You could tell that excitement and anticipation was in the air from the moment you set foot in the Hard Rock on Saturday night. As everyone made their way across the casino floor towards The Joint, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino’s newest venue, you could tell everyone was counting down the minutes for Bret Michaels to take the stage. The Joint is really a spectacular place to be intimate with the artist you are seeing because all 2,700 people feel like they are a part of the show whether you are stage side or the last row.
Michaels has overcome a lot through this past year with being hospitalized for a brain hemorrhage and finding out that he will be under the knife again in January to repair a hole in his heart. After visiting the hospital again for a stroke just a few weeks later, Bret rebounded to win “Celebrity Apprentice 3” where he won $390,000 for the American Diabetes Association.
Before taking the stage, local KMOD radio personalities were getting everyone amped up for the show that was about to take place. T-shirts were given out and local DJ’s talked up the band and let us know that Bret would be taking the stage momentarily. Just as soon as the last DJ disappeared the house lights were taken down to pitch black and the deep, thunderous notes of Guns N’ Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” emanated through the auditorium and band members started running to their places to prepare for Bret’s arrival and the crowd took to their feet.
As the final bassy notes were played, Michaels stormed onto the stage taking his place where he was greeted with a sold-out crowd on their feet and screaming his name. Michaels opened with “Talk Dirty to Me” running from left to right engaging his fans with high fives and adoration. Immediately he rolled into his next hit “Look What the Cat Dragged In” after letting everyone know that VH1 was filming for his new reality show “Life as I know it”.
As the night progressed Michaels went on to covering hits such as Lynard Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and Sublime’s “What I got”. However, he didn’t forget to play all of the hits that made him famous while being Poison’s frontman. Before tearing into “Something To Believe In” he explained that this was one was his favorite of all the songs he was to play that night.
As the show was coming to a near close, Bret paused before switching guitars to explain that he had collaborated with rock group Three Doors Down and Country Stars Rascal Flatts to revamp his popular song “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” with a country style twang. As his acoustic guitar strummed quietly to a stop, he instantly struck the beginning chords of “Fallen Angel” and thanked everyone for coming out and that he appreciated each every one of his fans for making him the person he is today.
Photos by: Casey Hanson
As the lights came up, the audience knew it wasn’t over and started chanting his name in unison. After what was a short break, Michaels took the stage for the final time and made sure the entire room was on it’s feet and waving their arms from side to side as he everyone sang along to “Nothing But A Good Time.” Bret left the stage after thanking the audience and promised that he would make this an annual Tulsa tradition.
If you weren’t a part of the crowd, you really did miss a great show. If you haven’t been to The Joint yet, you really should visit as it is quickly becoming a place where you can find some of rock’s legends stopping by to play a few songs.