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Glam rock kings return to Coushatta

By Tommy Mann Jr.

The News staff writer

One cannot mention the term ‘glam band’ without making mention of Poison, arguably the most popular band of the style and era.

Poison returns to The Pavilion at Coushatta in Kinder, La. Friday night in support of its recent release, “Live, Raw and Uncut,” which is a live CD and DVD recorded in St. Louis during its 2007 tour.

Tickets are on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets and online for $87.50, $77.50, $67.50 and $57.50, and the concert begins at 8 p.m.

The band, featuring vocalist Bret Michaels, bassist Bobby Dall, guitarist C.C. Deville, and drummer Rikki Rockett, last performed in Kinder during the same tour and has become an almost annual attraction on the summer tour circuit since regrouping in 1999.

The tour began in early July and features fellow rockers Dokken and Sebastian Bach, formerly of Skid Row. However, the Kinder show is strictly a Poison concert and will not feature any opening acts. Thus far, the bands have played about a dozen shows.

“The first couple weeks of any tour are always tough,” Rockett said during a telephone interview. “It’s like an exercise program where you have to work out things the first week or two before everything becomes routine and runs smooth.”

The tour started later this summer than previous years because Poison was finally able to perform some international shows in places like Sweden and New Zealand for the first time in many years.

“It’s always good to get to places like that when we haven’t been there in so long,” Rockett said. “That was part of the reason for the delay in the U.S. tour, plus some of the band members had commitments, but we’re back home and having fun on the road.”

Rockett said the tour is roughly the same as previous tours, albeit the song list has been slightly adjusted.

“The set list is different and we have changed some things, but you know what your are going to get when you come to a Poison show,” he said. “We have a lot of hits and people expect to hear those hits. I would like to have about three different set lists and rotate them out, but you can only play so many songs in one night.”

Rockett said the U.S. tour has been going really well and fans have enjoyed the opening acts. Dokken is touring in support of its new CD, “Lightning Strikes Again,” while Bach is touring behind his first solo album in eight years, “Angel Down.”

“Sebastian is a badger when he gets on stage,” Rockett said laughing. “He’s like a wind-up toy and just full of energy and really gets the crowd going.”

Although live music fans are having to be more selective in choosing which concerts to attend this year more than ever because of rising fuel prices, Rockett said Poison’s concert attendance is up 20 percent compared to this same time last year.

“You would think rising gas prices would really affect us and concert attendance in general,” Rockett said. “But I think people are saving their money for entertainment.”

Rockett said he looks forward to performing in many familiar cities, but also enjoys shows where the band has only performed once or twice, such as the show in Kinder.

“Kinder is kind of a special place to me,” Rockett said. “It is where I bought my fiancee her engagement ring a while back. It was raining one day, so I went looking around at some stores. I couldn’t find anything I liked, but the woman at the jewelry store said she had something in back, and when she brought it out I knew that was the ring.”

It has been 22 years since Poison released its first album, “Look What the Cat Dragged In,” on Enigma records, and the group has toured with several legendary artists over the years like Aerosmith, Kiss, Ratt, Cheap Trick, David Lee Roth, among others. However, he still has a wish list of artists he would like to see Poison share the stage.

“Two of my biggest influences have been Aerosmith and Kiss, and I’ve been lucky enough to perform on tour with them,” he said. “But I would love to open for the Rolling Stones one time. It probably won’t ever happen, but that would be a dream show for me.”

Call Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, La. at 1-800-584-7263 for more information.



Reach this reporter at 409-883-3571, Ext. 2619 or tmann@orangeleader.com