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UnRated Magazine Review: Poison / Cinderella First Midwest Bank Amphitheater 6/21/06
Band Concert Review
Poison & Cinderella: American Bands In The Heartland

Poison & Cinderella: American Bands In The Heartland

Poison / Cinderella First Midwest Bank Amphitheater 6/21/06

By Rob Grabowski
Photos by Rob Grabowski

As Cinderella hit the stage, it was clear that a musical onslaught would ensue as there was intensity in the eyes of Tom Keifer and Jeff Labar. Usually a metal show of this nature is more glitz and glam than a diamond in the rough. While there were plenty of familiar songs such as “The More Things Change”, “ Push, Push”, “Hot and Bothered”, and “Somebody Save Me” they were played with a force that breathed a new life into these old favorites. From show to show you may witness a performance of a song that will leave you awe struck. Every time you discuss the show, the hair on the back of your neck will stand up. Recently I witnessed an unforgettable version of “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue a few months back and before that was “Mr. Brownstone” by Velvet Revolver, which had Slash’s incendiary guitar leaving an indelible imprint on my mind. Tonight it was “Nobody’s Fool”. While Keifer screamed his heart out, one could see he was visibly spent. He gave everything he had on this emotional roller coaster. The crowd was chanting along as if they were making a statement rather than just the usual sing along to the line, I’m Not Your Fool! After Tom and the boys regained their composure, “Gypsy Road”, “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”, and their signature “Shake Me” thoroughly showed the entranced crowd that even though it has been nearly 20 years since the first time these songs were heard, they stood the test of time and remain viable in today’s market. Even though Cinderella was the “Belle of the Ball” in the past, some new music from them may show they can put the glass slipper on one more time.

Shortly after Cinderella finished their set, Poison emerged. To my great surprise, the amphitheater had a very respectable showing for a week night which saw the lawn partially filled which was even more surprising since there were storms in the area. I guess Mother Nature can’t stop Rock-N-Roll. After kicking off their set with the double shot of “Look What the Cat Dragged In” and “ I Want Action”, it was apparent this was going to be a fun set with Bret Michaels captivating the audience as he belted out the lyrics to the songs which are now twenty-years old. The new cover of “American Band” was up next, regardless of who sings it, it is an anthem worthy of any rock show. I can’t help but wonder why Poison doesn’t play new material along with the hits as they have released a full length album and EP since reforming seven years ago. They played 14 songs and one was from C.C.’s side project Samantha 7. Even with fourteen songs, there are still plenty of MTV hits missing from their set. They could easily have played all of their hits and added 6-8 more new songs. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen Poison a half a dozen times in the past few years and this by far was the most energetic and riveting they have been since reforming. I genuinely believed they were enjoying themselves on stage as much as the crowd was in their seats and on the lawn. The pyrotechnics were an added enhancement along with video screens, which showcased clips of them during their heyday. Poison finished the set off strong with “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”, “Unskinny Bop”, “Nothin’ But A Good Time”, and “Talk Dirty To Me” performed in succession to roars of approval.

The nostalgia of these two artists was enough to bring smiles to everyone, but one must wonder what the future holds for both of these artists. I would like to see them strive for more as one wonders how many times people will pay to see the same show year after year. I am certain Poison and Cinderella could make vital music that would rival the old hits and potentially win over another generation of fans, I only hope for this to one day become a reality.