Written by Samuel Barker
Jul 09, 2006 at 08:00 PM
ImageIn the music world, it is rare for a band to last a year, let alone a decade. Then the idea of being together, with a solid line-up for 20 years is pretty unheard of. On this night, two bands celebrated their 20th anniversaries, Poison and Cinderella.

The most amazing part of it is that they both spawned from the 80s “Hair Metal” scene in Hollywood, CA; a scene that was all but destroyed upon the birth of grunge. With the state of the nation in those years, the happy, feel-good attitude of the 80s had come to a screeching halt as the nation headed into war. This brought about the sense of despair that grunge fed, leaving the party empty for so many bands.

However, a few bands kept the optimism through it all and never shut the door on their parties. Both of these bands stood on the stage to show that even in the current political climate, there was a need to keep up hope and let go, even if just for a few hours at a rock concert.

Poison wasted no time before kicking into their hit-laden set. Right past 9:30, the band kicked into the set opening, Look What the Cat Dragged In. From this point on, there was no looking back. Hit after hit pummeled the audience into a state of euphoria. No matter how jaded and cool you thought you were, you caught the party vibe and rocked along.

A cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s classic hit We’re An American Band put it all in perspective. There was not time to worry about the world on this night, just party down and let go. The group did just that. Breaking out their old ballad, I Won’t Forget You, showed off the simplicity of creating quality rock songs while rockers like Unskinny Bop showed the bands ability to bring the high energy rock show that made their performances legendary.

I walked into this show a skeptic, I was raised on heavy metal like Anthrax and Slayer, but after this show I walked out with a solid appreciation for this band’s place in history and their musical significance.

ImageBefore Poison took the stage, Cinderella rocked the audience hard. From the opening slide notes of Falling Apart, guitarist/vocalist Tom Keifer displayed his amazing musical abilities and made a much more tuned down, dirty performance out of their set. There were no video screens, just a backdrop with the band’s name.

Just like Poison, Cinderella has overcome its share of tragedy over the years. While Poison saw a period without C.C. DeVille, who left to overcome drug and alcohol addiction, Cinderella was left off the battlefield when grunge broke due to Keifer suffering a paralyzed vocal chord. Regardless, the band has been able to find new legs and run with them.

Throughout the years, guitarist Jeff LaBar and bassist Eric Brittingham have stood fast to back up Keifer as Cinderella. Drummer Fred Coury has come and gone, but this is by far the most successful and solid lineup Cinderella has ever boasted.

Throughout the night, Keifer never failed to amaze as he went from accomplished slide guitarist to standard blistering solos to saxophone to keyboard. All the while patrolling the stage and leading the audience through hits like Shelter Me and Gypsy Road.

The band showed the opposite side of the coin from Poison. While there is fun in the music of Cinderella, there is a serious tone of creating songs to withstand time and breakdown. It’s about more than fun, it’s about creating quality rock and presenting it in a format that showcases the songs not just the flair.

With these two bands sharing a bill, you couldn’t go wrong. While I enjoyed the other metal band to celebrate 20 years this week a bit more, Anthrax, this show was definitely a sight to see. I wouldn’t turn down attending future concerts by either band.