JANESVILLE, Wis. — According to sources at a local music venue, ex-Poison frontman Bret Michaels performed a 75-minute concert in which he never actually sang any songs and instead pointed the microphone at the audience for the entire show.
Michaels, 50, an accomplished songwriter, reality star, hair metal icon and 30-year veteran of the music business appeared at The Back Bar in Janesville on Sunday to a crowd of literally dozens of bar fans. The nearly sold-out show was the most recent in his “Life Rocks Tour,” which has taken the aging rocker through such venues as Jergels Rhythm Grille in Warrendale, Penn. and The Shack in Fond du Lac, Wis.
Looking stunning in a lovely navy blue eye-liner, Michaels strutted to center stage as his backing band tuned their instruments and flashed two peace signs high above his tiny cowboy hat to the very peaceful audience. He then asked how everyone was and if they were ready for the show to begin. The band began playing “Talk Dirty to Me” from Poison’s 1986 album, Look What the Cat Dragged In and, rather than singing, Michaels pointed the microphone at the crowd, encouraging them to sing along to the music.
Next came the title song off of the same album, which Michaels also didn’t sing. In fact, he never uttered a single note, instead holding the microphone over the audience while he smiled and occasionally mouthed some words.
About 30 minutes into the show, Michaels slowed things down with the ballad “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” from Poison’s 1988 album, Open Up and Say… Ahh! As his guitarist played the intro, Michaels selected a woman from the crowd to join him on stage, as though he was going to serenade her. However, he then held the microphone in front of her face for the duration of the song, which the 23-year-old college student had never heard and knew none of the lyrics.
By the end of the show the crowd was visibly tired of singing. Michaels, however, seemed not to notice or care and continued to not sing.
The tour continues Wednesday at a state fair, or something.
Ross Kelly prefers Mötley Crüe.