Wednesday, May 30, 2001
Rock 'n' Roll part of the night and party often
By MICHAEL BOYLAN
I am currently doing a series of head and neck exercises so that I will remain in tip-top condition after tomorrow night's activities.
Hifi Buys Amphitheater, formerly Lakewood, will play host to four of the top hard rock/heavy metal acts of the late 1980s and I will be in attendance, head banging with the best of them.
Enuff Z'Nuff, Quiet Riot, Warrant and Poison will each perform nostalgic sets this Thursday night, harkening back to a time when MTV showed nothing but music videos and aerosol hair spray was all the rage. There will be thousands of lighters in the air tomorrow night as the power ballads ring out, speaking out about good love gone bad and bad love that's oh so good.
As you can tell, I am very excited about this concert. When these bands were in their heyday, I was a little too young to go to this type of concert without parental supervision. My parents took me to some concerts (U2, Aerosmith) but this was clearly not their cup of tea.
They can't stop me now. Nor would they try. Bands like Poison and Warrant look like Captain and Tenille when compared to some of the rock groups of today. Sure, they looked dangerous back in the late '80s, with their long hair and tight pants, but I'm sure most parents today would rather have their kids listening to Quiet Riot than Mudvane or Gwar.
I have to admit that part of the appeal of these bands growing up was their edge. The concert t-shirts were black with questionable images and phrases on them, their videos featured good-looking young women, the members of the bands were rich and they got paid for traveling the world and rocking out with everybody.
The videos made every day look like a party and for some of these guys it was. Only now through the power of shows like "Behind The Music" or "Where Are they Now?" do we realize the havoc that the party life-style caused.
The power of the power ballads was also a huge influence. Every band back then was known for at least one and those songs were your keys to a slow dance with that special girl. Whether it was Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" or Guns 'N'Roses' "Patience", you were guaranteed several close minutes where you didn't have to say anything and were therefore assured that you wouldn't screw anything up.
Do they even have school dances anymore? I know that power ballads have gone out the window. Now, if you want to slow dance with that special someone it has to be to an N'Sync or Backstreet Boys tune. Trust me, it just isn't the same.
These bands were a flash in the pan, musically speaking. Poison had only three commercially successful albums and Warrant and Quiet Riot had even less, but they're back in the big arenas now, cashing in on nostalgia. It is kind of scary to think that 15 years from now Blink 182 and Weezer might be playing shows like this. There will be a 20-something columnist who will chuckle as he purchases his tickets, digs out his old CDs, raises his fists and screams, "Rock 'n' roll!"