Some things are so good that once is not enough…So, again in 2023, fans took a break from their pursuit of Black Friday deals to get to The Palace Theater in Greensburg, PA for an evening of singing and dancing along to Poison classics with the Bret Michaels band.
We learned our lesson from the year prior and ventured out early to allow time to traffic and the line of fans trying to park and grab merchandise and refreshments in the historic theater before the band took the stage. The venue officially sold-out again this year, with no empty seats to be found on the ground floor. Well, that was, at least until the traditional ‘party pit’ formed in front of the stage as the lights went down, and once again the rows of mobile chairs were pushed back to make room for more fans in front of the stage as the positive high-energy show of big hits kicked-off.
Bret Michaels continues to bring joy to his fans year after year, and as always, his band was on fire! With security on alert (and in most cases singing along to the hits), this allowed the band to truly interact with the fans as they brought the vibes of the summer Parti Gras tour to the city of Greensburg for Black Friday.
As some may recall it was a year ago to the day that we first heard the new of Parti Gras, which as we all know, became one of the feel-good tours of the Summer with great artists like Journey, Sugar Ray, Night Ranger and Jefferson Starship joining Bret Michaels on the road. And, as he delivered the hits again in Greensburg last night, Bret promised to do it again this summer on July 13, 2024 with support from Live Nation and radio partners WDVE at Starlake Amphitheater in Burgettstown, PA.
As we look forward to what the Bret Michaels band has in store for us in the new year, fans raised their hands to greet the artist throughout the show as he delivered smiles and laughs fueled by the energy of his band which now features two guitarists. Long-time guitarist and band director Pete Evick is now joined by Dean Cramer (So Low, Funny Money), who adds a fuller sound and more vocals to the mix. Rounding out the band you’ll find bassist Norman Voss attacking his instrument as he storms the stage, hard-hitting drummer Meri Schaefer smiling her way through the show, and keyboardist Rob Jozwiak adding that necessary piano sound to the hits.
Bret Michaels is the son of a veteran and a lifelong type 1 diabetic, his unbroken upbeat spirit, charitable donations, and positive high-energy show of big hits continue to bring joy to his fans year after year. As such, we know it wouldn’t be a show without a fitting tribute to our first responders and military and a showcase of cell phones lighting the theater for “Something to Believe In.” But, the sentiment was even more personal to the frontman this year, as he wished his familiar peace after a difficult loss. You can find footage of the song shared on our socials as it was surreal to take in to say the least.
With the set moving like a locomotion, it is always hard to pick out favorites, but personally, watching Bret laughing as he straddled his microphone stand during “Unskinny Bop” took me back to watching that laser driven video on MTV, and walking through the audience during “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and seeing everyone from the paramedics to the venue’s ushers singing along was just priceless.
The set concluded with a lively rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” which featured a guest appearance from Bret’s cousin, who had joined him on stage the year prior. And, as always, the band stuck around to auction off autographed memorabilia from frontman Bret Michaels performance to benefit his Life Rocks Foundation Charity, allowing some lucky fans to go home with cowboy hats, a mic stand, and even a guitar!
Follow us @ThePureRockShop on Facebook and Instagram for more local shows like Jared James Nichols and Wizards of Winter this week and festival coverage including the return of Bret Michaels at Key West’s Third-Annual Rokisland Festival in January, the rumored Sunday evening performance at M3 Rock Festival in Baltimore in May, and another local Parti Gras performance at Starlake on July 13th.
For more from Bret Michaels band coverage check out contributor Carol Fisher’s coverage of guitarist Dean Cramer’s band So Low opening for KIX at Ram’s Head Live, as well as our recap from the M3 Rock Festival Pre-Party with guitarists Pete and Dean in Baltimore in May.
And, hit the archives for the 2022 Bret Michaels shows at The Palace in Greensburg, PA and at the Sugar Bowl in Atlanta with a guest appearance from members of Lit and Hoobastank. We’ve even got Poison coverage from PNC Park, as well as a review of the Bret Michaels show at the Hollywood Casino at the Meadowlands and interview with guitarist Pete Evick.