Category Archives: Poison

Poison & Motley Crue @ The Save Mart Center, Fresno CA 08/16/11

Worst. Sound. Ever. Initially I was excited to see this cool package tour locally, but the sound was horrendous. It’s not that often that The Crue or Poison come to the Valley, so a double bill along with the legendary New York Dolls was an ultra-rare event. Unfortunately the mix left something to be desired…sorely desired. I’ve been to other Save Mart Center gigs and have sat in just about every section there is. This occasion I was gifted some tickets for Father’s Day (Yay!) and had a seat in the upper level, dead center. One would think this would be a great vantage point for visual and audio. But nope, it was horrendous. While Poison gave an entertaining set, I could barely hear it. It was as if I was listening to the set OUTSIDE of the arena and maybe 100 years away. The overall sound was very muffled…the vocals sounded tinny and distant. C.C. Deville’s guitar sound was just as subdued. And I couldn’t even hear Ricky Rockett’s drum parts. I saw his hands move across the drums, but didn’t HEAR anything. Wow this was bad. All I heard was snare and some cymbals, no kick or tom-toms. And Bobby Dall’s bass parts…virtually non-existent. I looked around and thought “are you guys hearing this???” It’s not fair to accurately review the band’s performance, but visually, Brett Michaels worked the crowd very well. He was an energetic and spirited front-man, and the band looked like they were having fun. It was awesome to see this guy work the crowd just like he did during the heyday of the Sunset era. Ricky paid Fresno a little tribute by using bass drum heads with a crude, spray painted “Fresno CA” on them.

Look What the Cat Dragged In
Ride the Wind
We’re an American Band
Your Mama Don’t Dance
Fallen Angel
Unskinny Bop
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Talk Dirty to Me
Nothin’ But a Good Time

The Crue took the stage to rapturous applause. Luckily their sound was more or less worked out, nowhere near as bad as Poison’s sound, but not great either. It was still a good improvement and made their set more enjoyable. The light show was jaw dropping. It was a tad over the top and blinding at times, but damn that was a cool light show. As for the players, while the guys in the Crue are all well known characters, I say characters because each one is so unique and recognizable, it had to be singer Vince Neil and drummer Tommy Lee that stole the show and provided the most showmanship. Vince is Vince. Great stage presence, very good singing ability (when he’s sober), and get’s into the gig, doesn’t merely perform for a pay check. His vocals were strong and he handled all the material very well for the most part. There were some clams but nothing major. Tommy Lee always provides the over-the-top entertainment. While he’s not know to be a very proficient drummer, he’s known for his showmanship and attitude. I think this tour he outdid himself. Tommy Lee’s drum solo consisted of a basic drum solo…but on a roller coaster rig. The kit was actually attached to tracks that elevated and released the whole drum kit. A fan was invited to sit in and join him for a ride. That was unbelievable – very rock SHOW and I emphasize the show part. Huge highlight. The other huge highlight for me was hearing “Home Sweet Home,” thee quintessential power ballad of the 80s. And so ended the Crue’s set. I’m not a fan per se of either band but was familiar enough to want to see the show. Glad I did, just wish the sound issues had been worked out.

Wild Side
Saints of Los Angeles
Live Wire
Shout at the Devil
Same Ol’ Situation
Primal Scream
Home Sweet Home
Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Drum Solo
Guitar Solo
Looks That Kill
Dr. Feelgood
Too Young to Fall in Love
Girls, Girls, Girls
Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room
Kickstart My Heart