Review by Scotti Moore
Rolling into town today is a man that has many ties to the Metro Area. A cousin, that sadly passed last year, who was a first responder in River Rouge along with three generations of fans with the earliest remembering 27 years ago when he started out playing at “Blondie’s” then graduating to “Harpo’s” only to see his career reach full throttle selling out Cobo Hall, Joe Louis Arena and Pine Knob. Tonight Bret Michaels continued the love affair with Detroit at the Soundboard inside Motor City Casino. But first Bret had more on the itinerary than just his “Rock for Jobs” concert. At 3pm Mr. Michaels arrived at the Goodwill store in Dearborn for a tour of the facility. Anyone who has followed his very public career knows that it hasn’t been all fun and games for this celebrity. He has battled not only the typical hurdles that we have come to expect a rock star to face but he has overcome some health issues that can only be explained as nothing short of miracle that he is standing before us today. Through these trials and tribulations he has come to realize how important life is and how giving back is not an option but a necessity. As his visit to Goodwill begins he takes time to greet and thank everyone for allowing him this opportunity. While walking through the store he is genuinely overwhelmed at how many people have donated goods, services and their time to such a phenomenal charity and how they have created so many jobs and opportunities for those in need. He continues to talk about how the most important thing in life is to give back and how thankful he is to be in a position to do just that. As his visit with Goodwill came to an end he made sure to answer everyone’s questions and pose with all for photos. When asked what he gathered from today’s visit his reply was “I am honored to have been able to spend time here today. Before I leave I seen some things I need to pick up and when I am done with that with every thing I have seen here today I would like to personally donate $10,000 to Goodwill. Not only did he dig into his pockets but all proceeds from the concert ticket sales were being donated to the Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. After everything settled down at Goodwill he thanked everyone once again and he is off to Motor City for sound check.
The Motor City Soundboard was full of energy and anticipation for Bret’s “Rock For Jobs” show as the venue filled to capacity. The mix of generations gathered not only to help the cause but to rock out with one of the coolest guys in the music business. Bret Michaels is known for his “fans come first” attitude and his flare for rock. Dedicated fan’s Like Mary Howell Harrington drove four hours to see this show and when asked why she just said it was a no brainier!
The house lights went down and after a powerful intro the moment we all had been waiting for was upon us. The Bret Michaels Band took the stage while Guns N Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” screamed over the sound system. The crowd rose to their feet and the party was in full swing. As they kicked into the Poison mega hit “Talk Dirty To Me” Bret comes running out to an eardrum exploding roar from the crowd and throws down the song with his signature enthusiasm. I instantly notice that this isn’t going to be a show that is packaged by all the glitz and glam that I am use to seeing him surrounded by; this was going to be a straight out heart pounding rock and roll show. Before moving on he takes time to let everyone in attendance know how excited he is to be back in Detroit, the place that was pivotal in jump starting his career. He then screams “look what Detroit dragged in” putting a local twist on another fan favorite tune “Look What the Cat Dragged In.” After the song “Ride the wind” Bret Michaels goes into the Skynyrd classic “Sweet Home Alabama” which leads straight to the cover song hit that Poison revived “Your Momma Don’t Dance.” Each song was accompanied by the voices of the sold out crowd. The stage lights now dim and a spotlight focused on Bret by himself as he appears with his acoustic guitar. “I want to acknowledge 2 things now,” he says. First he talks about the great work Goodwill is doing then he thanks all the men and women who have and are serving our country. He continues, “This song goes out to you. It’s called “Something to Believe In.” As the venue is filled with a swaying sea of humanity the tempo then picks back up with the ever popular hit “Unskinny Bop.” After a thunderous drum solo he introduces his band and then asks the crowd to help him with the next song that he humbly explained was out of his vocal range. They play the intro to the Journey hit “Don’t Stop Believing” which as you would guess the crowd did their part by screaming the line “Born and raised in South Detroit.” The song stopped there but the show didn’t. After a cover of Sublime’s “Lovin is What I Got” Bret with his acoustic starts to ring out yet another hit “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” As they exit the stage after saying good night the fans began to raise the volume level to let Bret know they were not ready to end this show. The band along with Bret returned to the stage for an encore song that everyone had been waiting for and what I would call the theme of the night “Nothin But a Good Time.”
Unfortunately this night had to end sooner or later. For most they were hoping later. I could only sum this experience up as amazing. From the visit to the Goodwill store in Dearborn where we seen his devotion for charity to the Soundboard at Motor City Casino where we seen the passion for his fans. Bret Michaels puts 100% into everything he does. Not only will he go down as one of the most passionate entertainers to grace the stage but he will forever be known as one of the most caring and loving people to ever grace the earth. Thanks Bret for giving us something to believe in!