Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cinderella/Poison - June 17, 2000

Hot on the heels of their highly successful 1999 summer tour with Ratt, Poison announced their second summer tour in the spring of 2000. This time around they were bringing Cinderella as a double bill, with opening acts consisting of Slaughter and Dokken. Now that made for one heck of an 80s glam concert and I was excited to see this show. The outdoor amphitheater venue of PNC Bank Arts Center was the setting for this spectacular summer concert.

This was an 80s metal lover’s dream come true. 4 fantastic glam metal acts performing on the same stage for one night. Growing up, I worshipped these bands and listened to their music endlessly. While in high school, I consumed information about each and every one of these bands on a daily basis. Hit Parader, Circus, and Metal Edge were my favorite magazines from that era, because they always had the news.

The opportunity to see these acts live for the first time (with the exception of Poison, whom I saw the year before) had me giddy with excitement. Once again, my best friend Tommy was attending the show with me and we made sure to get into the venue nice and early to see all of the acts.

Slaughter came out first and while I can’t recall exactly which songs they performed, I know that they played a majority of songs from their first (self-titled) record. I have always been a fan of Mark Slaughter’s voice, going all the way back to his days in Vinnie Vincent’s Invasion. He has a high range that not many vocalists can compete with. Sounding exceptionally well on that warm June evening, Slaughter was magnificent.

Halfway through their set, Mark Slaughter jumped off the stage and started walking around the seats in the amphitheater. While most of those seats were empty (which I consider to be a major shame), those that were seated near the stage were ecstatic to see Mark Slaughter walking around, shaking hands, high fiving fans, and still signing his song note perfect. It was a great way to kick off the evening.

Slaughter set the tone for the evening and passed the torch to Dokken, who was out next. In 2000, the only member of Dokken still in the band from the original 80s version was Don Dokken himself. Long gone was George Lynch (due to several feuds with Don). The other members slowly left the band over the years. Don was performing on the moniker Dokken, but we all knew this was really Don Dokken solo artist, performing the hits of Dokken. What could be done? The band did carry his name.

I don’t remember all the songs that they played, but I know Dream Warriors was there along with In My Dreams (which may have been the set closer). I know that I wasn’t all that impressed with their set and Don Dokken’s voice sounded horrible. These guys were quite a disappointment.

Cinderella came on stage next as one of the two headline acts for the evening. I had never seen Cinderella live before, so this was a real treat for me. I had adored this band as a younger lad and to finally see them live while in my late 20s was a dream come true.

They took to the stage with a ton of energy and ripped out Night Songs for their opening number. 14 years after its original release, the song still sounded incredible. Tommy and I knew ever word and we made sure to sing along. Night Songs gave way to Push, Push which was followed by Shelter Me. That was a great three-pack to kick off the night.

Lead singer Tom Keifer looked amazing. His voice was a little rough and sounded garbled at times, but for the most part, there wasn’t much to complain about. He still sounded decent and played a mean guitar. The rest of the band was in synch and although they were all a little older, you could hardly tell they had aged. If I didn’t know any better, I would have sworn it was 1989, not 2000.

Cinderella played all the prerequisite hits and played them with passion. The Last Mile, Coming Home, and the big power ballad, Don’t Know What You Got (‘Til It’s Gone) were all pulled out for the show. The screams of joy for Don’t Know What You Got… nearly brought the roof down on the amphitheater. It was clear that Cinderella was much loved.

Gypsy Road was the main set closer. It sounded exactly like when the song was released. I sang it along with thousands of the fans and the band. I could not recall being happier than I was in the exact moment. That’s the power of rock and roll. That’s the power of a live concert. That’s why I continue to go back. The feeling of ecstasy while Cinderella cranked out Gypsy Road is a moment that can rarely be matched in life.

The encore was kind of lame. Not the song, but the fact that they only played a one song encore. It was a forced encore and the band would have been better served to just play their set without one. Shake Me was the big goodbye for Cinderella, which was well received by the fans. It just seemed silly to perform a one song encore.

“Ladies and gentleman… please welcome… Poison!” With the announcers scream, so entered Poison. This was the second time that I would see them live (and for the second year in a row). I was more excited this time around because I knew how great they were in concert.

Poison opened with the only song I think they’ve ever opened with, Look What The Cat Dragged In. Bret Michaels ran onto the stage with a fur coat, cowboy hat, and shades. At the end of the opening song, the coat was gone (it was a warm June evening after all), and so was the cowboy hat.

The four members of Poison were in their 40s, but all of them looked much younger. Bret Michaels was absolutely stunning. A firm, cut chest, tones arms, and a chiseled mid-section rounded out his physique. I was quite jealous, I must admit.

The music was Poison’s typical party anthems and power ballads. A new song was performed early, Power To The People, which hailed from the live disc with 5 studio songs that Poison had released earlier that year. The studio songs on Power To The People are exceptional, some of Poison’s finest work.

After Power To The People, it was time for CC Deville to have the spotlight. However, instead of his usual wild guitar antics, this time around CC was going to sing for us. I Hate Every Bone In Your Body (But Mine) was another new song from Power To The People. This song featured CC Deville on lead vocals and lead guitar and while performed live, it allowed Bret Michaels a chance to change outfits.

Some of Poison’s finest songs came next. Fallen Angel, Let It Play, and the power ballad to end all power ballads, Every Rose Has Its Thorn. The entire amphitheater lit up like Independence Day when the opening notes were strummed on the acoustic guitar by Bret Michaels. The girls screamed their heads off and the guys lit their lighters. Everyone loves that song.

The main set closer was a cover of Kiss’ Rock And Roll All Nite which can be found on the Less Than Zero soundtrack and perhaps one of the greatest hits packages. During the song, balloons fell to the stage, confetti blast through the air, and Poison started grabbing members of the audience and hoisting them onstage. The band and about 30 audience members danced and sang Rock And Roll All Nite together. It was an amazing moment in my concert history to witness this and for the people on stage, they were having the time of their lives.

After the song ended and the fans returned to their seats, Poison left the stage. They would quickly return for a one-song encore of Talk Dirty To Me. While the song is fantastic, the fact that the encore was only one song long was weak. I would think Poison could encore two or three songs, but one was all we got.

All in all, the 2000 glam fest featuring Slaughter, Dokken, Cinderella, and Poison was an excellent event that left Tommy and I very happy. We got to see some of our favorite bands from back in the day and we enjoyed an evening of hair metal madness. For one brief moment in time, it was 1989 all over again. That’s a trip I would take again and again.

Cinderella’s Setlist
Night Songs
Push, Push
Shelter Me
Somebody Save Me
Heartbreak Station
The Last Mile
Coming Home
Falling Apart At The Seams
Don’t Know What You Got (‘Til It’s Gone)
Nobody’s Fool
Gypsy Road
Shake Me

Poison Setlist
Look What The Cat Dragged In
I Want Action
Your Mama Don’t Dance
Something To Believe In
Power To The People
I Hate Every Bone In Your Body (But Mine)
Fallen Angel
Let It Play
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Unskinny Bop
Nothin’ But A Good Time
Rock And Roll All Nite
Talk Dirty To Me

No comments: