Written by Rayanna Barker
Jul 19, 2003 at 08:00 PM
ImageThere are certain shows that every writer looks forward to all year long. For me that is ALWAYS when Poison comes to town. This year brings Vince Neil back and adds Skid Row to the roster seeming to be a great combination of talent from the hair metal scene. All 3 bands have such a great energy it really makes for an unforgettable show.Skid Row was the first to hit the stage. Skid Row is a very talented band, they have always been one of my favorites. I was curious to see how things faired without former frontman Sebastian Bach but once seeing Dallas native Johnny Solinger perform with the band I started asking myself ‘Sebastian who??’ Solinger never missed a beat.

The band blazed through the set that included Piece of Me, 2 versions of I Remember You a punk version of the ballad that will be included on their new album and then later in the set coming back for the fans standing around with that “what was that” look on their face and did the original version of the song.

During 18 and Life, Solinger took off into the crowd and gave fans a chance to sing along. Guitarist “Snake” Sabo kicked ass all the way through Monkey Business and we got a preview of what’s to come on the new Skid Row album Thickskin due out in stores on August 5th when the band played new songs Thick is the Skin as well as New Generation. It was a really fun set, and I am looking forward to hearing the new album.

Next up was Vince Neil, what can you say that hasn’t already been said about Vince Neil? He is amazing and this year he was definately on his game. Accompanied by an electric ensemble of musicians this set kicked ass from start to finish. Vince Neil took the crowd through 20 years of Motley Crue in a little over an hour. Girls Girls Girls, Looks that Kill, Home Sweet Home, and my personal favorite Your Invited are just a few of the songs played during the set, let me just say this if you are going to see one band this summer get out and see Vince Neil, it is well worth the trip.

With a back-up band that included former Bulletboys guitar wizard Jason Hook, who handled Mick Mars’ leads with ease, Neil brought the old Motley favorites to life for an audience hungry for the next full Motley Crue reunion.

Covered in a cloud of smoke Poison took to the stage and opened with the title track from their debut album Look What the Cat Dragged In, going straight into Squeezebox and then Ride the Wind.

It looked like they were going to roll right through their set without any problems, but this year would prove to be way different than years before. Anyone who has ever been to a Poison show knows that there will come a time during the show where vocalist Bret Michaels will have members of the audience come up on stage with the band, but with the strict Woodlands security, it couldn’t be done.

For those of you that have never been to the Woodlands Pavilion in Houston just think Maximum-security prison with a stage. The security is tight. The set continued on with Your Momma Don’t Dance and then guitarist C.C. DeVille took center stage and did his version of a love song called I Hate Every Bone in Your Body (But Mine) after DeVille’s turn in the spotlight, Michaels returned to the stage and started what would be the longest version of Something To Believe In ever played. Michaels started the song by dedicating it to his family and friends that have served in past wars as well as to all the men and women serving our county now.

Making it through the first chorus, Michaels stopped singing and stopped the band, He then said, “I know you guys are wanting to come up here on stage with us this year but they won’t let me. This is just way too fucking organized for a rock concert though so I want to ask the security to be cool and just let everyone move up closer to the stage.”

Everyone started moving toward the stage in an orderly manner, no big rush, it was very organized. Everyone got settled and relit their lighters in their new spot and Bret again started back into the song. He made it through another verse and stopped again. “This guy called me a fucking asshole, I am going to go kick his ass and I will be right back”

Bret headed over to the edge of the stage along with Poison security, drummer Rikki Rockett and bassist Bobby Dall while DeVille told jokes and tried to take people’s attention away from what was going on stage side.

Bringing the man up on stage with him, Bret hugged him and moved him and his wife up on the side of the stage and got them seats. Bret then explained that someone who moved up was crushing the guys’ wife and he was calling him an asshole for bringing everyone down. Then again he called himself an asshole and finally finished up Something to Believe In.

Getting back in a groove they started playing again, at which time I had noticed that Vince Neil had made his way over to sit on the side of the stage and watch. The band went into Talk Dirty to Me and then Unskinny Bop which saw Vince Neil singing along from time to time. Lots of the other bands that had played during the day had people on the stage watching, it was nice to see they all appreciate what the other is doing.

Wrapping the set up with Every Rose has It’s Thorn, Fallen Angel and then closing with Nothin But A Good Time Poison brought the audience to its feet and them all singing along to the classic rock anthems.

There is one thing you can always count on at a Poison show; it’s not going to be like any other show you have seen before. They are having fun and still love what they are doing; it’s not hard to see that at the show. Until next Summer…