Poison – Gibson Amphitheater – 08/23/08

     Poison – Gibson Amphitheater – 08/23/08

 Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen

I arrived at the Poison/Dokken/Sebastian Bach show a bit late, and walked in as Dokken was playing “Into the Fire.” Unfortunately, I ended up missing Sebastian Bach, but at least Dokken was just starting out their set. Their set was short, and included “Kiss of Death,” “Breaking the Chains,” and “Alone Again.” During “Alone Again,” Don talked about the power of music and its ability to bring people together. Everyone sang along word for word, swaying lighters and cell phones in the air. They closed their set with “In My Dreams,” and then it was time for POISON!


Poison cranked out hit after hit after hit, complete with pyrotechnics, a guitar solo and a drum solo. Also, they reworked all of their videos to include a lot more sex appeal than in the past, adding to Poison’s fun rock and roll style. This year’s set was almost identical to last year, with the exception of the new video, a really cool hand drum performance by Rikki Rocket, and omitting four songs.


Bret Michaels rose from the back of the stage as Poison opened their set with “Look What the Cat Dragged In.” They kept the crowd going as they went into “I Want Action” and “Ride the Wind.”


Bret mentioned that they always seem to play Las Vegas right before they play Los Angeles, and that they had a party there last night, but he was really excited to be back in Los Angeles. C.C. Deville soloed for a while. I really thought he was going to break into “I Hate Every Bone in Your Body But Mine,” like he did last year, but he never did.


Instead, it was time for “Something to Believe In,” which Bret dedicated to the Troops and Big John came out videotaping the crowd sway their hands from side to side. Videos appeared on the screens of Poison and the Troops in Iraq, which showed Poison’s true dedication to the men and women in the Armed Forces.


After that, Bret came out with a harmonica, getting the crowd ready for “Your Mama Don’t Dance.” Then Rikki’s drum set rose in the air for a drum solo. After a bit, he sat down in front of his drum kit playing a hand drum, getting the audience to chant “shit, goddamn, get off your ass and jam,” (a la George Clinton) as colored lights flashed in the background with every beat.


Then it was Bobby Dall’s turn to rise up from the back of the stage. Poison kicked ass to “Unskinny Bop,” and then a “fire wall” flowed behind the set during “Every Rose.” They closed with “Talk Dirty” and then were back for “Nothin’ but a Good Time” as pyrotechnics shot off and confetti filled the air. As always, Poison gave EVERYONE nothing but a good time.


I love Poison. I always have. But honestly, I wish they would step away from the “hits.” Poison has so much amazing material, in addition to all of Bret’s solo CD’s, CC’s solo CD, and even Rikki Rockett’s CD. It would be killer if they played “Shooting Star” off Hollyweird, or “Bittersweet” off Bret’s solo CD “Rock My World,” (originally released on “Songs of Life” in 2002) or even “Strange” off “Power to the People.”


I really look forward to seeing Bret play solo at Morongo Casino 11/29/08, because I know he will play “Bitter Sweet,” and the Rock of Love single “Go That Far,” in addition to the hits.