Tuesday, July 23, 2002 @ 11:32 AM
Poison, Cinderella, & Winger C
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REVIEW BY: Sven Verbroekken
I have to comment on this first... the atmosphere at this concert was absolutely amazing! Hours before the concert started, there hundreds of people tail-gating in the parking lots. During Cinderella's set, the place was almost full, and during Poison's set, there was not an empty seat in the house! The lawn was pretty full, too, though there were probably a lot of "freebies" out there, as you got a free pass by attending the Boston show. The crowd was on fire all night, and the boys must love to play in front of a crowd like this (Bret acknowledged this after the set ended). Rock n’ roll is VERY ALIVE in Hartford.
First of all, Kip Winger barely looks like he's aged since the late ‘80s. Nevertheless, a bunch of grown men singing "She's Only Seventeen" does put some question marks in my mind... But, Winger does put on a good set, which is littered with their hits from the era: "Can't Get Enough," "Miles Away" and "I Am The Saint, You Are The Sinner." The musicianship is amazingly good, and with Reb Beach on guitar, that should be expected: the guy can rip. Noticeable is that the bass lines to Winger's songs must be very easy to learn, as it looks like Kip plays most of the songs only strumming the open string(s) with his pick. Kip's voice is probably the best out of all lead singers tonight though. All in all, a good band to get the hair fest started.
I saw this package tour two years ago, with Cinderella opening as well, and not much has changed. Cinderella still knows how to rock, and the comparison between Tom Keifer and Steven Tyler is getting scary. The set list hasn't changed (this will be a common theme through the night) from two years ago, but the songs are catchy and most rock fans know them all. A few surprises (Tom's sax solo during "Shelter Me"; snow during "Don't Know What You've Got") leave the crowd satisfied with the appetizer.
Time for the main course, and as a Poison fan, I'm going to list the positives first. To put it simply: Poison rocks live, and the guys put on an amazing performance night in and out. The rhythm section is tight, Bret's vocals still hit most high notes, and CC is playing the best guitar of his life. You have to listen closely to appreciate it, since the guy only plays about half the songs as written, and for the rest, it's all fills and thrills! Call him the king of the whammy bar, as he abuses it to the max during every single song! For an hour and 15 minutes (a bit short), it's non-stop hits: "Every Rose," "Fallen Angel," "Talk Dirty to Me"...we know them all.
The only thing I would have liked to see is some changes in the (by now standard) show. They're using the same old stage as the last three years, and it's really time for a new one. Regarding the set list: same as the last three years as well, which is especially disappointing this year, since there's a new album out there to promote! Next year, why not sit down together before the tour, pull out all the albums, and pick some cool "new" songs to perform? I really don't think many people will mind if some songs that have been played the last three years are removed from the set! Wouldn't the new songs "Hollyweird" and "Home" be perfect new openers and closers of the show?
But, in short, rock n’ roll fans will love this show, and luckily there are enough of us out there to continue to fill these medium to large amphitheaters! The atmosphere continues to be electric, and the "people-watching" is out of this world (Spandex! Hairspray! Is that even allowed to be called a skirt?)
For next year, I'd love to see a co-headlining tour (too bad the Def Leppard thing never materialized this year), which could lead to a longer, more diversified set by the Glam Slam Kings of Noize! If that doesn't happen, throw in Sleeze Beeze, Firehouse and a White Lion reunion next year, and we'll all be back!
Thanks to all the bands for continuing to let this 30-year-old relive his High School memories! Keep on Rocking!