I am a Poison fan hands down. I have been since about oh…1989-90 when I really discovered my passion for Rock & Roll. Landing my 10 year- old hands on a copy of Look What the Cat Dragged In was not an easy feat but of course, I made it happen. In fact, “Talk Dirty to Me” is on my every day playlist 20 years later! Looking back on my childhood, I have so many music-inspired memories and one of them is hiking the Red Rock Mountains in Nevada with my dad while listening to the Flesh & Blood album on my yellow, water resistant, Sony Sports Walkman (who remembers those?) Therefore, when I heard that Bret Michaels was coming to play the Motor City Soundboard in Detroit on February 16, I knew immediately that I was going to be there! That is when I learned the theme for the show “Rock for Jobs” and heard about what he was doing and it reaffirmed my respect for this talented musician, actor, director, and philanthropist. All of the proceeds from this show are donated to Goodwill Detroit and to top that, at the media event, he announced that he was also personally donating $10,000 to the cause. I was amazed that someone who is not even from our town was going out of his way to do great things for our city, which definitely needs it.
Bret not only promised the donation, he made a special trip to the Goodwill store in Dearborn to meet Mark Lane, the Director of Public Relations for Goodwill Detroit, the staff, promote his cause and show, and speak with the people that he was doing so much for personally. There is something to be said about someone who will stop Fox News in the middle of an interview to shake hands, take pictures, and hug his fans. People were so excited to see him and you could tell they were quite surprised to see him there! One of the things he was very vocal about was the organization and cleanliness of the store, which you could tell, made all of the employees proud. I am sure that sometimes it is easy to overlook something like making sure that items that people are looking for are easily found. Once the interviews were done, Bret perused the store and decided to go on a shopping mission for himself before heading downtown for sound check.
My anticipation had been building all day as I imagined what songs he might perform, as I know that my favorites far exceeded his time limit. After a quick dinner, we headed to the venue and even though we still had about an hour before show time, the place was already packed and the line was enormous. It was exciting to see the fans lined up from young children to older die-hard fans all with one common goal, to rock out with a great performer! I knew that it was pretty much a given that I would never sit in my seat all night so I didn’t even attempt to find it and just headed over to the Media/Photo section to secure a spot where I could see all the action.
The opening act was Frankie D’Angelo, a native of Detroit, who has toured with The Goo Goo Dolls, Art Alexakis of Everclear, Butch Walker, and the Romantics. He definitely helped heighten the intensity of the crowd as we all waited somewhat impatiently for the main event!
Then it was time…the crowd seemed to get even louder than they were which was no easy task and then he walked out, signature bandanna on his head and as soon as he spoke the words that introduced one of the main songs I was waiting for “Talk Dirty to Me” I couldn’t stop the grin from spreading on my face! I was not the only one who felt this way as I think every person in that room sang every word right along with Bret. That led into “Look What the Cat Dragged in” and “Ride the Wind” and then into his amazing cover of “Sweet Home Alabama”. Needless to say there wasn’t an occupied seat in the house as he also performed “Unskinny Bop”, Every Rose Has it’s Thorn”, Your Mama Don’t Dance, “Something to Believe In”, and a great rendition of Sublime’s “What I Got”. In the middle of the show, Bret began to speak about his donation to Goodwill Industries of Detroit and how he wanted to do great things for the city, and announced again that he would be personally writing a check to add to the proceeds from the sold out show. Although it came way too soon, he ended on a high note with “Nothin But a Good Time” which brought the house down! The applause went on almost endlessly as people rode the wave of excitement that stayed prevalent during his entire action packed performance.
As I stated in my first sentence, I am a Poison fan but now I can add that I am now a Bret Michaels admirer as he has earned the utmost respect from me and many other people in Michigan who care about worthy causes such as Goodwill Industries of Detroit. I want to thank Mark Lane of Goodwill Industries of Detroit, Kim Eberhardt of Tanner Friedman PR, and of course the very generous Bret Michaels for not only helping a worthy cause but for also proving that he can still put on an epic performance almost 30 years later. For more tour information for Bret, please visit www.bretmichaels.com and for more information on Goodwill Industries of Detroit, go to www.goodwilldetroit.org.