A couple of months ago, a couple of minutes before the 10am onsale, I got an email with a presale code for Poison (with Tesla opening) doing a headlining show at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY. Wasn't sure who might be able to go because it's such a busy time for shows so I just got one - the cheapest available ($25 plus $12 service charge) figuring someone else would grab a cheap ticket and join me when the show came around. I scored a second row aisle seat in the upper level basically straight back from the stage in the back of the arena. A good price and not too shabby since Times Union is a relatively small arena.
Well the show came around last night, May 9, 2017 and it was a bit odd how the tickets were handled. My buddy Kev and his wife said for $37 each, they'd be into it and looked into getting tix and suddenly the cheapest seat available were first level for $46.50. With charges a pair would cost about $130 which they felt was not worth it so they skipped it.
I figured it was one of those cases where they were closing the upper level due to ticket sales and anyone like me who had such a ticket would get to the show and be told to go to a desk and would get the ticket traded in for an open first level seat which must be almost full.
Got to the arena as the opening band (before Tesla - I missed their name) was playing and the upper level was open! I went up there and basically there were maybe tops 200 people spread out throughout the thousands of seats in the upper level. I had no problem sitting up there in my seat (and during Poison would move way closer over on C.C.'s side) but why the hell would you stop selling the cheap seats up there if you were keeping it open. Not sure how many casual walk up fans would have attended but I know of at least two ticket sales they didn't get. Anyway rant over.
So I found out where the entrance to my section was, grabbed a beer and checked out the merch booth during which time the opening band's set ended. I went up to my seat and about 5 minutes before Tesla hit the stage, there were maybe 1000 people in the arena.
As soon as the lights went down and Tesla came on about 2000 or so more people streamed back into their lower level seats. I'd guess about 3000 people as Tesla's killer set started and it slowly grew over the course of their 50 minutes or so time on stage. By the time they ended and for Poison's following set I'd say attendance was in the area of 5000.
I've seen Tesla plenty of times and usually in opening slots like this you get more or less a greatest hits set and that's what we got last night. Opening with "Edison's Medicine" and closing with "Modern Day Cowboy" in between we got basically all of their singles including "Hang Tough", "Love Song", "Little Suzi" and of course their cover of "Signs".
Tesla always bring the good and last night was no different killer set!
During the short break before Poison came on I decided to move over closer to the stage as there were plenty of seats to choose from.
Poison opened the show with the title track from their debut album "Look What The Cat Dragged In" and followed it with hit after hit for the remainder of their set.
"Ride The Wind" was next and when they followed it with "Talk Dirty To Me", it brought the crowd to the next level. The group of eight gals sitting next to me all hopped up to watch a few rows closer at the railing staying there dancing and rocking out for the rest of the set.
"Cry Tough" was next and appears to be the only extra song Poison are playing at these headlining shows which is the only bummer. The other additions to the setlist seems to be solos by each band member...would have preferred another song or two instead. Here's the video I shot of "Cry Tough"
Bret came out with his acoustic guitar and said this was one they don't usually play this early in the set and he played a heartfelt version of "Something To Believe In". Here's video I took of that.
Next Bret grabbed his harmonica and actually did a harmonica solo which lead into a spirited version of their cover of Loggins and Messina's "Your Mama Don't Dance".
It was C.C. DeVille's time in the spotlight next with his guitar solo which lead into "Fallen Angel".
Drummer Rikki Rockett then performed his drum solo.
This went directly into bassist Bobby Dall's solo. Here's the video I took of that.
This went into the massive huge sing along of Poison's first #1 hit "Every Rose Has its Thorn" and was followed by the set ending "Nothin' But A Good Time."
After a real short encore break the band came back, joined by a group of fans, for a cover of Kiss' "Rock and Roll All Nite" to end the night. Here's video of that one.
It's too bad my buddy and his wife didn't join me. Poison was as good if not better than the first time I saw them just over 30 years ago opening for Ratt. A fun way to spend a Tuesday night.
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