Rock Eyez

Poison / Cinderella
Dodge Music Center
Hartford, CT



Dodge Music Center, Hartford, CT
August 9th, 2006

It’s been 20 years since Poison & Cinderella released their debut records, and it seems a good excuse as any to hit the road together again (As if we needed one!) Here’s the lowdown:

7 PM
Young L.A. upstarts Endeverafter opened the festivities with a rehash of everything great about 70’s & 80’s hard rock. While the rest of the band seemed a little green and amateurish, lead guitarist & vocalist Michael Grant has “Rock Star” down to a T. 20 years ago, he would have been a God. I’m looking forward to their Sony debut.

Cinderella came out to a crisp hour-long set of 80’s nostalgia. The band was tight, and the song selection well paced. Gone is the energy-sapping acoustic set, leaving nothing but one great rocker after another, each thankfully left to its original arrangement. Any long overdue material was non-existent, but the fans still got to relive all the songs they know and love.

Musically Cinderella’s playing was in top form; it was Tom’s voice that drew everyone’s concern. At the start of the set, he appeared hoarse, but soldiered on regardless. Unfortunately, his singing quickly degenerated into a raspy whisper, and trying to force it only made matters worse. Eventually, his voice betrayed him altogether, leaving him to talk his way to the chorus, where the crowd could hand him a sympathetic reprieve. It was truly painful to watch; I’ve never seen a performer look so helpless. With two prior throat surgeries to his resume, Tom really needs to rethink his technique if he plans to continue a performing career.

9:30 PM
Poison stormed the stage with their now classic opener “Look What the Cat Dragged In” and it was all hits from there. The newer additions of fan favorites “Cry Tough,” “I Won’t Forget You” and “Ride The Wind” added some much-appreciated spice, preventing the set from becoming too stale. The band seemed to be in great spirits, with Bobby Dahl moving and smiling like I haven’t seen in years. Ever animated guitarist C.C. Deville proved yet again, why he is the personality of the band. Though always unfairly maligned as a musician, he wrote some of the most memorable riffs of the era. (When was the last time you had an Yngwie solo stuck in your head?)

90 minutes flew by, complete with lasers, flash pots and confetti. Promoting their newest Greatest Hits, Poison made sure to touch all the bases, even performing their latest pointless cover, “We’re An American Band.” Why they didn’t touch on their last CD, “Hollyweird” remains a mystery. Packed with textbook Poison anthems, it’s a shame the album has already been forgotten.

Now, I still find Bret’s southern accent (?) and scatting embarrassing (to say nothing of his rudimentary harmonica playing - you’d think after 20 years he’d learn to play the thing!) but the fans ate it up, regardless. And these are all minor complaints really. By the end of the show, everyone seemed to get what they came for. Poison, never losing the plot, understands that the night was all about reliving the past and indulging in a few guilty pleasures.

Photos by Jennifer Schmitt

Band Lineup:


  • Tom Keifer - Vocals, Guitars, Piano, Sax
  • Fred Coury - Drums
  • Jeff LaBar  - Guitar
  • Eric Brittingham - Bass
  • Gary Corbett - Keyboards


  • Bret Michaels - Vocals, Guitars
  • Rikki Rockett - Drums
  • C.C. Deville  - Lead Guitar
  • Bobby Dahl - Bass


Track Listing:

Cinderella set

  1. Fallin’ Apart at the Seams
  2. Push, Push
  3. Save Me
  4. Night Songs
  5. Hot n Bothered
  6. Heartbreak Station
  7. Coming Home
  8. Shelter Me
  9. Nobody’s Fool
  10. Gypsy Road
  11. Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)
  12. Shake Me

Poison set

  1. Look What the Cat Dragged In
  2. I Want Action
  3. We’re An American Band
  4. I Won’t Forget You
  5. Ride the Wind
  6. CC Guitar Solo
  7. I Hate Every Bone in Your Body But Mine
  8. Cry Tough
  9. Something to Believe In
  10. Your Mama Don’t Dance
  11. Fallen Angel
  12. Drum Solo
  13. Every Rose Has Its Thorn
  14. Unskinny Bop
  15. Nothin’ But a Good Time
  16. Talk Dirty to Me


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