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The Hollyweird Tour
by Sheli Casteel
Winger, and Faster Pussycat has joined forces to put on one of the biggest tours of 2002,
The Hollyweird Tour. It's coming to a town near you and if you're a die-hard metal music
fan then you definately don't want to miss it! Sheli Casteel gives a full account of what
you can expect from beginning to end.
The Hollyweird Tour
by Sheli Casteel
The glitz and the glam are back! You thought that those "hair bands" had long been forgotten, but think again! As Poison sets out to tour for their ninth album, Hollyweird, they have put together a lineup that is truly unbelievable. If you're one of the many Gen. ‘Xers that use to stay up late watching Headbangers Ball, if you ever banged your head to the beat, or flicked your Bic in homage of a ballad that told your own story, you definitely don't want to miss this tour.
Being a metal band fanatic myself, I just had to attend after I was mesmerized by a television commercial highlighting the tour. It was more than I could stand when the announcer gave the line up: Poison, Cinderella, Winger, and Faster Pussycat. There was no way I wasn't going to go see some of my favorite bands from the late 80's and early 90's. A tour like this wasn't about to come around again anytime soon.
The four and a half hour show started promptly at six o'clock on the dot. The lights came down, strobe lights flickered all around, an intense marching cadence began, and I (along with friends) waited in anticipation to see who was about to take the stage. I was horrified as I watched Faster Pussycat enters from stage right clad in black vinyl Nazi uniforms and began to sing These Boots Were Made for Walking (1960's hit by Nancy Sinatra) much in the style of Marilyn Manson's remake of Sweet Dreams . Perhaps, it was the fact that the guitar player had on a uniformed style dress and panty hose, or it could have been because Taime Downe looked like death warmed over and that he kept having to pull his black vinyl pants up but this just wasn't the Faster Pussycat I once knew. Looking at the audience non-participation, it wasn't the Faster Pussycat that they once knew and loved either.
The horror, however, did not stop there as song after song the audience was pelted with words like whore, suck me, p@$$y, f*@k, and other words I don't wish to repeat. I was ready to retreat and go get a coke while I knew the lines would be down. I looked at the exits, and realized I wasn't the only one with that idea. As I decided to wait out the performance in my seat, a familiar guitar rift caught my attention and I looked up to see the redemption of Faster Pussycat . There were singing, House of Pain and the crowd was beginning to liven up. House of Pain is probably the only reason that many metal heads even remember Faster Pussycat. The crowd was singing but never left their seats. (Probably still in shock.) When the song ended there was a silence that could have made it a perfect moment that is until Taime announced the next song would end their set. In a way, I was relieved and in others I wish they would play House of Pain again.
Their last song pretty much ruined their total performance. It was a fast paced little ditty called, Shut Up and F*@k! I could not believe what I was hearing and again the audience and I turned our attention to something else. I could not have turned away for more than a second when I realized that Taime was no longer wearing pants (you know the ones that he kept pulling up). Where did his pants go? One minute pants, the next none . . . what happened? So here is Taime singing Shut Up and F*@k with no pants on in a button down white shirt that barely covers what God gave him. I was shocked but not enough to be interested in the show. A friend and I began to sing along to song only we weren't singing, Shut Up and F*@k but rather Shut Up, You Suck! Faster Pussycat ended their set and the crowd was left in shock.
Next up was Winger . They took the stage like the pros they were and amazingly rocked the house. They did not have a lot of thrills and spills (much like Faster Pussycat ) but there was no need for that kind of stuff. Winger oozed with laid back talent and as soon as they took the stage, the audience were on their feet. Kip Winger's presence and vocals were center-stage. (As well as that Kodak smile and pearly white trademark teeth . . . yes folks they are really that white and perfect!) Who would have thought it had been nine years since the last time he toured with the band?
Winger started their set with Blind Revolution from their Pull album released in 1993. They poured their hearts into the performance with hits like Madalaine, Incognito, Miles Away, In the Heart of the Young, Rainbow in the Rose, You Are The Saint, I Am The Sinner, Headed For A Heartbreak, and Can't Get Enough. It was an unforgettable performance as Kip Winger continually interacted with the audience like he and they were old friends (and I guess they were). Winger ended their set with perhaps one of their best-known songs, Seventeen . Kip feed off the audience participation as he insisted that the crowd sing the chorus. In unison the entire audience screamed, "Seventeen!" Winger definitely knows how to give an honest to goodness, blood, sweat, and tears performance and my hats went off to them.
Enters Cinderella. The banner drops, it reads Cinderella and each letter has graphics of the American flag on it, the crowd goes wild and Cinderella starts their set. Tom Keifer knows how to rial the crowd and takes center presence and begins the first powerhouse song Somebody Save Me! Keifer's raspy voice could still captivate the audience after all these years. He was really on his game as he demonstrated his multi-instrument talents from guitar to piano and everything in between.
Each hit song that Cinderella ever put out on the market was belted out. Night Songs, Last Train, Coming Home, Shelter Me, Nobody's Fool, Gypsy Road, and You Don't Know What You Got (Until It's Gone) were apart of this great line up and the audience just could not get enough of Cinderella. Special lighting flooded the floor as the crowd was encouraged to sing the chorus of the last few songs on their own toward the end of the show. Finally, Keifer wrapped up the set with Shake Me which only kept the crowd rocking ask they waited for Poison to take the stage.
If your looking from something new and surprising about Poison's new album, Hollyweird , or look then you will be more surprised to see just how close to their roots they have stayed. Unlike the new look and feel of Faster Pussycat, Poison embodied every ideal of a Hall of Fame, legend making band. The show incorporated huge monitor screens with images of all their albums being displayed one at a time. Along with this was a great lighting and pyrotechnics. One at a time, each band member took the stage. Rikki Rocket was the first as he readied himself behind the drum kit. Then Bobby Dall stepped to his side of the stage and prepared to rock the crowd with bass. Attention driven C. C. DeVille took the stage with a sassy piazzas as he sported a white rhinestone-embroidered jacket. Finally, Bret Michaels runs onto the stage and before the crowd can get the screams from their mouths he begins Look What The Cat Dragged In . The crowd went wild and pressed in closer than they had been before. Poison covered every song that every hit the countdown from Talk Dirty To Me to Ride The Wind . Because their new album Hollyweird had just been released and many in the audience were not familiar with the songs from that album, Poison only played one tune from the album entitled Squeeze Box . This is going to be their first single released and it is a remake of the classic with the same title by The Who .
I Want Action was followed by a horrific showcase of C. C. DeVille's vocal talents. He should definitely stick to the guitar that is where his talent lies. However, to add insult to injury, C. C. DeVille sung a tactless song entitled, I Hate Every Bone In Your Body But Mine. The crowd was not impressed but was relieved when it was over and Rikki Rocket began to display his drumming talents to the crowd. As each member took their step in the lime light to showcase their great abilities, Bret Michaels was no where to be found. No doubt he was taking a breather.
Shortly thereafter, Bret returned to the stage and the mood had changed to a bit of a solemn silence as he dedicated the next song to the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks. It was simply entitled, Something To Believe In . Hundreds of Bics were flicked in the remembrance of that horrible day. The mood altered once again as Bret let the crowd from a somber enthusiasm to a "We Want To Rock!" mentality with Your Momma Don't Dance (their first number one single).
As the beloved Every Rose Has It's Thorn was being strummed from Bret Michael's guitar, the audience once again realized exactly why they had fallen in love with the band in the first place. Unskinny Bop and Fallen Angel soon followed as did Kiss's Rock and Roll All Night . Confetti of every color in the rainbow rained down on the crowd and Poison began to rap up their set with Nothin' But A Good Time . As the chorus rang out in my ears, I had to agree "it don't get better than this!"
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