In Review: Michaels Rocks Casino

Bret Michaels talks to the audience. Photo by Chris Chapman

SALAMANCA — Some music is just timeless. The artist that created the piece is right on. The atmosphere is solid, and the musicianship is spot-on. That was the case for nearly the entire show when Bret Michaels and his band took the stage at the Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino, Saturday, Jan. 19.

The weather was wicked and a winter storm had its sights on the area. That was no detriment for the sold-out room. Nearly every seat was filled. Well, truth be told, this was the first show that I have attended at the Casino that the seats were not used very much. The crowd there to see the Poison frontman was not sitting for this one.

From the time the lights went down and AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” blended into Guns and Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” to the final note of the encore of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” the stage was rocking, and the people watching it were as well.

As a metal head in high school, there seemed to be an unwritten rule. There were simply some bands that you didn’t publicly admit to liking. As time has passed, it seems that most of us that mocked them when the jean jackets and back patches were on were secretly listening to Poison. Other than Bon Jovi, probably one of the higher-ranking bands on that do not listen list.

Michaels was stellar. His voice a bit worse for wear after decades of stage shows, and on-screen appearances, the higher notes were not there for him. The spirit and the feel of Poison were there.

The biggest downfall of the show was not the fault of Michaels and his band. In an unusual occurrence, the mix wasn’t right for the room. Having seats in the last row, the high end was cracking and the volume was a bit too much. It truly felt like the show had been mixed for an outdoor performance.

Michaels was the entertainer he has always been on stage, moving around, engaging the audience, and loving his job. It was evident that the guy does what he loves and that anything else would be less than who he is.

For being on tour for many dates, you have to give it to the guy for his ability to be so focused on the crowd and have the show be all about the music while maintaining a true party atmosphere throughout the show.

For those that either could not brave the weather or weren’t able to get the tickets, you missed a great concert.