Review by Alison “Metalbabe” Masson
Bret Michaels performed a solo show at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills on Saturday, November 22nd. The show started in true Bret Michaels fashion, with him entering the stage smiling, and shaking hands with everyone up front. Bret told us he was fired up, jacked up, and ready to go as he started the party with ‘Talk Dirty to Me.’ From there they played the first song that Bret ever wrote for Poison… ‘Look What the Cat Dragged In.’
I just love seeing the generational gap at these ‘80’s rock shows. A young girl, who looked about ten years old, was standing on a chair to my left, clapping and singing every word. It almost brought a tear to my eye. Three generations of fans, easily ageing from ten to seventy, were all having a good time together for their shared love of rock n’ roll.
Bret Michaels released his fifth solo CD this summer, “Jammin’ with Friends,” which is a combination of new songs, re-recorded Poison songs, cover songs, and solo songs. Up next in the set was a cover from that CD, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’ It was cute when Bret changed some of the words in the song to sing about California girls, especially since they made up 85% of the audience!
Bret pulled out a harmonica, the first instrument he ever learned to play, and started the famous intro to ‘Your Mama Don’t Dance.’ Things took a more serious turn with ‘Something to Believe In,’ which Bret dedicated to the Vietnam Vets, as he does every single time he ever plays that song. For me, Poison has been such a big part of the majority of my life, that I have so many memories attached to each song. For a moment, I was taken back to sitting in an old station wagon with my dad, hearing that song on the radio, and asking him to explain a line from it. I came back to reality and swayed my hand for the soldiers along with everyone else.
Chuck Fanslau banged out a killer drum solo on his Rockett Drum Works kit before Bret came back onstage and got us all to sing some Journey. “Just a small town girl, growing up in a lonely world….” The band ended up playing Sublime’s ‘What I Got,’ from the “Jammin’” CD and Bret shared that this song really helped him get through all of the health issues he was going through at the time. Thank God he is doing so much better! From seeing him rock out onstage, you would have no idea that just over three years ago he had an emergency appendectomy, and surgery for patent foramen ovale (a hole in his heart).
After the Sublime cover, they played my top two favorite Poison songs back to back. ‘Every Rose Has its Thorn’ and ‘Fallen Angel.’ Both were absolutely amazing and emotional. ‘Every Rose’ for the obvious, and ‘Fallen Angel’ because it was my inspiration to pack my bags and move to Los Angeles in April of 2004.
The band left the stage for a brief moment, and came back to encore with ‘Nothin’ But a Good Time.’ Overall, it was a ‘good’ time, but I think it could have been a ‘better’ time. It was definitely a fun night, filled with everyone’s favourite Poison songs. Bret Michaels has charisma, energy, and stage presence like no one else. He is so genuine that he truly is in a category of his own. The band was all dead on and made it a great show.
I’ve seen Bret Michaels and Poison both play numerous times. For me, seeing Bret Michaels perform solo is the opportunity to possibly see him play some of his solo songs like ‘Raine,’ ‘Bittersweet,’ or ‘Menace to Society.’ I know Bret recently released his “Jammin’ with Friends” CD, and appreciate that he paid respect to that album, but I really would have loved for him to play something from his other four previous solo releases.
I’m looking forward to seeing Bret Michaels perform on New Year’s Eve in St. Louis at the Hollywood Casino and really hope that he will play some of his other solo songs that night. Maybe he’ll even play ‘Bittersweet’ just for me!