Poison team together with rock legends Cheap Trick and Pop Evil for a fun summer’s night of rock.

The night started off with a bang as Michigan’s Pop Evil burst onto the stage for a high energy performance that was the perfect start to the Saturday evening. Hayley Cramer made her presence felt as she pounded on away on her drumkit. The second part of the rhythm section, Matt DiRito, looked like he was enjoying every moment, grinning from ear to ear as he worked all parts of the stage while flicking his hair. 

Leigh Kakaty also used every inch of the stage for his impassioned performance, but when that wasn’t enough for him, he decided to head out to the rear lawn section to bring the show up close and personal to those seated at the back.

Their performance set the tone for the fun, energy-filled show ahead, and certainly gained them new fans who will were seeing them for the first, but definitely not the last, time.

Next up, the legendary Cheap Trick take to the stage for an hour-long set, packed full of hit after hit, including “Dream Police,” “Surrender” and “I Want You To Want Me.” Whilst it felt like Rick Nielsen performed on an enviable number of guitars throughout the set, this was just a mere glimpse into one of the largest guitar collections a man can have (he owns more than 400 guitars!). For every song they performed, a new guitar would be brought out. Ever the professional, he kept on going despite his bracelet getting tangled in his guitar strings, much to the amusement of Robin Zander. 

Zander had the lead-singer swagger as he walked around the stage looking like that was the place he was born to be. To this day, he still has full command of the crowd. 

Bassist Tom Peterssen had his moment in the spotlight as he took to lead vocals along with his 12-string bass before Pop Evil’s Matt DiRito returned to the stage to join the Cheap Trick boys for a song.

The boys from Rockford had everyone on their feet throughout the set, singing along whole-heartedly. It was almost as if they were the headliners of the evening. But there was still more to come. 

After a short turnaround, it was time for Poison to bring back another strong dose of nostalgia. The Nothin’ But A Good Time tour marks the 30th anniversary of their album, Open Up And Say…Ah, although they only performed three songs from it. 

Bret Michaels certainly knows how to own a stage and work a crowd, encouraging the fans to come closer to the stage and regularly high-fiving those within reach of the stage’s walkway. The frontman had the crowd whipped up into a frenzy from the very first note.

It might have been just a short 75-minute set, but the fans were given everything they came for and then some. After a brief animated introduction video on the huge screens, Bret Michaels, C.C. Deville, Rikki Rockett and Bobby Dall took to the stage before ripping into “Look What The Cat Dragged In.” They were sure to include their iconic songs such as “Unskinny Bop,” “Talk Dirty To Me” and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” 

In true 80s rock style, C.C. Deville and Rikki Rockett both had their moments to shine with their guitar and drums solos. Not that they were needing this, as their presence was more than noticeable all night long. 

By the time they performed “Nothin’ But A Good Time,” the fans had reached fever pitch. The set may have been short but it was most definitely sweet and packed a punch, with the crowd leaving with smiles on their faces at the end of a great night.   

This was a night packed full of fun, great music and a heavy dose of nostalgia, whilst proving once again that rock is far from dead.

Poison
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Cheap Trick
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Pop Evil
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Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
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Event Date: 09-JUN-2018

About The Author

Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!

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