To say that this has been an interesting year for Bret Michaels is about the understatement of this new century. The Celebrity Apprentice winning artist, who accomplished this feat while suffering a brain hemorrhage and a minor stroke which very nearly took his life, kept his commitment to the Lynyrd Skynyrd tour.
I was fortunate enough to attend the show at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA and view his set from back stage followed by a meet and greet on the Poison front man’s tour bus. While inside folks at the concert said they thought Bret was about 80% to 85% at the time, he was animated and energetic as he took the stage and he fed off the crowd’s enthusiasm for his entire 10 song set.
.38 Special opened up the concert with a medley of hits to get the crowd warmed up including “Teacher, Teacher” and “Hold On Loosely.” The crowd was made up of a good 50/50 split of men and women, with a good many of them wearing Poison shirts to show their support. With drinks in hand and well worn 80’s rock shirts showing all that they could, Michaels took the stage and the appreciation of the crowd was awesome.
He did not disappoint them either, performing “Talk Dirty To Me” to start off the set. His new CD Custom Built was due in stores in about 5 days and performed a song from the upcoming debut “What I Got” a cover of the Sublime hit and did it justice.
As is customary for a Michaels show, he dedicated “Something to Believe In” to the troops, and with it being close to the 4th of July, the song seemed to hit closer to home with the crowd as all were waving American Flags that were passed out as you entered.
He took a little break during the drum solo and came back out strong with “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”, the rocking hit “Fallen Angel” and nailed the encore with “Nothing But A Good Time”. The cheering of the crowd reached epic levels when afterwards he thanked everyone for the support over the last 23-plus years and especially over the last few months. There was sincerity in his voice as only a near death experience can bring.
After the show during the meet and greet, I was able to speak with him for a very short time one on one. He said that in spite of everyone, family, doctors, specialists, etc., telling him not to go back out on the road, he wanted to do it and let everyone know he was OK and show how much he appreciated the fans support.
He took time to sign every bit of memorabilia the fans brought and made a special point to have security let in some National Guardsman who were at the concert. After spending the hour on stage and then another 3-plus hours signing and taking pictures, he came back out and made special time to give them a chance for a picture and autograph.
Been a fan of Poison and Bret’s music for many years, and Bret Michaels just helped my validation to others for being a fan of the person too. I also want to give a special shout to Tattoo Tony and Cousin Bob for making the event ROCK!!!