It’s been five (5) years since the glam rock band Poison has toured. The band hit its 30 year anniversary last year since the release of their first record “Look What the Cat Dragged In.” Vocalist Bret Michaels stays active touring with his solo band and drummer Rikki Rockett formed a side project called Devil City Angels. That’s about it for any sightings that have come out of the Poison camp since their summer tour with Def Leppard and Lita Ford back in 2012. Drummer Rikki Roickett has also battled mouth cancer which took him off the road for a considerable amount of time. Fast forward to 2017 and the band has decided to once again tour with Def Leppard and this time around, Tesla is the opening act.
During the run of spring through the beginning of summer, Poison has booked a few off dates from the Def Leppard tour. One of the few stops was in Albany at the Times Union Arena last Tuesday night. Tesla was the opening act for this show.
Tesla took the stage and opened up with the crowd pleasing “Edison’s Medicine.” Vocalist Jeff Keith (dressed in all white), moved about the stage and was in fine form vocally. The band dedicated “Song and Emotion” to the late Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark. Guitarists Frank Hannon and Dave Rude played together for the opening of the ballad “Love Song.” Bassist Brian Wheat switched up basses throughout the evening and drummer Troy Luccketta played flawlessly and had a smile on his face for the entire set. Tesla remains one of the greatest underrated bands ever, it was a treat to see them play an hour set.
Drummer Rikki Rockett, bassist Bobby Dall and guitarist CC Deville took the stage first, awaiting Michaels as he came running on as the first chords of “Look What the Cat Dragged In” played. Michaels is still one of the most energetic front men you will find out there for any band in any genre of music. CC Deville looked totally different as his usual wild hair was replaced by long straight hair accompanied by a hat. Deville took center stage as Michaels talked about how the set just changed up and they decided to add the first song they ever shot a video for. That song was “Cry Tough.” Rockett played and twirled his sticks and pointed to fans and was the consummate showman as he has always been. It’s good to see him well and back behind the kit.
Each member did a solo and seemed to be having a good time playing with each other again. Michaels played his Dean electric guitar for “Fallen Angel.” Since the song “Something to Believe In” was released, it was dedicated to the service men and women. Michaels had most of the fans waving their lit up cell phones during the song.
The band closed the set with their cover of KISS’ “Rock and Roll All Nite,” which they recorded for the “Less Than Zero” movie soundtrack back in 1987.
If any complaint, I was hoping for a few more songs to be played. The band has a lot to choose from and it would have been nice to see them dig a bit deeper and add some B sides perhaps. Either way I can’t stress enough how rare it is to see the band and they are on the road through June 25th. They still sound tight and who knows? As Michaels said, they are changing the setlist around so we will see.
Look What the Cat Dragged In
Ride the Wind
Talk Dirt to Me
Something to Believe In
Bret Michales harmonica solo/Your Mama Don’t Dance (Loggins & Messina cover)
Every Rose Has its Thorn
Nothin’ but a Good Time
Rock and Roll All Nite (KISS cover)
We would like to thank Laurie Gorman from HK Management for the credentials to review the show.