Poison & Cinderella (w/ Crash Kelly)
Aug 1st, Molson Amphitheatre Toronto, ON
Live Review and Pics by Celtic Bob
It’s hard to believe that’s its been 20 years since LOOK WHAT THE CAT DRAGGED IN and NIGHT SONGS LP’s hit record store shelves. In the years since then there has been many an up and down for both Poison and Cinderella. The thing that remains constant is their ability to give their fans the show of a lifetime.
As soon as I arrive at the venue I immediately head to the side stage area to see Canada’s own Crash Kelly perform. This Toronto band play 70’s style glam rock ala T.Rex, Bowie, Cooper…with some Thin Lizzy added in for good measure. They are performing in probably the hottest and most humid day of summer but that does not deter from their killer performance. I was a bit shocked when I arrived to see that Allister was not on guitar and that Killer Ky was. As soon as they finish I talk to Sean and a couple of the guys (and find out that Allister is still very much a part of the band) before heading up front to catch the end of the opening act and prepare myself for Cinderella.
The big black curtain drops down in front of the stage with the Cinderella logo on it. The band begins to play and about 30 seconds or so into the song the stagehands that were holding the curtain tight to the bottom of the stage give it a massive pull downwards and they run off to the side with it just as the song kicks in. From that moment in time when the audience got their first look at the band they were captivated, almost hypnotized as Tom and the band played all the hits. Everyone in the audience seemed to know every song and sang along at the top of their lungs as the band blasted their way through such favorites as “Push Push”, “Shelter Me” and “Don’t Know What You Got”. Keifer’s voice sounded great but he looked as though he was struggling at times. Jeff on the other hand just nailed the guitar perfectly. His playing and solo’s were flawless………a true guitar master. His playing just seems to get better as time goes on. Eric, who looks a bit different now then he did back in the heyday His background vocals were a little to low in the mix and just barely audible at times. His playing on the other hand was in your face and you could feel the bass hit your chest. Add this to Fred’s drumming and you get one superb rhythm section. These guys never lost a bit of talent or stage presence over the years, if anything they gained some. Hopefully they will go into the studio after the tour and record a disc or 2 of new original material for us fans.
Between Cinderella and Poison we head back to see another set by Crash Kelly. For this set they have Allister back on guitar. As they continue to pound out some great tunes I have to head to the gate to prepare for Poison.
The lights go down and the band gets introduced by a guy in a Poison racing shirt. As soon as he walks off the lights and flames get fired up and the music starts. The crowd cheers as Rikki emerges behind the kit and CC hits the stage. Bret then appears on stage behind Rikki and the crowd just goes nuclear. The band quickly crank out 2 classic tracks as well as a cover of the Grand Funk song “We’re An American Band” which they just recorded for their recently released Greatest Hits package. It is during this song that Bret takes a few smacks on a cowbell then says something along the lines of “Every song needs more cowbell”.
Every Poison hit is played and in true Poison fashion the energy from all 4 members is maxed out and then some. During the classic “Cry Tough” off their debut album the video is projected on the screen behind them. It is quite amusing to see them side by side with themselves some 20 years prior. The difference in image is quite amazing. CC even took a turn on lead vocals and delivered an excellent version of “I Hate Every Bone In Your Body (Except Mine)”. It was during this song that he calls out his own name just before he played the solo. It was one of those moments where you just go to yourself “WTF?!?”. The clean and sober CC still puts on one amazing show and really gives it his all. During Rikki’s solo a camera is stationed above his kit and the image is projected on the screen so the audience can get a great view on what he’s playing. The kit he is using is his own custom Chop Shop Drum kit and is one of the coolest looking kits this fan has seen in awhile. Not to be outdone by his fellow band mates, Bobby waits until the end to really wow the fans. During “Talk Dirty To Me” he hauls out the old Poison green bass from the early days. It was great seeing the old classic still around today. It’s a shame that CC never used some of his old guitars on this tour to make it really come full circle. That would have been a real trip.
For those of you that has any shadow of a doubt about the integrity or talent of either of these artists then all I have to say is to go see them live. You will be impressed and have the time of your life.