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Bret Michaels Pardi-Gras 2.0 2024
Carowinds Charlotte, NC

Bret Michaels brought his Pardi-Gras 2.0 2024 tour to Charlotte,NC on Saturday July 6th. This was held at The Palladium Ampitheater at Carowinds Amusement park. Bret brought Dee Snider, Steve Augeri, Great White and Slaughter along with him for this show. I am not one that usually attends "solo" shows, but I figured Hey, riding rides all day then a show that night, Hell, I have nothing to lose! Rain and Thunderstorms were in the forcast for the day and I really thought I'd be spending the day elsewhere. Well, like usual the weatherman was completely wrong and it was sunshine and (what seemed like)1000 degrees all day. It was HOT, scorching, but we had a blast(I took my wife, Daughter, Son and his girlfriend Mackenzie). By 4 pm we were looking forward to getting under the roof of the ampitheater and out of the sun!
We got in line for the show at 4 pm and doors were scheduled for 5. The arena ended up letting us in at 4:40 and we were headed in. It was GA and we ended up getting 10th row center...SCORE!!!!! Slaughter was up first at 6:20 and they sounded very good. Dana an Jeff were full of energy and Mark threw out about 1,000 picks during the set. I have seen these guys many times and knew exactly what to expect. Great White came on at 7:20 and I was very interested in seeing Bret Carlisle(A.O.N.) front the band. Bret sounded great but the band sounded flat, like they were just there going thru the motions. Coming on after Slaughter was not the right move and in all they were kindof a mood killer...most people i saw were sitting whereas during Slaughter they were on their feet ROCKIN"!
Now was the was 8:30 and intros were beginning...the mood quickly went up a few notches and i was excited! You know the feeling, you're bouncing up and down, adreneline starts flowing and you cant contain yourself. I had no idea what to expect, but I was hoping for the best. Thunderstruck by AC/DC was blasting through the speakers and the band was starting to take the stage. Smoke was engulfing the stage and the lights were going crazy! It was time, c'mon Bret Michaels Band, do not let me down!!! Bret hit the stage and immediately went into Talk Dirty To Me then Ride The Wind. Following them was Your Mama Don't Dance then Look What The Cat Dragged In! I thought riding rides all day was going to be my rush for the day, NOT TODAY! 95 mph coasters, 300+ hills, loops, corkscrews, upside down, right side up did not prepare me for this show...and we were only 4 songs in!!! The band didn't just play the tunes, they played with heart and soul! You felt passion coming from that stage, you felt their energy! This was no "backing band", this was a band that put everything they have, and more, into these tunes! Bret now introduced Steve Augeri and he did 3 Journey tunes(Separate Ways, Don't Stop Believin' and Any Way You Want It) and Steve sounded fantastic! this was no longer just a BMB show, this was a music extravaganza!!! Bret Came back out and headed into Something To Believe In(which he welcomed many veterans to the stage) and then powered into Unskinny Bop. He didnt just "do" Poison songs, he added FLAIR to them. Poison already has catchy songs but Bret took them up a notch, I cant put it into words, you gotta experience it! Dee Snider was up next and that Twisted Sister took over the stage!!! He immediately went into We're Not Gonna Take It and the crowd was in a frenzy! Fists in the air, singing at the top of our lungs. Dee did some hilarious banter and then like a crazed lunatic went into I Wanna Rock! More fists, this crowd and the band were on a super adreneline rush and noone wanted to come down! I thought the heat during the day was intense, NOPE, I was sweating and rockin' and there was no place I'd rather have been! Dee went into Highway To Hell after he explained the "Rock Hands" and that was another comical back and forth from him. Bret came back out and did Every Rose Has Its Thorn. This man's voice is still strong and powerful, this man is what a Rockstar is. BMB ended the night with Nuthin But A Good Time, but like a good thrill ride, there was twists and turns, not just the song!
I have to say, this was a show of SHOWS! You didnt have time to catch your breath! The crowd was completely enthralled in the music, we were one giant organism feeding off the band. BMB was so tight and on target and the stage antics of Pete Evick and "Stormin'" Norman Voss kicked this whole thing up another notch. I suggest you catch this show for yourself, this is one that will surely stand out in my memories for a long time.
One final note, my 20 year old Daughter Sara who loves Poison said in a post on Facebook the next day, "Last night was unforgettable I saw THE Bret Michaels and the cat dragged in DEE SNIDER and STEVE AUGERI, INCREDIBLE. LOOOOOOOVED Great White and Slaughter, all first timers for me. ....I would re-do this night over and over again".
I. Had. Tears.

SKID ROW-Self Titled

It’s been a long time since I did a catalog review and I’ve been playing a lot of Skid Row and Bach’s solo albums lately so felt like a good time. Day/Album #1 of the Skid Row catalog. The debut album that changed my life the first time I heard it and was my most played album in 1989 by far. I can remember being in 8th grade and friends went to see the Bon Jovi “New Jersey” tour to only come home raving about the opening band. When I finally heard the lead single(Youth Gone Wild) in January of 89(on some radio station out of Mt. Carmel, Illinois on 89.1) I couldn’t believe how great it was. I didn’t have MTV so I didn’t know what the band looked like or sounded like but once I heard them I was hooked. When I think of albums that define an era of my life this is definitely one of them. From the epic “18 and Life”, anthemic “Youth Gone Wild”, to the power ballad “I Remember You” the band had three all time great songs when most bands at the time were lucky to have one good song. That’s not to take anything away from the rest of the songs such as “Piece of Me”, “Sweet Little Sister”, “Big Guns”, “Here I Am” and more. The band had the songs, the look, and arguably the greatest lead singer/frontman combination in the late 80s/early 90s. Living in the country with not much to do at the time this was one of maybe 5 cassettes I owned so I played it almost daily for months and months to the point that I know every lyric and every backing vocal. I rarely mention this album as one of my top 10 albums ever now but every time I listen to it, it takes me back to the time where it was everything to me.
Wes Haskins

Skid Row - Slave To The Grind

Album #2 of the Skid Row catalog and one of the greatest sophomore albums of all time in my opinion. While many bands stick to the same formula or soften their sound over time, Skid Row went the other way with a much heavier approach on their second album. The first video/single “Monkey Business” definitely was a statement of intent telling fans this is not the same old Hair Metal band that the media lumped them in with. Starting out with a slower intro and then that scream from Bas and we’re off to the races with a great heavy opener and lyrics that took a lot to digest and wasn’t the same old T&A or love story lyrics that had been a sign of the times. The title track follows and was like a boot to the face taking the pace up another notch and was the second video/single which was an odd choice but another great song. The next three videos/singles were the ballads “Wasted Time”, “In A Darkened Room”, and “Quicksand Jesus” and all three are great songs with great and meaningful lyrics that made you pull the lyric sheet out to follow along and the vocals by Bas and solos by Scotti Hill can’t be talked about enough. There was also a video on the VHS home video for “Psycho Love” which was awesome but sadly I don’t think MTV ever played it. With the explicit lyrics BS going on at the time the censored pressings had the song “Beggars Day” while non censored had “Get the Fuck Out”. Walmart was like my local record store at the time so I had the “Beggars Day” version and by the time I heard GTFO I liked it but 30 years later I think “Beggars Day” was a much better song. Other cool album tracks are “The Threat”, “Riot Act”, “Living on a Chain Gang”, and “Mudkicker”. Overall a big leap forward in songwriting and especially lyrically and vocally on this album compared to the debut. While I love both STTG is the best Skid Row album for me.
Wes Haskins

Skid Row - Subhuman Race

Album #3 of the Skid Row catalog. The controversial third studio album produced by Bob Rock and the final album to feature vocalist Sebastian Bach and drummer Rob Affuso. While many were turned off by the heavier sound I was all in on this album from the first listen back in 95. The production took a little to get used to and I always wished they’d remix the whole album like they did to the tracks on the Best of Album. The album had three singles “My Enemy”, “Into Another”, and “Breakin Down”. All three are great songs and other favorites are “Frozen”, “Beat Yourself Blind”, “Firesign”, “Face Against My Soul”, “Eileen”, and “Bonehead”. Sadly the album didn’t sell well reaching only #35 in the US charts and only reaching Gold certification. The band opened for Van Halen on their Balance US tour but there didn’t seem to be much promotion from the label and I don’t remember seeing the videos on MTV or the songs on the radio. The band could have made the greatest album ever recorded and by 1995 the world wouldn’t have cared and had moved on to alternative and other genres.
Wes Haskins
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