Sep 1, 2010

Bret Michaels - MD State Fair

By Bob Suehs



Maryland State Fair

Timonium, Md.

 "Funnel Cake & Beer...Bret Michaels plays the MD State Fair!

The first thing I will say about this show is that it was HOT outside but it did cool off by the time the sun started to set & upon getting to the concert area the first song I heard playing was "Metal Health" by Quiet Riot & that reminded me of the prior night & Tantric's mic stand!

When you see the current Bret Michael's crowd outside in the direct sunlight you observe the following:

Sun Spots, Grey Hair, Housewives, & I heard the phrase, "This is Mommies Night Out!" more than once while I waited to get into the concert area!

What I wondered in all honesty was, "How many people actually know who CC Deville is?" because it was clear that the crowd was mostly people who knew Bret as that guy from Celebrity Apprentice who nearly died, & then there were the ones who knew him from Rock of Love, BUT, I got the feeling that the vast majority DID NOT know him as the lead singer for Poison!

I know that there were some Poison fans there & that was obvious by the old Poison shirts, BUT, the bulk of the crowd WAS NOT dressed like they were going to a rock concert....infact, when Bret took the stage he came off more like a country star than a rocker!


I will address something that PISSED ME OFF before I get into Bret's set....this was a general admission concert, people brought lawn chairs & set them right up front in the pit while the bulk of the crowd was standing... it's NOT what a rock concert is about & it's rude! It was also rude when those same people would walk off to get beers & use their lawn chair as a marker to save their spot...everyone around those people were bitching that it was a general admission show & folding chairs didn't belong there in the pit!

In my mind I was almost hoping that someone tried to crowd surf because I don't know how that would work out when you have an old woman setting in a folding chair in the middle of the pit, but sadly it never happened!

Right before Bret took the stage a HUGE banner dropped that had the BMB logo on it & the wind was blowing the banner all over the place, not to mention that the banner was cock-eyed & really crooked!

When the banner dropped a man took the mic & gave a Bret Michael's infomercial stating that Bret was selling crap at the merch table, that you could buy a meet & greet with Bret & that he was also selling the stage worn bandana's at the end of the night & the $$ for the Bandana's would go towards Bret's diabetes charity, then they mentioned Bret's new record & his new TV show...I've never seen so much advertising before an artist took the stage, then after all that babbling they played "Welcome To The Jungle" in it's entirety, in the dark, then Bret's backing band took the stage to jam for a minute, then the man followed the bandana as Bret jetted across the stage with a huge child-like smile on his jovial face that stayed there most of the evening.

"Talk Dirty To Me" was the opener & I've got to be honest, it lacked the energy that Poison had & when Bret inserted his current guitarists name in the line, "Pick up that guitar & talk to me" it was weird!....Bret IS the singer of that song, BUT, CC IS the guitarist of the song...the chemistry that Bret had with Poison, the's lacking in his solo band & what I got from the entire night was that it was Bret Michael's cover band essentially!


"Every Rose Has It's Thorn" & "Something To Believe In" were the exceptions & that's because he played those songs partially by himself, but when you see the BMB playing "Look What The Cat Dragged In" it's NOT the same as seeing Poison play it!

The show wasn't totally sold out, BUT, there was alot o' people there & Bret played a solid set. He flirted with the girls in the front row, he danced & pranced, changed t-shirts a few times, changed bandana's twice, switched hats, played harmonica during "Your Momma Don't Dance" & I might point out that there were covers of "Sweet Home Alabama" & "What I Got" performed as well which went along well with all the Poison covers.

To his credit, Bret & the band did play a new song of his new record, but the crowd probably didn't care what he played & I base that after what the girls next to me said, and I quote, "I don't care if Bret even sings, I just want to see him onstage, see him take off his shirt & shake his butt!" & that my friends, was the honest consensus from all the women there...they were there not to see him play music, but to see Bret look sexy for them.

The show actually started 30 minutes late & therefore it ended 30 minutes late, it was originally scheduled to end at 10 PM but ended at 10:30 PM & the smells of funnel cake, pit beef, beer & all the settings of the state fair, it was all personified & heightened the night that Bret Michaels played the Maryland State Fair.

The encore/closer of the night was "Nothin' But A Good Time" & again, it wasn't the same energy as Poison, but the crowd was full of funnel cake & beer & singing along, so it was a fun night for Reality TV lovers.