Poison, with Slaughter, Dokken and Cinderella
Molson Amphitheatre, June 28, '00
by Martin Popoff

S'funny, myself, noted scribe Marc Weisblott, and Toronto Star reviewer Ben Rayner all spotted the guy in the Stryper shirt, myself adding the incredulous tale of this guy in a jean jacket with a full borderline-gay airbrush shot of Slaughter commanding his back patch. A Hairs (no apostrophe on the patch, only on corporate papers, dig?) Angel fighting for his right to party. God bless 'im though. We need 'em, I think. Top shirt count went to Kiss (recently and miserably through), second place to a new band called "Beer", who must be pretty good, at least as good as the $9.50 28 oz. brown beverages clutched in the mitts of nearly every happy patron of the place.

The reason this music died however was the star trip. Rumours abound about petulance on this tour, and others like it in recent months. Our passes were lost, got the runaround, met no one. Pre-show for weeks, record labels were of no help. Finally got a pass for a supposed Cinderella meet-and-greet. Here were maybe a half-dozen of us kicking around. The band never showed. There was this textbook fan sitting with us. Cinderella was his favourite band in the world (how does THAT happen?). He told us Cinderella had played Toronto six times and for whatever reason he missed every show. Aaron and I found that pathetic in its own way, although less pathetic than if he was at every show.

Right, star trip. There's an interesting phenom to that. Winners fight. Bill and Monica. What's to do but bang through the press pain? Win in the end. Make them forget. Finish the presidency. Not one of these four bands acknowledged metal's 10 year wilderness, or acted too gracious, or did anything to say "metal is back." Bret Michaels said it was great to be back, it's been six years, no acknowledging why. And the "why" they were at the top of this bill (any of the four could have been) was probably because they stopped bugging us with product for a long time. Absence makes the heart pump neon green. No, why notate the surprise registered on the faces of all the conspirators? We are masters of the universe. Always have been, right? Re-write history. May as well. No in-jokes about fame's fickle mistress. We don't joke about things like that. We are Hair. Which is another reason the music died: these guys refuse to ascribe any intelligence to their fans, wrong or right, something which grunge did, luv it or leave it. And most screeched out suggestions to check out their new albums, oblivious to the fact that Canadian stores probably don't stock their freshly indie output (Poison, Slaughter), partly due to lack of demand, but more likely due to inept attempts at distribution (we're Poison dammit. YOU call US if you want the record!).

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