Band's still about hair and having a good time
In the heyday of hair metal, Poison distinguished itself by being among the most heavily made-up and seemingly angst-free bands, its mischievous singalongs evoking the pursuit of good times and fast women along the Sunset Strip. In its sold-out show at the
Poison's 70-minute set, which followed, almost exactly, the track list of its just-released "Live, Raw, & Uncut" greatest-hits compilation, began with a literal bang, as pyrotechnics and dizzying light tricks accompanied frontman Bret Michaels's ascent to the stage. Starting with the title track of the band's first album, "Look What the Cat Dragged In," Poison dug into a singles catalog skewed heavily toward the late '80s but nonetheless spanning 22 years - which an exuberant Michaels felt compelled to remind the crowd every second song or so.
Though the band tampered little with their songs' delivery, Michaels played up the meaning of the ballads. "This is a song about family, friends, the people we care about," Michaels said before a healthy-looking C.C. DeVille hit the opening notes of the Class of '87 prom theme, "I Won't Forget You."
With black-and-white topless hula and belly dance scenes paraded on a screen throughout "Your Mama Don't Dance," Poison's cover of the Loggins and Messina hit, one wonders if the band intended an homage to feminine sex appeal throughout the ages. The night's silliest and perhaps most fun moments came with a cover of the Romantics' "What I Like About You," backed by footage of Michaels, DeVille, bassist Bobby Dall, and drummer Rikki Rockett performing in black suits as pages of a high school yearbook turned.
A buff Michaels, riding high from the success of his VH1 series "Rock of Love," lavished praise on Boston, making heartfelt references to the Celtics and the Red Sox (what visiting performer doesn't these days?) and thanking fans who'd trekked in from Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.
"I wish that every city could borrow the energy of Boston," Michaels said, and though one might suspect he says something similar in every city, statements like these endeared him to the already fervent pavilion crowd.
Dokken, led by the gracious and gifted Don Dokken, played a tight and frills-free set that mixed old favorites with songs from the band's latest release, "Lightning Strikes Again." Ex-Skid Row front man Sebastian Bach kicked off the evening with a generous dose of hits from his former band and singles from his latest solo effort, "Angel Down."