February 17, 2022
Mohegan Sun Arena – Uncasville, CT
Bret Michaels. You know the guy! Celebrity Apprentice, Rock of Love, Letter from Death Row, and of course, lead singer of the mega hit-producing 80s hair band, Poison. Well, he played himself a “private show” at Mohegan Sun. Apparently, you could not buy tickets and had to be a Mohegan Sun players cardholder and be invited. Well, my mom got invited, she responded to the email, and off we went!
Growing up, I loved Poison! And why not? Fun rock songs about nonsense and good times. Before life got too serious. I first saw Poison in 1999 on their big summer tour that year. I think they were super popular again following a successful episode of Behind the Music. They were awesome, a lot of fun was had, but I digress…Long story short, I knew all the songs that Bret was likely to perform, and my mom did too. She’d seen Poison in the past when I won a few pairs of tickets off the radio and gave a pair to her and my dad – she already had the CDs and loved the show then. I was sure she’d enjoy solo Bret.
No opener, so when Bret was ready, the show began. I think it was about 8:20 or so when it started. The show started with some AC/DC Thunderstruck blasting on the PA and then Bret and the band played Talk Dirty to Me to get things started. Now since CC wasn’t there to “pick up the guitar and talk to me” I believe what I heard Bret say was “Petey pick up that guitar and talk to me.”
The Bret Michaels Band consisted of “Robby Rob” on the keyboards, “Stormin’ Norman” on the bass, “Pistol Pete” on the lead guitar, and “Proud Mary” banging away on the drums. Bret often played the 12-string acoustic/electric throughout the night.
They only played for an hour (can’t complain – show was free for everyone there) so with so many hits, the setlist could have been anything. But it consisted of:
- Talk Dirty to Me
- Look what the Cat Dragged In
- Ride the Wind
- Your Mama Don’t Dance (with lots of Harmonica playing to intro the song)
- Something to Believe In (which oddly used the acoustic guitar opening from the alternate version, versus the piano version that could have been covered by his keyboard player) – Available below
- Unskinny Bop (with another long ass intro)
- Drum Solo (with Proud Mary) followed by the band introductions
- Every Rose Has it’s Thorn (which Bret admitted was one of best drunken Karaoke songs)
- Nothing But a Good Time
- Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd cover
That was it. But it was fine that it was short. It was also nice and loud. I got me a good ear bashing. Now throughout the night, Bret was very chatty which I always enjoy. It’s good to see bands interact with the audience. He may have had a little too many “put your hands in the air and clap with me” moments, but the crowd was into it. There were some “let’s light up this arena with your cell phone lights” moments. There were plenty of mentions of “this is a party!” And throughout the night, Bret promised to “keep things rolling.”
The original members of Poison will be back around this summer and it’s probably worth checking out. They’ll be with Joan Jett, Def Leppard, and then headliner Motley Crue. If I go, I’ll likely leave during the Crue’s set to beat the traffic. It’s gotten to that point in my life with this band because I just can’t stand Vince Neil. And Nikki Sixx has turned into a giant douche too. Tommy and Mick are still cool though, and I’m looking forward to Mick’s solo album. AND….if you’re in need of a new tune to listen to, check out Outlaws & Outsiders by Cory Marks. Mick plays guitar on it, and I would describe the song as Metal Country. Anyway…that’s it! Bret was a good time and it was a nice night out with my mom!
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