Monday, July 20, 2009

Do you wanna get rocked?

I usually find myself with a big smile after a Poison show. I am not sure what it is. The songs that I have been listening to for over 20 years. The energy of the band onstage. The energy of the crowd as over 18,000 stand to roar their approval and sing along. Some day I may figure it out, but for now I just want to enjoy it when I can.

I recall getting that cassette tape- yep, cassette- 22 years ago, Look What the Cat Dragged In. It was just when they started playing the single Talk Dirty to Me on the MTV and before they went big. Friends thought they looked like women on the cover (they did) and liked to joke they were a bunch of faggots. Weeks later those same friends would be asking to borrow it so they could make a copy.

Years later I would go to see Poison each time they came to town. For a while it seemed like an annual event. Playing at the Amphitheater with other 80s bands with them. Slaughter, Cinderella, Warrant, Vince Neil. Poison would put on a high energy show and delight the crowd.

This past Saturday it was a bit different. Another show with the band making the crowd happy with the songs everyone knows and loves. Sadly though, it was shorter. As an opening act they played about 55 minutes instead of 90. This doesn’t suit their style. It made the concert seem like they were forcing it out. Trying to pack as much as they could in their time slot. It seemed weird to have Bret Michaels introducing the band right after the second song. I understand they were doing the best with what they had but these guys need more time. And if that means not touring with Def Leppard then so be it.

Not that I am knocking Def Leppard either. Poison was good but the Leppard was better. The video show behind them fit the music perfectly. The song selection was interesting as well. Sure they played what you expected. Mostly. They chose to go with Too Late for Love over Foolin’. Nice risk there but the crowd loved it and probably didn’t notice.

Def Leppard played primarily from the Pyromania and Hysteria albums. Though the intro- cool it its own right showing over 25 years of pictures and album covers- announced Songs From the Sparkle Lounge, I think they played one song of last year’s release. Toss in a song from Yeah! (Rock On) and technically 2 from High n Dry ( (acoustic start of Bringin’ on the Heartbreak turning electric before going into Switch 625) and there wasn’t much else from Euphoria. A slight disappointment on my side that they didn’t play Slang, a song they usually work into the set but at the acoustic to electric Heartbreak made up for it. Not many bands go for the acoustic to electric move anymore. Maybe others can’t pull it off, but Def Leppard can.

Because of the crowd outside we missed part of Cheap Trick. They have a new album out and apparently are covering another Beatle’s song. Don’t have much to say about Cheap Trick. They always put on a good show. I have seen them a dozen times over the years and don’t ever recall these guys going through the motions. Cheap Trick rocks and are a great addition to any show.

So Saturday night ended up being a blast. A nice walk down memory lane and the music I have loved over the years. If only we had better seats…

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