Michaels, dressed in tight, studded jeans, a black muscle tank and of course that Ed Hardy-looking combination of a bandana and cowboy hat, stood in front of a rather eclectic crowd of middle-aged rocker moms and the occasional couple who probably won the tickets from a poker tournament and said this:
“We got no where to be except right here. We’re gonna rock, Reno.”
I checked my phone — 8:20 p.m. Twenty minutes late, but rock and roll has to be fashionably late, right?
About 10 songs later or the length of a mediocre CD, Michaels wrapped up his last song, having security guards escort stray women who apparently just wanted to dance with him. No, there was no flashing (that I saw anyway).
I checked my phone again — 9:20 p.m.
Of course hotels have curfews to abide by, but really? The Poison frontman and pioneer of big hair ‘80s glam rock who once shouted the lyrics “Ain’t Nothing But A Good Time” is going to tell me that he can only rock out for an hour?
Hell, the man is wearing eye liner and he has a bedtime that happens to be before 10 p.m.?
In all fairness, the hour-long concert wasn’t half bad. But it should be said, it wasn’t spectacular either. Michaels and his band, the creatively named “Bret Michaels Band,” played the obligatory Poison favorites like “Talk Dirty to Me,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and “Unskinny Bop.” Right around that time, women started rolling up to the front stage, vying for a chance to touch Michaels’ hand.
OK, that’s rock star.
Then, in the true nature of rock and roll homage, Michaels played some all-time hits that had influenced Poison back in their heyday, which was probably the better part of the show. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” got everyone dancing and singing along, even the random poker-playing couple was clapping their hands.
Loggins and Messina’s “Your Mama Don’t Dance” was a nice early ‘70s throwback and was even one of Poison’s hits in 1989 when they covered it for their album “Open Up and Say…Ahhh!”
OK, that’s rock star.
But when it came time for the encore, the whole show seemed rushed. Michaels exited off stage, brought out a stage hand to rev the crowd up and practically no more than a couple of minutes later, was back out for only one more song.
While he may have the rock star look and a hit television show behind him, it was hard not to feel like Michaels didn’t want to be there.
OK, that’s not rock star.
Which leads to the next point: If a performer is low on material to play, which Michaels appeared to be, keep the covered songs coming. Sure, they may be someone else’s songs, but they’re hits for a reason — people like them.
My last soap box: don’t charge $65 a ticket. A dollar a minute for a show seems feasible, but only if you’re a.) The Rolling Stones b.) Bob Dylan c.) The Beatles back in the 60s with all original members alive and well.
Sorry Bret, but the thorns far outnumber the roses on this one.