This week, the 20th Anniversary of Poison and Cinderella pulled into Raleigh waxing nostalgic on each and everyone that was there to help them bring it home. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see two of my fave bands as kid almost 20 years to the day that I first saw them. Lizzi just couldn’t handle a full night of glam slam metal mayhem so my concert buddy Rachel accompanied me to this fantastic nostalgic night of fun!It was 1986 and Poison was touring as the support act for RATT. A few months later, I was watching this little band from Philladelphia, PA called Cinderella make headliners Bon Jovi look like a bunch of chumps. Both Poison and Cinderealla had released their debut albums that year. Poison had “Look What The Cat Dragged In” and Cinderella had just released “Night Songs”. Both of these albums were huge in my life at the time and 20 years later, they are still fun to listen to.
Fast forward to 2006 and here I am, catching Poison and Cinderella touring to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the release of both their debut albums. Huh, and my dad said these guys would never last. Being that it’s 2o years later is quite mindblowing. I mean, I think back to the first time I heard Led Zeppelin and that was in 1984. Not even 20 years but more like 10 years or so and they were already being considered classic rock. But here we are, 20 years later and we’re seeing Poison and Cinderella. Surreal to say the least.
The bands brought along with them a young new band out of LA called Endeverafter. Their songs and stage antics were about as ridiculous as their name. They had a sound that was straight off of the sunset strip and stage banter right out of 1986. If the singer would’ve talked less, I may have been more willing to listen but all we did just pretty much make fun of them for saying stuff like “I wrote this song while tripping my motherfucking ass off on mushrooms”. Ummm, ok dude. You’re 30 minutes are up!
Cinderella took the stage and opened w/ an old crowd favorite “Bad Seamstress Blues/Fallin’ Apart At The Seams” off of their 1988 Long Cold Winter album. Right outta the gates the band sounded tighter than you could ever imagine. Something didn’t seem to be right and after a bit, it was Tom Keifer’s voice. He wasn’t singing up to par and you could tell he was struggling. Last year there was talk of Keifer needing to undergo vocal surgery to repair some damage that had been done to his voice so maybe this was him at his last leg before the surgery. I had to commend not just him but his band. When he needed to hit certain notes, the members of his band compensated for him by chimning in with really strong harmonies allowing him to take the low road. When most bands would’ve either piped in taped vocals or just all together cancelled, they showed not just their dedication to their fans but to each other as a band. This was a display of true camaradarie and I had to really tip my hat to them. Cinderealla on a kind of off night is still way better than most bands at their best. The show was great and their setlist was fantasically filled with hits and even a few deep album crowd faves such as “Night Songs” and “Heartbreak Station”. The band was full of energy and they were giving 110%. It was great to see them again. They encored with a beautiful acoustic version of “Don’t Know What You Got Till It’s Gone” and Tom Keifer addressed the crowd with much appreciation. He told us thanks for the help with his vocals as he had been having vocal issues and was looking forward to getting it worked on so they could come back and do it again. These guys really were, and always were, one of the classiest bands of their genre. Not much banter as they really let their music do the talking.
Intermission was happening and then AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” was blasting over the PA. When the song ended, the house lights went down and the crowd when nuts. The band took the stage and in a bombastic display of pyrotechnics opened the 1 1/2 hour set with 1986’s “Look What The Cat Dragged In”. The band looked to be in great shape and they sounded tighter and better than I ever remembered them being. They had a great stage set up with ramps, pyro, and a screen in the back that projected images from the band’s 20 year career throught the songs. The set was chock full of hits and even crowd faves such as “Cry Tough”, “Ride The Wind” and the song that put them on the map, “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”. Lead singer Bret Michaels thanked the audience many times for their support over the years and thanked us all for helping them bring it home. I have to say that it was great seeing them. They took me back to a time where all that mattered was having a good time and being young and I totally understand why people still go see these guys. They take us back in time and at the same time, we take them back as well. I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun at a rock show. It was just fun to sing all those songs again with my friends and to see a band 20 years later that nobody ever thought would last more than 5 years.
It was a great night of great nostalgia and music. Did I have fun? You better believe it. Did the bands sound amazing? No doubt about it. Will I go see these bands again? For as long as they are around and touring, I will be there. These bands know how to make fans and keep them for life. Are these bands actually able to make new fans? Just ask the group of goth/punk teens that were rockin’ on the lawn in their black hair, black nail polish, and Cinderella “Night Songs” t-shirts. I think they’d say yeah!
Cinderella Set List
Bad Seamstress Blues/Fallin’ Apart at the Seams
Somebody Save Me
Hot and Bothered
Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)
Poison Set List
Look What the Cat Dragged In
I Want Action
We’re an American Band
I Won’t Forget You
Ride The Wind
I Hate Every Bone in Your Body But Mine
Something To Believe In
Your Mama Don’t Dance
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Nothin’ But a Good Time
Talk Dirty to Me