By: Robert Cavuoto
Depending on where you stand, Bret Michaels may be most notable to you as the front man of rock’s most iconic and enduring band, Poison, or as a reality star in his over the top VH1 Series, Rock of Love, or even as the winner of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice.
But, today at the 2012 Quick Chek Balloon Festival, he is fronting his solo band while Poison has a few weeks break from touring with Def Leppard on their successful “Rock of Ages” Tour.
With a weather prediction of rain for most of Readington, New Jersey’s, weekend forecast, the clouds managed to part on Sunday for a few hours, just long enough for Bret to perform a blistering 60+ minute set in the 100 degree sun and sweltering heat.
He told the crowd, “It’s your party New Jersey, let’s have some fun!” and then proceeded to turn up the heat. He put on a stellar show, performing a combination of Poison classics, like “Talk Dirty to Me”, “Nothin but a Good Time”, “Unskinny Bop”, and “Look What the Cat Dragged In”, as well as some cover tunes like “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Your Momma Don’t Dance”. He even played “Rock of Love” from his hit VH1 show which he co-wrote with guitarist Peter Evick.
No matter how hot it got, Bret looked like he was having just as much fun as his fans and infused all his songs with the spirit of having a good time.
He performed a fantastic acoustic version of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and told the crowd that an updated version will appear on his new solo CD, featuring Joe Perry of Aerosmith, on guitar. He chuckled, “Joe would be a no-show at today’s show!”
He tore up a rockin version of “Fallen Angel” while playing his white signature series Dean Z guitar that was later raffled off for a diabetes charity at the end of the show; along with his hat and bandanna. The autographed Dean guitar fetched $4,100!
Turns out that philanthropy remains an important facet of Bret’s career. A lifelong diabetic, he’s partnered with the American Diabetes Association in 2010, acting as a spokesperson and sponsor. Beyond his role as spokesperson, Michaels has donated numerous items for auction for diabetes related events and the money from the raffled Dean guitar, he said, will help send a few kids with diabetes to summer camp.
A good man, doing some good work, putting on a great show. Hopefully, we will see him back next year at the 2013 Quick Chek Balloon Festival