Rock Eyez
Rock Eyez


Get Firefox!

eXTReMe Tracker
Poison & Ratt

Chevrolet Theater

Wallingford, CT



POISON's Back! And just in time for another go-around of summer merriment. This time out they're promoting "Poison'd", a thrown together covers CD; half newly recorded and half re-hashed from their back catalog. Completely pointless, but .whatever. I understand wanting new product to plug, but are you guys even trying? At least it's another excuse to tour, as if we ever really need one in the first place. Special guests are the re-reunited RATT, and show opener VAINS OF JENNA.

VAINS OF JENNA have the look and moves down. I'll bet they must have spent many a day studying the best of L.A. 80's sleaze. The only problem being, the songs aren't that good. Don't get me wrong; they're not bad by any means. But after hearing their CD "Lit Up / Let Down" several times and then seeing them live, I still couldn't tell you how one of their songs go. If you're interested (and you should be) in the New Wave of Swedish Glam (trademark pending) check out BACKYARD BABIES or HARDCORE SUPERSTAR. Both are better on every level.

Onto RATT: After years of bickering, the boys finally got their act together (albeit disappointing without Juan) and reformed. Apparently, Warren and the Blotz couldn't record under the name RATT without Stephen, so reconciliation was all but inevitable. And it came none too soon. I for one really enjoyed their 1999 self-titled CD, which suffered only from its horrendously lame album cover. Had it been given a proper title and some decent artwork, they could've shifted twice as many units; and maybe avoided the whole break-up to begin with. But back to the present:

I was instantly intrigued by the opening number "Sweet Cheater," a lost gem from the out of print EP. Keep in mind, I've seen them a half dozen times in the last 20 years and I have to admit, they really put the spark back into the RATT machine. And what a good set list it turned out to be! Of course, the obvious hits were played, but some nice left-field tracks such as 'Dangerous" and "City To City" really spiced up the evening. I wish more bands would take this lead, and start adding obscure material. If we're gonna see them year after year, its time the artists started digging deep into album cuts.

Now, I've always been a fan of the twin guitar formula, but somewhere along the way it appears Warren became the sole lead guitarist. Back in the day, he'd share 60/40 with Robbin, and the complimenting tones added some nice texture. He should consider letting the very competent John Corabi play Crosby's solos, instead of being the lone gunslinger. It would be sure to make things that much more interesting.

And everyone in the band seemed fresh and energized. Pearcy was in fine form, working the stage with a vigor I haven't seen in years. He definitely commanded the show as if he had something to prove, finally back in his rightful position. And the full house seemed to really enjoy hearing their Ratt & Roll the way it's supposed to sound! I hope they're back to stay. I'll be looking forward to an even longer set if they come through as headliners in the fall.

But as expected, the night belonged to POISON. Though not much has changed since they became summer fixtures some 8 years ago, I guess you couldn't accuse them of not being consistent. Most people want to hear the hits and have a fun night out reliving glory days. And POISON always delivers. All the MTV classics were present and accounted for, with a taste of some of the aforementioned covers thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, some opening night rarities were dropped long before I got a chance to hear them. C'mon! Still, I'm still a sucker for pyro and confetti, and they provided more than enough to please even the most jaded. Everyone still looks great, Bobby moving around the stage like I haven't seen in... well, ever! C.C. was in full character, his playing crisp and accurate.

While the staging is long over-due for some remodeling, one nice addition was a forward moving scissor-lift drum riser. Something I've seen Peter Criss use a few years back with similar effectiveness. It's a nice touch that really gets Rikkiinvolved with the audience. Bret, always the rock star, was on top of his game, although the constant chipper mood, "aw-shucks" humbleness, and the never-varying stage raps do get a little stale as the years tick on. While his sincerity might not be totally convincing, at least he always has a smile on his face.

And that's what POISON left everyone going home with. Smiles. For those naysayers who never liked POISON, there's nothing here that'll change their minds. For the rest of us, we're always happy for another round of POISON.

All photos by Jennifer Bartram-Schmitt. Watch for Brian's complete POISON / RATT New Jersey photo coverage this summer.

Photos by Jennifer Bartram-Schmitt
See more photos in our gallery HERE

Bret Michaels - Vocals, Guitar
C.C. Deville - Guitar, Vocals
Bobby Dall - Bass
Rikki Rockett - Drums

Look What The Cat Dragged In
I Want Action
Ride The Wind
I Won't Forget You
What I Like About You
C.C. solo
I Hate Every Bone In Your Body (But Mine)
Something To Believe In
Can't You See
Your Momma Don't Dance
I Need to Know
Rikki solo
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Fallen Angel
Talk Dirty To Me
Nothin' But A Good Time

Stephen Pearcy - Vocals
Warren DeMartini - Lead Guitar
John Corabi - Guitar, Vocals
Robbie Crane - Bass
Bobby Blotzer - Drums

Sweet Cheater
Dangerous But Worth The Risk
I'm Insane
City To City
Wanted Man
Way Cool Jr.
Nobody Rides For Free
Back For More
Slip Of The Lip
Over The Edge
Lack Of Communication
Lay It Down
You're In Love
Body Talk
Round And Round
Stickman Radio - The Loudest Rock © 2005 - 2007. The contents of this site may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of
Site design and layout was created by Carlos Rodrigues. Site Maintained By: