I saw three bands on Saturday night, and all of them had at least one guitar with nothing but acute angles.
Yep, revoke my music-listening privileges, come and haul away my hundreds of CDs and pull the plug on my DellPod, because I paid money to see Sebastian Bach, Tesla, and...(still having a hard time admitting to this one)...Poison.
A buddy of mine asked me earlier this summer if I'd be interested in going to that show, and while I snickered every time I heard or said the word...Poison...I kept coming back to Tesla, thinking it might be a plus to add to my ever-growing concerts list a chance to hear "Little Suzi" and "Signs" live.
That, and the fact that it was outdoors, on a hill, in summer, with good friends, a few beverages...
So I agreed to go.
For those of you with musical taste, who don't clog your brains with such information, Sebastian Bach is the former lead singer of the heavy metal band, Skid Row. They had several recognizable hits in the late '80s, and I had the cassette single (remember cassingles?) of their song, "I Remember You."
I really figured he'd be old and worn out, and just mail in a few songs and get off stage.
Not so. Apparently hair rock knows no age limits, because although the sun was still a couple hours away from setting when he came on for his set, Bach and his band put forth a decent effort, and they genuinely worked to get the growing crowd fired up.
I think they might have piped in a few of his high-pitched screams, though, because a few times the mic was nowhere near his mouth and his note was held for several extra seconds. (What a talent!)
He slipped up before he went off stage, too, as he screamed into his mic...
"Get ready for Tesla!! And get ready for Dokken!! And..."
Must've been a different tour.
Tesla came out next and delivered what I thought they'd deliver...good music, not a lot of flare, but a couple songs worthy of the trip.
They played “Little Suzi” and “Signs” back to back, and if I would've had a prior engagement that night, I could have left and felt I'd gotten my money's worth.
The lead singer referenced the band's heyday when he looked out into the crowd and said that it brought back memories of Alpine Valley. Well...Alpine's hill holds about 40,000 people, and this crowd, although it was sold out, was only about 9,000. But...good effort. Seriously. The crowd on that hill was pretty energized for all the hair metal and glam rock that took place that night.
And then there was the "lead" act. No matter how many times I talk about this concert, I'll never be able to say with a straight face that I saw Poison. Or now that I've seen them, that I actually liked the show! But it's true.
I knew it'd be a fun people-watching crowd, as I'm sure there are a bunch of girls in and around good ol' Greenville, Wisconsin, who think they stand a chance to be on the latest season of A Shot At The Flava of The Rock of Love, or whatever lead singer Bret Michaels' stupid reality show is called.
Truth be told, Poison put on a great show. There, I said it.
Michaels didn't do anything flashy, but he had all the groupies in the front few rows going ga-ga over him. His voice was pretty hoarse between songs, so his mic wasn’t turned up as loud as it should have been during the music.
And this isn't something you want to freely admit, but if you're of a certain age and have spent any amount of time listening to the radio...you know more Poison songs than you think you know.
Drummer Rikki Rockett (I know, I know) is still a pretty good showman on the drum set. They had his drum platform on a scissors lift that raised up and moved forward while he was doing a solo during the show.
And say what you want about guitarist C.C. DeVille (one guitar magazine editor called him the worst guitar soloist of all time)...that skinny little blonde mophead can work a crowd.
Poison did a cover of The Romantics', "What I Like About You," which...I'm sorry, made me laugh. And C.C. DeVille had a five- or ten-minute guitar feature where he was on stage alone and tried to do his best Eddie Van Halen impersonation. And ended his segment with..."Amazing Grace." (I'm sure you saw that one coming, right?)
The pyrotechnics display was probably the best I’ve seen in person, too. The fact that they even brought a pyrotechnics show to Greenville was impressive enough by itself.
So from the time we entered the park to the time we left was about five hours. I saw three bands I never thought I'd add to my long list of concerts, did plenty of people-watching and heard a handful of pretty good songs. All for thirty bucks.
Gotta love summer, don'tcha?
I'm almost tempted to see if Mötley Crüe is going to tour anytime soon.
"Let a man avoid evil deeds
as a man who loves life