MUSIC: Strippers and dudes in blonde wigs: Poison plays The Pearl

    He sang of metal gods while doing his best to act as one, a hair slinging peacock in leather pants who spent the night kneeing humility right in the taco.
    “Tyrants of loud. Our hearts? Red and black,” Sebastian Bach howled like a wolf with an anvil on its tail. “We breathe in terror and breathe out the light. Live to survive, we are one tonight.”
    The tune was “American Metalhead,” an awesomely campy ripper that Christopher Guest could have penned as a Spinal Tap b-side.
    But what would sound like satire from just about any other dude fits Bach about as well as his painted on pants.
    The guy is more metal than Blackie Lawless’ flame-shooting codpiece.
    At a sold-out Pearl on Friday night, Bach opened up Poison’s annual summer tour with gusto – it wasn’t 20 minutes into his set before he was humping a camera and leering at the crowd with eyes big as hubcaps.
    Beginning with a cover of Aerosmith’s “Back in the Saddle,” Bach alternated songs from his latest solo disc, the surprisingly heavy “Angel Down,” with fan favorites from his previous band, Skid Row (“Monkey Business,” “18 and Life,” etc).
    Whether old or new, what all the tunes had in common was that they gained a few extra layers of muscle and snarl live. 
    “If I ain’t sweatin’, I ain’t rockin’” Bach announced at one point, chest heaving, arms glistening (of course the dude doesn’t wear sleeves).
    Clearly having himself a good time, Bach gave shout-outs to former Pantera/current Hell Yeah drummer Vinnie Paul, who was watching from the wings, and brought “Girls Next Door” pin-up Bridget Marquardt on stage to swish her hips to “I Remember You.”
    His time on stage ended with “Youth Gone Wild,” a song about a problem child’s comeuppance, and on this night, Bach pretty much got his. 
    The same couldn’t be said for Dokken, who followed Bach and struggled to bring the same energy.
    “I’m older than everybody here combined,” Don Dokken quipped, and though his voice has held up pretty well, he’s not the most kinetic of performers and would have fared better had he opened the show.
    Still, ‘80s chestnuts like “Tooth and Nail” and “Into The Fire” got some fists pumping and though guitarist George Lynch is no longer in the fold, his current replacement, Jon Levin, shredded hard enough to induce carpal tunnel syndrome. 
    And then there was the band that the dudes in blonde wigs were there to see: Poison.
    Bashing out a dozen hits in 75 minutes, the band turned in a business-minded set of libidinous pop metal whose sole reason for being seems to be to get blonde chicks gyrating.
    This is a noble enough end, I suppose, and Poison doesn’t put on any airs about its role: their tunes are the soundtrack to drinking beer out of plastic cups and hitting on girls named Bambi.
     Nothing more, nothing less.
    Buttressed by giant plumes of flame that shot up from the stage, the band primped and preened and made lots of strippers sigh.
    Nearly every song they played was a hit single at some point, a flashback to the “Headbangers Ball” circa 1990, from “I Want Action” to “I Won’t Forget You,” the tune hair farmers spin when they want to get all sentimental and stuff.
    Decked out in a glittery cowboy hat, frontman Brett Michaels seemed to revel in the renewed star power that reality TV has given him.
    “Ain’t looking for nothing, but a good time,” he sang during one of his band’s signature hits, and at the Pearl, he didn’t have to look too far.      

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