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Show Review: Poison at Musikfest, Bethlehem, PA, 8-7-22

By MadameB

Poison has been a favorite band, as I grew up in the 90s, it was all about Bret Michaels and the bandana. I was fortunate enough to meet them a few years back, and while my wife fangirled with Rikki Rockett, Bret and I were chatting. He said his hat probably looked better on me, so he put it on my head. Did I die? No. Did I almost die? Yes, yes, I did.

I was offered the opportunity to write this review by Tara Lakatos, of RockDNA, and I jumped at it. Not only did this band mean so much to her, but Poison was also the soundtrack that helped me through so much growing up.

This show was phenomenal, and after seeing 1000s of concerts, here are the highlights that lifted this show to the top of my list of favorites:

· They started some music loud to get the crowd pumped, Welcome to the Jungle came on, and not one person was seated in the entire Steel Stacks. Everyone was singing, women were on shoulders of their partners, the excitement was there!

· They kicked off the show with “Look What the Cat Dragged In” and the crowd was loud, and the entire band transported us all back to 1986; glam metal was strong in Bethlehem.

· I often love people watching at concerts, I love to see how music can resonate and make the passion pop in people. This show was one of my favorites. I walked through some sections, this crowd went from teenagers singing every word, to a husband and wife leaning on their canes and throwing horns with the other hand; rock is certainly not dead.

· Poison played all their hits, and while singing his heart out, without tracks, Bret spent a lot of time interacting with the crowd, several times insisting photographers and videographers focus on the crowd “because they are the important ones here”.

I will never turn down an opportunity to see Poison, however, personally I will reconsider supporting Musikfest/ Artsquest events.Before the show I accompanied Tara to the media center, she was to pick up her photo pass, and I was hoping to get a few minutes to ask a few questions to the Musikfest/ Artsquest media team about the drive of the organizations and volunteers, neither of which happened.I have never seen such a flippant lack of respect.After unanswered emails, after driving to the site, they just crudely dismissed her, in front of a large group of volunteers and peer photographers.Based on this treatment of an artist, I decided not to ask my questions, and left with Tara.I have been a huge supporter of this organization in the past, and after that harsh discharge, I am seriously re-thinking that.The director later came to Tara at our seats, and continued to belittle her, treating her as if she was a 5-year-old child, not an adult/ professional photographer.This is not how an organization created to support and shine a light on art should treat local artists; it’s a complete disgrace.

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