Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cinderella/Poison - August 6, 2006

In 2006, Cinderella and Poison set out on a joint 20th anniversary tour to remind the nation what great hair metal sounded like. It also served as a reminder that both bands were still alive and kicking. I got to witness their live performances at the PNC Bank Arts Center, in Holmdel, New Jersey.

I don’t recall who opened the show. I just know it wasn’t another hair metal band from the 80s. I honestly can’t recall if I even watched the opening act or if I just tailgated in the parking lot. It is most likely that I did the latter.

Cinderella came on stage first and played a set of huge hits. Opening with “Fallin’ Apart At The Seams,” from Long Cold Winter, Cinderella started the night right. Tom Keifer sounded amazing and Cinderella gave a fantastic performance as they always do.

What’s great about Cinderella, and so different from Poison, is the fact that they change up their setlist for every tour. Yes, they play a lot of the same songs, but they mix up the order and throw in a rare track every now and then. At this show, the rarity Cinderella pulled out was “Hot And Bothered,” from 1994’s Still Climbing. This is an excellent album that does not get the attention it deserves. It’s also an album that I wish Cinderella would perform more tracks from during their concerts.

The rest of their set was nothing but fan favorites. “Night Songs,” “Coming Home,” “Nobody’s Fool,” and the massive ballad “Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Till It’s Gone)” were all performed with much appreciation from the crowd.

It was obvious from both the shirts in the parking lot and the crowd reaction that Cinderella was the favored band of the night. Even though they took the stage first, they received a headliner’s reception. Once again Cinderella conquered the stage and left us all wanting more.

Poison was up next and they played their typical Poison set with no surprises. I could have called their set out song for song, having seen the band enough times. It has always annoyed me that Poison is afraid to reach into some of their lesser known (yet awesome) songs and play them for the fans. How about something from Crack A Smile once in a while? One song wouldn’t kill the band, would it?

Instead, we got the expected Poison setlist. They opened with “Look What The Cat Dragged In.” They closed with “Nothing But A Good Time” and encored with “Talk Dirty To Me.” All of it was expected, and not one rare track was thrown out, unless you count CC taking over the microphone for “I Hate Every Bone In Your Body (But Mine).”

That’s not to say that Poison gave a bad performance. Their performance is always amazing. Bret Michaels is an extraordinary front man and CC Deville is one of the most underrated guitarists on the hard rock scene. However, no matter how great the performance is, the set is still disappointing because there are no surprises.

This was the last year that I saw Poison in concert and for good reason. As wonderful as they are live, I grew tired of hearing the same songs in the same order year after year. If Poison wasn’t going to mix it up, then it was time for me to move on. While my last Poison experience was a great one, I decided that until Poison changes it up, I wasn’t willing to pay the price to see them in concert. I’m still hoping that one day, they will decide to makeover their show and give the fans an unexpected set balanced with hits, deep tracks, and maybe even some new music. A fan can dream, can’t he?

Cinderella Setlist
Fallin’ Apart At The Seams
Push, Push
Somebody Save Me
Night Songs
Hot And Bothered
Heartbreak Station
Coming Home
Shelter Me
Nobody’s Fool
Gypsy Road
Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Till It’s Gone)
Shake Me

Poison Setlist
Look What The Cat Dragged In
I Want Action
We’re An American Band
I Won’t Forget You
Ride The Wind
I Hate Every Bone In Your Body But Mine
Cry Tough
Something To Believe In
Your Mama Don’t Dance
Fallen Angel
Every Rose Has It’s Thorn
Unskinny Bop
Nothin’ But A Good Time
Talk Dirty To Me

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