Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Gary Hoey 'American Made'
Okay… So we’re heading down I-85 to Charlotte listening to Poison at high volume. Kristina is singing along to just about every word. An old Peaches Music & Video memory hit me and caused me to laugh. Of course, I was asked what caused me to give a little chuckle and I explained that most of the people that worked at Peaches Music & Video were music snobs. And I recalled a time when we would listen to Poison in the store… There was a certain lyric in a song that caused us all to take notice and chuckle. I couldn’t recall what song the lyric was in. Finally, the song to made its appearance on the CD playing in Roxy’s stereo. The song was “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”. The lyric that caused us all to groan and sing along mockingly was…
“Instead of makin’ love… We both made our separate ways…
This was pretty much how most of us were at Peaches.
When we got to our exit, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of traffic. Two things occurred to me… Either the show was cancelled or we were going to be among only a few hundred of our closest friends.
The parking was easy and we made our way to the Will Call to meet Kristina’s mother. We got together and made our way inside the gates. Once in, we asked one of the attendants where we could upgrade our lawn tickets to the ones where Kristina and her mother could sit on their buns during Ratt’s performance.
After a lengthy quiz, they maintained that they had only heard “Round And Round”. When I mentioned songs like “Wanted Man”, “Back For More”, Lay It Down”, and “You’re In Love”… They just stared at me like I had just laid out the mathematical equation for a moon landing.
Vains of Jenna opened up the show instead of White Lion. I had heard from Ronie Alexander that Mike Trampp was being sued by White Lion’s original guitarist over the use of the name. Ironically, Stephen Pearcy had the same problems when he toured around with a version of Ratt that had him as the only original member.
Vains of Jenna were good. I enjoyed their much too short set of original tunes and choice covers like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers “Refugee”.
Ratt hit the stage with “Lay It Down”. When I asked Ann and Kristina if they knew it by using sign language, I got a “no” headshake from both of them. The second song was my favorite Ratt tune… “Lack Of Communication”. I was thrilled, but it didn’t last long. Ratt seemed to just be there only for a paycheck. They didn’t have the same energy or charisma they possessed “back in the day”. Their performance was lackadaisical and Pearcy’s voice has seen better days. He, like Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, was always more of a screamer than a singer.
Much to my chagrin… Pearcy never introduced the band. I couldn’t see all that well, but I do believe that Warren DeMartini (one of the great guitarists of the 80’s) and Bobby Blotzer were back in the Ratt pack.
Musically, Ratt were relatively tight with a few notable problems with the sound monitors on stage. And during “Closer To My Heart”, DeMartini seemed oblivious to the fact that his guitar was out of tune.
Ann and Kristina were not won over by Ratt’s performance and I was a little let down my damn self.
Now Poison on the other hand, brought it to the table and turned it into that joker into kindling.
Yes. You read that right! Poison were exceptional! The band seemed to have gotten better since the last time I saw them. They were tight and C.C. DeVille finally won over a bit of my respect… Not that it will ever matter to him. He does handle a mean “whammy bar”.
They performed as if they were standing in front of 40,000 people instead of the estimated 4,000 in attendance. And the fans gave back the same ferocity with their applause, sing-alongs, and lighters held over head during the ballads. So color me impressed for only the second time in the more than half dozen times that I have seen them live before.
We stuck around for the encores and traffic wasn’t a problem getting out. Of course I had to listen to Poison all the way back to Greensboro, but at that point… I didn’t care.
I noticed a couple of long-haired rocker types at the show and I joked with Kristina that they were probably in a Poison tribute band. That piqued her curiosity and she went to talk with them.
I called that one, baby! They are known as Hollyweird, a Poison tribute band. We’re making plans to go check them out either in Raleigh or Charlotte.
Hell… Why not?
Perhaps Poison is driving a stake through my cynical heart.