This past weekend I decided to venture outside the confinements of Wausau and traveld to Milwaukee to go to The State Fair. My sister had got herself into a sticky situation that left her with an extra ticket to Saturday Nights Main Stage show, and me being the awesome/handsome brother that I am decided to accompany her to the concert.
The evening’s entertainment was something of a hair band fiesta with three bands playing in the course of the evening. The first to hit the stage was Firehouse (yeah, I had no idea they were still together either) who played a surprisingly good 45 minute set. Even though the hair was a little smaller and thinner the singer (who interestingly is from Wisconsin) could still hit the high notes and Don’t Treat Me Bad is still a rocking song after all these years.
Band number two was Warrant, who also played a good set full of all the songs that you remember and a few you probably wish you could forget. However, my sister was convinced the singer was not the original singer and kept trying to get everyone around us to confirm that fact with her. I was not convinced but after reviewing the website I see she is correct and it is a new singer, thereby making show number two less cool because I always feel that the lead singer is an essential part of the band (just ask Van Halen).
On to the main event; the headlining act of the night was one Mr. Bret Michaels and the Bret Michael’s band, or BMB for short (somewhere Dave Matthews is scratching his head and cursing Bret for stealing his creativity). I was surprised to see how energetic and enthusiastic Bret was after all his recent health problems. I am not sure I could even get out of bed never the less put on a concert if I had gone through what he had gone through. I applaud and am in awe of his strength. That being said, he played for just about 70 minutes and with the exception of three songs played all Poison material. Bret also shamelessly plugged his new book and reality TV show while wearing T-shirts of himself (three different ones over the course of 70 minutes) that just happen to be available at the merchandise booth. Also, it was announced that the band would be available to sign things after the show and if you bought a special item you would get to have a meet and greet with Bret (sadly, my sister and I were too late getting to the merchandise booth to find out what this item was or how much it cost). It is clear that in the later part of his career he is more about Bret Michaels the product then Bret Michaels the musician. I can’t say that I blame him because he has managed to keep himself in the spotlight and popular even if at the price of his artistic credibility. And unlike many of his peers it seems to be working with his newest album in the Top Forty and a packed grandstand with adoring fans.
All in all it was a fun time. The sleazy charm of Unskinny Bop, Talk Dirty To Me, and Nothing But a Good Time still rings true and the man worked awfully hard to ensure that we were having a good time and went home feeling happy. My sister, who has been a life long Poison/Bret fan, knows what to expect from her favorite artist and he knows what to give so it seems like a working relationship. Bret the artist may be long gone but Bret the entertainer is still going strong, which, all in all, is all we can ask him to do.