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More Than a Good Time with Poison at PNC Music Pavilion

More Than a Good Time with Poison at PNC Music Pavilion

As the Spring concert season kicks off, there is nothing like some good hair metal to start the ball rolling. PNC Music Pavilion welcomed Poison, Jackyl, and Charlotte’s own Michael Tracy to showcase some of the best hair metal around. Tracy, who we covered recently when he was chosen to open for Bon Jovi, was called in again as Extreme had to cancel their Raleigh and Charlotte performances due to a family situation.

Michael Tracy (3)
Tracy led off with his straight ahead rock show. Tracy brought his crew with him, JT Fitch, Brock Whitfield, Andrew Torres, and Jake Haldenwang to get the PNC crowd moving. Guitar heavy, lyrically sound, Tracy continues to get his music out to new fans. Always full of energy, Tracy and the band continue to add to their list of accomplishments with this fun lineup. Michael has a new album that will be released in 2017 and is available for pre order.

Michael Tracy (11)
Best known for their songs “Down on Me,” “When Will It Rain,” and “The Lumberjack,” Guinness Book of World Records twice designated Jackyl as “The Hardest Working Band in Rock and Roll,” and the guys still are working hard. Frontman, Jesse James Dupree, clad in his Cock of the Walk trucker hat and pink Whiskey Revival t-shirt came onto the stage with a purpose. As he moved toward me, I noticed a bottle of Jesse James Bourbon swinging in his right hand.

Jackyl (2)
Usually, one of two things happen when musicians are walking around with any form of liquid, either they are going to chug it, or they are going to throw it onto the crowd. Since I was in the line of fire, I was hoping for the former, but I am going to let you guess which one he chose. You got it. I look up the top comes off then, the Outlaw Whiskey was spewing like a fountain all over me and the first few rows of fans. Just one of the up close and personal aspects of the job. I wiped off the lenses to my cameras and kept on shooting.

Jackyl (9)
Dupree and the gang cranked up their hits. He had his get back whip on his mic and his mic stand was built out of a rifle. I expect nothing less from a bunch of Georgia boys. For the Jackyl fans in the crowd, they seemed to love the show. At one point Jeff Worley flipped one of his orange guitar picks up in the air and it fluttered down short of its target in the crowd. I fished it off the floor, and found a girl who was probably 12 years old and gave it to her, a little souvenir for the young fans. Jackyl rocked a full 11 song set and ended up with “The Lumberjack,” and of course the chainsaw came out. From where I was waiting, it sounded a little more like a weed eater than a chainsaw, so I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to see that in action. I am admittedly not the biggest fan of the band, and I only got to see the first 3 songs, but they sounded good.

Jackyl (12)
The crowd was buzzing and the seats were filling in as Poison was getting ready to come on. There were at least 3 generations of fans there, young and old alike. It did make for some interesting people watching. It looked like some folks were still living 80s style, not that there is anything wrong with that. The lights went down, then lit back up, green and yellow spots shooting beams into the air. The white, flame accented, Flying V of C.C. Deville was the first thing you heard as he worked his magic on “Look What the Cat Dragged In.”

poison (4)
Bret Michaels exploded onto the stage and up into the air and he began bouncing center stage, red bandana showing in the lights. The crowd went nuts. Michaels strutted onto the catwalk and was giving low fives to everyone he could reach. As they guys played through their set, one thing stood out for me all night, Bret thanked the fans for coming to see them play. He also let the crowd know that Poison loves to play in Charlotte. The band also dropped in solos from each of the guys, a harmonica solos from Bret, C.C. next, then Rikki and Bobby. Now, I love Poison, but a harmonica, guitar, drum and bass solo? My suggestion is to substitute “Cry Tough” and “I Want Action” for the solos, but that’s just me.

poison (42)
We only got to see about and hour and 10 minutes of Poison, and this wasn’t enough. I guess I can understand the shorter set as they had planned on having Extreme play a set as well. Bret Michaels really does engage the crowd. I am not sure you see anyone shaking as many hands with the fans and involving them in the show as he does. The guys ended the show with a Kiss cover.

poison (3)
One thing I really enjoyed and made me smile was as the show ended and the lights came up to encourage people to leave, people actually started moving down and closer to the stage. Michaels was still shaking hands and they wanted to try to be a part of it. It didn’t help that whoever was in charge of the music cranked up “You Shook Me All Night Long.” The crowd started going crazier and Bret started dancing around the stage singing and playing air guitar. I thought he was going to call the band back on and play some more.

poison (27)

It seemed like Poison is still out there having fun after all these years. The guys looked great and sounded great. They will always be one of the best bands to just go see for a good time. I just wish they would have treated us to a few more songs.“Down On Me,” “When Will It Rain,” “I Stand Alone” and, most notably, “The Lumberjack,” “Down On Me,” “When Will It Rain,” “I Stand Alone” and, most notably, “The Lumberjack,”

Check out the full gallery here!

Poison Setlist for the evening:

  1. Look What the Cat Dragged In

  2. Ride the Wind

  3. Talk Dirty to Me

  4. We’re an American Band (Grand Funk Railroad cover)

  5. Bret Michaels Harmonica Solo

  6. Your Mama Don’t Dance (Loggins & Messina cover)

  7. Something to Believe In

  8. C.C. DeVille Guitar Solo

  9. Fallen Angel

  10. Unskinny Bop

  11. Rikki Rockett Drum Solo

  12. Bobby Dall Bass Solo (Pink Panther Theme)

  13. Every Rose Has Its Thorn

  14. Nothin’ but a Good Time


  1. Rock and Roll All Nite

FB: @poison

Born in a small town in Western North Carolina, exposed to the wonders of the world at a young age through stories, words, and pictures. I have fond memories of flipping through Life Magazine to see the iconic images of days gone by and the exotic locations that only a National Geographic photographer could take me. Of course having my grandmother by my side giving commentary of how she met Mohammed Ali and where she was as Kennedy's car made that slow, fateful turn onto Dealey Plaza gave texture and substance to the pictures. Since then, my feet have left imprints in the soil in places I could have only once dreamed of. I have seen beautiful children smile in the dusty landscape of SW Ethiopia. I have walked the streets of the French Revolution. I have discarded my shoes to enter ancient Buddhist Temples in Thailand. I am always in pursuit to uncover new information, soak in new cultures, meet new people, and discover new music that can stimulate my imagination. I am on a lifelong journey, still searching for that ultimate experience. The goal of my photography and writing is to take you with me on my quest. If you are unable to be there with me, I want you to be able to immerse yourself in my words and pictures to help share with you an understanding of what it was like to be present in that small moment in time with me.

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