Poison’s “Nothin’ But a Good Time” Tour rolled into town last night and it was nothing less than a rock-and-roll mega party. Poison was joined by special guests, Cheap Trick and Tom Keifer, and entertained the crowd with a night full of nostalgia, American pride, and the classic hits we know and love.
First up was the Keifer Band, led by former frontman of Cinderella, Tom Keifer. The crowd was on their feet the moment Keifer kicked off the set with “The More Things Change.” As he carried through Cinderella’s repertoire of songs like “Somebody Save Me” and “Shake Me,” the energy at the amphitheater began to rise. Keifer then sat down at the piano to play “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” and the crowd erupted. Although Keifer struggled with vocal cord paresis throughout the nineties, his vocals were as strong as ever. The set wrapped up with Beatles cover, “With a Little Help From My Friends,” and 1988 hit, “Gypsy Road.”
Once Cheap Trick came to the stage, the crowd was ready to rock. Frontman Robin Zander, guitarist Rick Nielsen, and bassist Tom Petersson were joined by Rick Nielsen’s son and drummer, Daxx Nielsen as they plunged into their set, including songs like “California Man” and “Baby Loves to Rock.” The intensity in the crowd built tremendously as the set raced on towards hits like “The Flame” and “I Want You To Want Me.” The feedback from the crowd was deafening as they shouted along acapella with lyrics, “Oh, didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I, see you cryin’.” Cheap Trick brought Tom Keifer back out to help sing “Surrender,” and finished of their set with “Goodnight Now.”
The intensity from the crowd was apparent the moment the set began to change for Poison. The lights went down and AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” began to play as a cartoon of the band driving down Sunset Boulevard was projected onto the big screen. Cheers from the crowd roared as the original members all took the stage and began to play “Look What the Cat Dragged In.” Lead singer Bret Michaels set the tone for the rest of the night as he explained what Memorial Day means to him. Michaels stated that he comes from a family of military and that he wanted to take the night to forget about politics, and just celebrate the holiday weekend with the crowd. The party continued with hits including the first song Poison ever played in St. Louis, “Talk Dirty To Me.” Later in the show Michaels changed into an American flag cowboy hat and asked the crowd to shine their lights and join in on “Something To Believe In.” The band then brought members of the armed forces out onto the stage and the crowd chanted “USA.” After a moment filled with American pride, Poison amped up the excitement with hits “Your Mama Don’t Dance” and “Unskinny Bop,” as well as an intense guitar solo from C.C. DeVille. The show wrapped up with anthem “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and 1988 hit, “Nothing But a Good Time.” Although Poison left the stage, the crowd wasn’t ready to go home. Cheers continued until the band came back out for an encore, singing a cover of Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Night.” It’s been around thirty years since the release of these hit songs, yet the impact they’ve made on rock-and-roll are still clearly prominent. The legacy of 80’s hair bands continues to live on.