When you are going to see a band like Poison or Cheap Trick in concert, you know to expect a performance full of rock radio hits. In the case of both Poison and Cheap Trick, beyond the hits you ought to anticipate groups that are still in top-form, also giving you lots to look at production-wise. The Nothin’ But A Good Time 2018 tour — which also included opening act Pop Evil — is not the first time the two rock staples have toured together, and by the looks of things, the Summer of 2018 won’t be the last opportunity to have to see Poison and Cheap Trick play on a bill together.
Here are 5 things we learned from attending the Nothin’ But A Good Time 2018 show at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater.
01. Pop Evil is Cheap Trick-approved
– It seems more often than not that bands on tour together are in competition with one another. As rock lore would have you believe, opening acts not receiving co-billing on a major tour often have it rough, since they have less staging and fewer resources to work with. But in the case of Pop Evil, they were praised by both Cheap Trick and Poison during their sets. In addition, during the song “Surrender,” Cheap Trick brought out members of Pop Evil on-stage.
Watch the video for the classic Poison track “Something To Believe In” here.
02. Cheap Trick is a family affair
– Daxx Nielsen, son of founding Cheap Trick guitarist and principal songwriter Rick Nielsen, officially joined the band in 2010. In turn, he has been part of Cheap Trick for 3 studio albums, most recently 2017’s Christmas Christmas. On this tour, Cheap Trick had an extra guitarist on-stage and that was revealed to be Robin Zander Jr., son of lead vocalist Robin Zander. It is unclear whether bassist Tom Petersson — who sang lead on the cover of the Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting For The Man” — has any children that are ripe for Cheap Trick touring.
03. Cheap Trick has items hidden on-stage
– Even though the music of Cheap Trick is some serious rock and roll, the band has always manage to infuse humor into everything they do. Some of the gags are very obvious, like Rick Nielsen’s five-neck guitar. Other gags are a bit more hidden. Without giving anything away, if you have the chance to see Cheap Trick live in a big venue like an amphitheater or arena — and are also blessed with great vision (or a zoom lense) — look closely.
Check out Poison (w/ Cheap Trick, Pop Evil) @ Budweiser Stage (Toronto, ON) on June 19, 2018.
04. Poison loves the U.S. military
– Poison frontman Bret Michaels is known to love the armed forces of the United States, having participated in a lot of fundraisers over the years beyond playing live at military bases. The Poison hit “Something To Believe In” is reportedly about Michaels’ old friend and security guard, James Kimo Maano, a military veteran who had died. When performing “Something To Believe In” live at Jones Beach, Michaels welcomed military veterans to stand onstage as American flag imagery played on the video screens. This was a rare serious moment within Poison’s set.
05. Poison loves its tourmates
– As noted earlier, Poison and Cheap Trick have toured together, but not all of Poison’s tourmates have been long-time buddies of theirs. As reference, look up the history between Poison and Def Leppard and you will see what I mean. Bret Michaels shouted his love of both Cheap Trick and Pop Evil close to the end of Poison’s set. The set-closer was a cover of the KISS favorite “Rock & Roll All Nite” — a staple of the Poison live show for decades — which included an appearance by Pop Evil’s Leigh Kakaty and Matt DiRito.
But apparently the feeling is mutual, as Rick Nielsen had noted the following in the tour’s press release: “Another Poison/Cheap Trick tour! It’s always been FUN with these guys!”
What you waiting for? Grab some “Nothin’ But A Good Time 2018 Tour” tickets today!