Poison’s vacuous array of tunes would be outrocked by Loggins & Messina


By Steve Newton

There was good news and bad news going into last Saturday’s (January 19) Poison gig at the Coliseum. The good news was that the originally scheduled opening act—the cheesy and childish Warrant—was being replaced by the slightly more impressive Don Dokken Band.

The bad news was that Poison was still headlining.

That’s only my opinion, of course. The 10,000 or so Poison fans that crowded into the ol’ hockey rink seemed more than happy to see the Kings of L.A. Glam Rock in the flesh. And they weren’t all 15, female, and frothing over the apparent cuteness of lead singer Brett Michaels. A lot of them actually appeared to be enjoying the band’s vacuous array of tunes.

After witnessing the genuine, unbridled fury of AC/DC a week prior, the sight of a thousand fists pounding air to the bubble-gum strains of “Unskinny Bop” was a sad one indeed. When the band launched into its lame version of “Your Mama Don’t Dance”, it was clear the band would be out-rocked by Loggins and Messina!

“Let’s have a hand for Bruce Fairbairn!” commanded Michaels, referring to the Vancouver-based producer of the band’s latest multi-platinum release, Flesh and Blood. “He’s put out some great albums!” claimed the blond bombshell, obviously referring to Aerosmith’s Pump or Permanent Vacation.

Or maybe to his own.

To Poison’s credit, the group did get these toes tapping in a whimsical fashion during a couple of ’50s-style boogie numbers, and the band’s best tune, “Fallen Angel”, scored points for catchy arranging. But I couldn’t for the life of me see what all the fuss is over the band’s latest “power ballad”, “Something to Believe In”. It’s supposed to be one of their more deep, sensitive cuts, but only strikes me as awkward and contrived. A thousand songwriters in this town alone could do better.

Michaels took time out during the band’s relatively short (one hour and 15 minute) set to invite the masses over to Club Soda for a drink after the show, apparently unaware that the nightspot doesn’t seat 10,000. But the band did show up at the Homer Street venue and played a bit before Michaels got in an altercation with one of the patrons, who reportedly threw something at him.

It must have been my evil twin.

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