for us. Bach – you owe my wife and I and apology for having to sit through that crap. There was great retribution when Poison came out – Brett Michaels actually thanked Dokken for opening up for them – HEHEHEHE (I wish) – Brett turned to CC and he told him it was Bach and trying to brush it off then thanked Bach [for wasting our time] Classic!
As just a few comments, Poison didn’t disappoint. They played their classics, interacted with the crowd, kept the Peoria statements to a minimum and get this…. sounded great as they hit all their keys and notes. Imagine that – after 22 years and still delivering on the cost of their tickets (Sebastian, taking any hints). The additional side of this was that CC sounded great – energetic, lightning fingers and good crowd interaction. This opinion could have been amplified a little bit based on how horrible the opening guitarist was, but like I mentioned, I’ve seen them twice before and CC sounded just as good then (ah, life after the 80’s drug scene isn’t all that bad is it).
The most important things about last night was that my wife enjoyed watching Poison and when she is happy I am generally happy – plus we were kind of celebrating our anniversary so I am glad at least Poison didn’t dissapoint us. My only complaint was we decided not to buy Linda a concert shirt. I wanted to get her one as a small anniversary gift, but we both decided that 40 dollars was toooooo much to spend on a T-Shirt. Much like gas, 4 is the watermark for second thoughts. I was also appreciative he only mentioned his reality show once unlike last time where he milked it from beginning to end.
…now time to go and figure out a way to get this ringing to stop.