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Winger Concert Review, June 6, 2014, Houston, TX

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It’s cool. Go ahead and make the jokes. I’ve heard them all. Whatever. Winger is a great live band. I first saw them in 1991 with Tangier and Extreme. To this day I still can’t remember why I went to that show, but it was probably to watch Rod Morgenstein play drums. I’ve been a big fan ever since seeing his drum clinic in 90/91. He was also a partial reason why I bought a Premier drum kit in the early 90s, although I didn’t get a white one. That 91 show was great and I was shown that everyone in that band were top notch musicians. Kip caught a lot of grief over the years for being “pretty”, but that dude can play bass and piano very well. He played on 2 Alice Cooper records in the 80s, that speaks volumes about his abilities. I saw them years later with some other hair bands and again, they were great. Oddly I’ve never owned any of their albums, it’s just a live thing for me.

When I saw that they were playing the Concert Pub North in Houston on a Friday, I decided to go. I had no plans that night anyway. I listened to some of the stuff from the new album and was quite impressed. After looking at the band lineup I saw that John Roth was in the band. His name wasn’t familiar but I check The Book just to see if he was in there. Boom! He played on the Medieval Steel debut EP. That solidified me going and for buying the VIP to make sure I got him in there as well as the other guys in Winger.

I got to the show and ran into my buddy, John, who does security for a lot of shows in the Houston area. I first met John through a mutual friends a few years back when he was working with Motorhead here in Austin. Through that meeting I got to have a few drinks with Mikkey Dee. John walks me right by the lines and gets me to the booth to get my VIP creds. Easy peasy.

I sat at one of the VIP tables with 2 cool girls that I met right when I walked in. One of them had just moved to Austin this week and the other was a Houston local. I sat there through both of the openers but neither band caught my ear. Mid-set of the second band the meet and greet happened and I got in towards the end of the line. The band was very nice and personable with each person that came through the line. They signed whatever anyone put in front of them. Kip was inquisitive about the book as most folks are when they see it. Kip, Rod and Reb signed it and I flipped over to the Medieval Steel page and said to John, “You’re not off the hook. You’re in here, too.” “Really?!” He said he was surprised that anyone remembered that band. I didn’t realize that Roth has been a part of Winger for almost 20 years. Reb looked at Kip and said, “What’s Paul (Young) doing now?”

I then pulled out a photo of Rod and me from 1990/91 taken at a drum clinic. He laughed and just said, “Wow! Long time ago.” He signed the photo. For the photo op, I chose to stand next to Rod to try and create the then and now photo below. All of the guys thanked me more coming and that was that. So very worth it. Off to the car to put the book away and enjoy the show.

Shortly after, the band comes on and opens with a new song called “Midnight Driver of a Love Machine.” They were tight and pretty much played all the hits. I’ve always liked Heading for a Heartbreak. Watching Rod play was enjoyable. He’s so damned good. The whole band was great. Kip’s voice sounded great and he had no problem hitting the high notes. Roth and Beach also had great backing vocals.

One cool thing happened at the end of the show. Kip asked if there were any bass players in the crowd and they brought some dude up on stage. “It’s 2 notes, you can do it. Unless you suck. Do you suck?” They closed with Van Halen’s Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love. It was pretty damned cool to do that. The guy was OK, I could have done better. ;)

I’ve seen Poison 3 times? What the hell is wrong with me?!

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As I’ve been digging through all of my old ticket stubs recently I noticed one thing that has not left me at ease.  Yes.  I’ve been to 3 Poison shows.  I mean, what the hell?  I detest that band.  I find their style of music to be of the utmost poseur category.  I have a lot of friends who like them and that’s fine, but I don’t.  Looking up who they were on tour with, it all starts to make a little sense.

The first time was in 2002 and they had Cinderella, Winger and Faster Pussycat as openers.  Prior to this I had only seen Winger once in the late 80s and they were great live.  I hated Cinderella back when they came out but over the years grew to appreciate them a little more.  Faster Pussycat always sat well with me, even though they did some silly stuff too.  But Poison?  Blech!  I will admit that they are entertaining live to a degree, I only wish I could have just turned their sound off completely.  Their music and Brett Michael’s voice annoys me to no end.  The other three bands put on a great show.  It was worth the $10.

Poison Hollyweird World Tour 2002

Next up was 2003.  Wait…what?  I saw them 2 years in a row even?  Shoot me now!  At least I got free tix to this one.  Vince Neil and the Bach-less Skid Row opened up.  Awful.  When I saw Skid Row in 1991, they were great but then again they had a great frontman at the time.

Poson Harder, Louder, Faster Tour 2003

Finally I saw them again in 2006.  What is my f’ing problem?  Ah, Cinderella opened up.  Since seeing them a few years prior, I knew they were likely to put on another great show…and they did even though Kiefer’s voice was having troubles.  Poison?  Blah…again.  My ticket says $10, but I think I got these for free.

Poison 20th Anniversary Tour 2006

If any of you ever see or hear me inclined to go see Poison again, please berate me and talk me out of it.  I promise it wouldn’t take much to do.  :)

Written by The Metal Files

June 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm