LIVE RAW and UNCUT
with special guests
Bank of America Pavilion, August 7, 2008
Live Review and Pics By: Debby Rao
The Poison – "Live, Raw, and Uncut Tour" with special guests Dokken and Sebastian Bach performed to a sold out show in Boston at the Bank Of America Pavilion on August 7th. Despite the tornado warning that was issued at 3 P.M., hours before the concert was slated to begin, wind rain, or thunderstorms would not keep this crowd away from one of the most popular tours this summer.
This was my first time at Bank of America Pavilion, and it really was a beautiful setting right on the Waterfront. The acoustics were great, and it was much more compact than the Comcast Center in which Poison usually play. Kicking off the night’s festivities was Sebastian Bach. This particular Poison tour features 3 of the top front man to emerge out of the 80’s genre. Sebastian Bach, who has recently re-released a Limited/CD/DVD featuring "Angel Down" and the DVD Roadrage hit the stage with a vengeance. Opening with a song off of ANGEL DOWN Sebastian still has the strongest pipes in metal today!
The stage background featured the beautiful artwork of his album,” Angel Down", painted by his late Father David Bierk. It was inspiring to hear a few selections from his latest release. Sebastian’s set featured a nice mixture from his Skid Row days including the songs, "Slave To The Grind" and "18 and Life".
So much has changed since the 80’s genre, and it reflected in Sebastian’s set, as well as Poison. The central theme was centered around our Troops, as Sebastian dedicated,” American Metalhead" to the Troops and all the brave Men and Women fighting for our freedom. Actually, you could say this song has become the new theme song for Sebastian Bach. Just as Skid Row were always known for their anthem, "American Metalhead" picks up where,” Youth Gone Wild" left off. When I asked Sebastian if,” American Metalhead" could be the new anthem today, Sebastian responded,” Yes, absolutely. It is also goes back to "Balls To The Walls" vibe; it has got that kind of feel to it. I am known for "Youth Gone Wild". When you hear a rock anthem, you better do it. Metal Mike wrote that song.
Sebastian also performed another new song,” Love Is A Bitchslap." A lot of the new material is reminiscent of "Slave To The Grind". When I asked Sebastian if it was hard to go back in the mindset of the "Slave To The Grind" era, this is what he had to say. "I don’t ever say to myself that I have to put my mindset in 1991. All I try to do is make something that I really like myself. I didn’t make it so tweaked out and I spend so much time on it that it makes the hair of my arms standup. That is how I know I am done. That is what I did on the first Skid Row record. That is what I did on "Slaves To The Grind". That is what I did on "Angel Down". That is what I always do. I don’t care who writes it. It doesn’t matter to me who am writing it. To me it just matters what is written and we capture on tape. It is about the song, not the person who is writing it. It is about what is written. I have played with many different people in my solo band since 2000. All of them have had great songs, and if somebody has a great song I will remember it. With the iPod, all of my demos are in there and I can easily listen to anything. I am always making demos. When I got 13 songs done, then I am done."
Launching into a rocking version of,” Monkey Business", Sebastian proved he was just like the force of nature outside the venue, and indeed a force to be reckoned with the blistering vocals that he has been known for since his early Skid Row days.
One of my favorite Skid Row tunes was "I Remember You". Sebastian always had the knack for singing great power ballads and tonight in Boston; this song received a soaring response. Slowing things down for just a moment, Sebastian and company.
Fists in the air, the set ended with the anthem of our generation,” Youth Gone Wild."
Sebastian Bach Set List
Back In The Saddle
Slave To The Grind
18 & Life
Love Is A Bitch Slap
I Remember You
Youth Gone Wild
Next up, Dokken took the stage with a set that was pure magic. During the 80’s, it was Dokken and Lynch burning up the stage. In 2008, Dokken is back with their tenth studio album,” Lightning Strikes Again" that features classic Dokken sound, we have grown accustomed to and love. I have seen the band perform numerous times this year, and what is so inspiring to see is the special chemistry that transpires onstage from the performance of Don Dokken and guitarist Jon Levin. Also, the younger fans in the audience had the opportunity to witness the new Dokken with their classic sound intact, infused with a newfound energy.
Opening with the heavy sound of "Tooth and Nail, Dokken proved why their many hits have remained time less. Launching into the haunting "Into The Fire", the audience was on their feet and ready to rock. It was also great to see the band perform a new song off of "Lightning Strikes Again", called "Standing On The Outside". Don Dokken, who recently had sinus surgery, was in full force tonight. Jon Levin shined on this song, as the guitar riffs had the classic Dokken signature sound written all over them. When I asked Don about this song and the new Dokken album,” Lightning Strikes Again", this is what he had to say,” Yes, it was very difficult. It is hard to go back and write an album, when you were 30 years old and I am over 50.So, yes I had to get back in that mindset. This is what the fans wanted, and if I stay focused on that I would give them a straight-ahead Dokken.
Yes, it is like an event. It is like Oh My God, because we don’t put albums out every year. It is like every three to four years. I know it is like a big deal for the fans and they said,” Another Dokken record finally." That is probably why; we charted the radio charts this year. We went 18 on the Hard Rock Charts; Number One on CD Universe, and the album is selling like crazy. That means that there is a new generation of fans. It is more of a word of mouth kind of way of selling records. One person buys your album, and he tells 2 friends, and he tells 5 friends. It is word of mouth. Dokken has almost become a cult band. Everyone knows Poison because of Rock of Love. But, we have our fan base."
One of the most moving moments occurred when Dokken performed,” Alone Again". This is my favorite love gone wrong ballad. Don said,” I am a very spiritual perform. Let’s all sing together and become one", as the entire audience sang,” I’m Alone Again With Out You" in truly a magical moment of the performance.
It was also great to see Don playing guitar in this set too on,” Breaking The Chains". Don told the story of how he went to Germany with two dollars in his pocket. He was in the studio with Klaus Meine, and Klaus spoke this German saying to him. Don asked, "What does that mean"? Klaus responded,” Don you got to Break The Chains", and the band launched into their first hit.
Dokken ended the night with one of their strongest hits,” In My Dreams". Don commented how it had been since 2001 since the band performed in Boston. He thanked everyone for supporting them for 25 years. When I asked Don if he thought the current version of Dokken with Jon Levin was stronger than the early days, in the 80’s, this is what he had to say,” Yes, it is a stronger version. Maybe, now I will stop hearing about George Lynch all the time? I am sick of it. Now I don’t have to defend myself, Jon defends himself, as guitarist against George. George is a great guitar player. He was a great part of Dokken. I give no disrespect for George Lynch, in his day. He was great. But Jon is more talented. The bottom line is, we get along. That is the most important thing. George and I don’t get along. It is no secret."
Dokken Set List
Intro (Without Warning)
Tooth and Nail
Into the Fire
Standing On the Outside
Just Got Lucky
Kiss of Death
Breaking The Chains
In My Dreams
I have seen Poison perform many times over the years, but tonight’s performance was possibly one of my favorites. Rock Of Love mass hysteria had hit Bean town in full force. The response that Poison received on their opening song,” Look What The Cat Dragged In" was tremendous. Year after year going to see Poison is one big party. But in Bean town tonight, Poison’s showmanship shined in their stellar performance. This year they didn’t have the long catwalk, put did have pyro, and flashing lights that was very luminous and a huge video screen. Sheer excitement filled the air, as old and new friends united for the party of the year.
Bret Michaels commented on the beautiful waterfront venue, and also said Big John is one of the world’s biggest Red Sox fans. How cool was that? Poison also brought back,” Ride The Wind" to the set.
In attendance at the Poison concert was Boston Rock and Roll alumni Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer. Poison singer Bret Michael introduced Joey Kramer to the audience and commented,” It is an honor to introduce one of my heroes Joey Kramer of Aerosmith. Poison performed a 90 – minute set of all their classic hits.
During the concert, Bret Michaels also payed special homage to the Troops and dedicated the song,” Something To Believe In" to members of the Armed Forces in attendance. Bret also commented on his recent trip to Iraq in October and praised their work.
Bret Michaels says," Boston is one of our most well received cities on the tour. I love the city and the enthusiasm that it has with the Red Sox and Celtics. I want to thank all of the fans for their support over the past 22 years".
Highlights of the set included CC Deville’s guitar solo with his sparkly purple guitar. CC has a great stage personality, and every year I enjoy watching him perform. The chemistry between CC and Bret is also dynamic. After 22 years together, and still going strong the magic really transpired in their stage performance tonight. The rhythm section of Rikki Rockett and Bobby Dall was tight, as Rikki also had the opportunity to pound the skins. Bret Michaels also added a blues flavor playing harmonica to,” Your Mama Don’t Dance".
One of my favorite highlights of the set was the long gone wrong ballad,” Every Rose Has It’s Thorn". As Bret laughed,” This song is for you Dad and the 12 dollars and 50 cents that you payed for my one and only guitar lesson". As he played the end of the song!
Poison performed a long set tonight including their hits,"Unskinny Bop", "Talk Dirty To Me", and "Nothing But A Good Time". After the Poison concert, Bret Michaels hosted an after party at the Cavern Club at the Hard Rock Cafe in which I attended. I had the opportunity to meet Bret and he is truly one of the most down to earth people I have ever met. Big John held a silent auction featuring a Bret Michael’s bandana and Signature cowboy hat to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Association for the children so they can attend camp. It was so inspiring to see Bret Michaels, who is a diabetic help the children with his tremendous support. It was clear to see that everyone in attendance had nothing but a good time at the Hark Rock and concert.
Poison Set List
Look What The Cat Dragged In
I Want Action
Ride The Wind
I Won’t Forget You
What I Like About You
CC Deville Guitar Solo
Something To Believe In
Your Mama Don’t Dance
Rikki Rockett Drum Solo
Every Rose Has It’s Thorn
Talk Dirty To Me
Nothin But A Good Time
Sweet Home Alabama