With over 30 years of history together, the hair metal quartet of Poison officially kicked off their summer tour with Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, Cheap Trick as they both rocked Irvine’s FivePoint Amphitheatre on Friday, May 18th. Dubbed the “Nothin’ But A Good Time Tour 2018”, the show (along with opening act Pop Evil) packs a formidable lineup of music royalty—promising diversity with its variety of rock and roll styles. In all 24 total stops are planned on this summer tour which runs until late June.
Known best for a string of hits in the late 80s and constant infighting between band members, Poison has once again put differences aside and come together to tour—even though the band has not released new music since 2007. Regardless, new material is not important to the legion of Poison fans…many of which were doing their best to push their way to the front of the stage during the lead-up to the performance. Although age has caught up with many, there were still a few dozen blonde hair vixens vying to get close to Bret Michaels and crew.
While many hard rock outfits find it hard to keep the ‘band together’, somehow and someway Poison continues to retain their original lineup with frontman Bret Michaels, lead guitarist C.C. DeVille, bassist Bobby Dall and drummer Rikki Rockett. Surely the 5 year touring hiatus (2012-2017) helped calm any residual resentments, but the band hit the FivePoint stage a little after 9:40 following a brief video montage that highlighted the band’s roots on the Sunset Strip. “Look What The Cat Dragged In”, the title track off their first album (released in 1986) was appropriately positioned on the setlist, which Rolling Stone voted #2 of the 50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time. It kicked off the evening perfectly and set the stage for a hit-packed 12 song performance followed closely behind by other singles “I Want Action” and “Cry Tough”, both notably off their debut release.
Michaels later took time in between songs to apologize twice for a low blood sugar episode with saw him have to leave the stage momentarily to address. A Type 1 Diabetic since the age of 6, Michaels has been a strong advocate for the disease as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation—for which he chose as his charity for the 2010 “Celebrity Apprentice” and later won (contributing over $250k to JDRF).
The band held back their biggest hits until the tail end of the show, with “Something To Believe In” (which Michaels dedicated to our troops) leading directly into “Unskinny Bop”. By this time they had the crowd in the palm of their hands, so once Michaels grabbed a guitar and kicked off “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” the crowd was washed in a sea of cell phone lights. A seemingly unlimited supply of stage fog and intense lighting continued as “Nothin’ But A Good Time” completed the main set. With a 11pm curfew looming, the band returned for one quick encore song as “Talk Dirty To Me” officially closed out the night.
Over 40 years removed from the release of their debut album in 1977, Cheap Trick still provides a multi-generational rock experience. The band held their biggest hits for towards the end of the set, unleashing a five song extravaganza of classics that included their first #1 hit “The Flame”, “I Want You To Want Me”, “Dream Police”, “Surrender” and the set closer “Goodnight Now”. The classic lineup is still intact as vocalist Robin Zander was joined by guitarist Rick Nielsen and bassist Tom Petersson. In what has become a fan favorite, Nielssen’s famous custom five-neck guitar made its appearance during the final song. Although the band released a single earlier in the day to celebrate the kickoff of the tour “The Summer Looks Good On You”, it unfortunately did not make the setlist.
Michigan’s Pop Evil kicked off the evening shortly after 7pm, sharing some heavy riffs with a sparse crowd that was still battling traffic. Lead singer Leigh Kakaty powered through a short list that included “Torn To Pieces”, “Deal With The Devil” and “Trenches”.
Cheap Trick Setlist:
Hello There | Big Eyes | California Man | Ain’t That A Shame | Baby Loves To Rock | Long Time Coming | I’m Waiting For The Man | The Flame | I Want You To Want Me | Dream Police | Surrender | Goodnight Now
Look What The Cat Dragged In | I Want Action | Ride The Wind | Cry Tough | I Won’t Forget You | Your Mama Don’t Dance | CC DeVille Solo | Fallen Angel | Something To Believe In | Unskinny Bop | Rikki Rockett Drum Solo | Every Rose Has Its Thorn | Nothin’ But A Good Time Encore: Talk Dirty To Me
Pop Evil Photo Gallery
Cheap Trick Photo Gallery
Poison Photo Gallery