|Poison unskinny-bopped its way into Columbus, OH with signature hair-metal sound and flashy stage show. Supporting The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock, Bret Michaels and crew hit the Germain Amphitheater stage with the excitement and grandeur as any solid rock band should. With smoke billowing from behind the risers, drummer Rikki Rocket started the rhythmic drumbeat and once C.C. DeVille strummed his flying V guitar, the 90-minute show was as hot as the temperatures.
With the humidity high and the temperatures in the 90s, the sweat-soaked bands till performed all its hits with flair and gusto. Saying several times that the band has the following day off, it seemed Michaels and crew put great effort into providing the three-quarters filled venue with a solid night of music. Poison is one of the few bands that new when to quit writing and keep playing. Although Michaels and others have performed and crated music in other setting aside from Poison, the band as a whole realizes its heyday was in the early 1990s and keeps it that way. Rather than writing new music that would not muster the support their back catalogue, the band plays what the fans want to hear year after year.
Several years ago, Poison started a tradition of touring with several hair bands and created a summertime institution of make-up wearing, guitar swinging, and spandex-sporting entertainment. But a few years ago, the band toured with Kiss all summer long and the questions abound as to whether Poison would be able to pick back up that same institution after a year hiatus. But without missing a beat, Poison brought Cinderella and even the Bullet Boys on tour and the crowds filtered back into the amphitheater like beer through a bong at a tailgate party in the parking lot.
Most would assume the crowd would be in their 40s, but it is always surprising how many teenagers are at the show without parents dragging them by their ears. Some would say that Deville's appearance on VH-1's Surreal Life would bring those kids out, but it is year after year new fans are drawn to Poison.
The real reason may be these kids just want to have some fun. Unlike many bands being played on every mid-teens Myspace, Poison is not wallowing in self-pity and gothic depression. Poison is all about drinking, dancing, and if lucky enough, some late-night rendezvous' with partial strangers. Poison never tried to claim they were singing poetry and being soulful. Poison was and still is a good-time band that their cover song portrays: an American Band. It is odd to see such a mixture of people at a rock show. Fans of old-school punk like Social Distortion were seen as well as tour shirts from Warped Tour. For some reason, Poison has become the love child of all things retro-cool. A Poison shirt could fit in as easily at Hot Topic as it could a Harley dealership. Through their honesty of who they are and what the band is about, Poison has been able to be a band people can grasp to as a band that is not trying to be anything buy guys out looking for a good time. They are looking for nothing more than a good time, and fans of all ages are not able to resist.
Poison, through a solid live performance mixed with just enough side entertainment, has been able to capture a piece of the entertainment market a lot of band cannot. They do not apologize for who and what they are. They play fun rock music without trying to break new barriers in the music world. Poison are very capable musicians who play for the people, and as the old saying goes: sometimes you just have to keep it simple, stupid. And in that respect, maybe Poison is the most stupid. But when it comes to being a band of the new millennium, Poison has been anything but as they continue to reach new fans with the same music they have been perfecting for decades.