For Poison’s Bret Michaels, performing is life

If you go

Who: Mötley Crüe, Poison and The New York Dolls

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Covelli Centre, 229 E. Front St., Youngstown

Tickets: $46, $66, $76, $96 at the box office

Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil will hold an after-party at Club Gossip in Austintown after Friday’s concert. Admission will be $10 at the door for the all-ages event. Neil will sign autographs and take photos with fans until 2 a.m.

The Covelli Centre concert has been declared a sell-out, said arena marketing manager Kelsey Rupert, although a few single seats remain available. Go to the Covelli box office, or call 1-800-745-3000.

Before the concert, an outdoor party patio near the arena’s VIP entrance will open two hours before the 7 p.m. show starts. A limited area for motorcycle parking will be available near the party patio and outdoor smoking sections.

By John Benson

Sharing anniversaries and a whole lot of music is what Poison and M ∂tley Cr ºe are doing this summer with their summer tour, which comes to Covelli Centre Friday.

Celebrating its 25th year together, Poison (“Talk Dirty To Me,” “Fallen Angel,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”) is an opener, along with special guests the New York Dolls.

The Vindicator talked via an email with Poison frontman Bret Michaels about his memories of growing up in Butler, Pa., his life-threatening subarachnoid hemorrhage he suffered last year and the future of Poison.

Q. Naturally, 25 years together is an important milestone for you guys. Should fans be surprised you’re celebrating it as an opener?

A. It’s been incredible so far to be performing on the summer tour with M ∂tley Cr ºe and the New York Dolls with my band Poison. When I was out solo last fall, I said to the crowd, “Wouldn’t it be cool for Poison and Motley to do a tour together?” And it all came together. It’s an amazing milestone for us, and seeing all the generations of fans together is just mind-blowing and awesome. The energy the crowd brings to the table is great and that, for me, is just the best feeling.

Q. Any funny memories of M ∂tley Cr ºe from decades ago? Was there ever a rivalry between bands?

A. We’re having a blast and we’ve always had fun. Back when we were starting out it was just always a great time and full of pyrotechnics and incredible energy. People love to stir up drama about Poison and M ∂tley, but honestly we’re just two bands bringing our music to the fans.

Q. Considering you grew up outside of Pittsburgh, did you ever come to Youngstown?

A. I did grow up outside Pittsburgh, and I have great memories of the area in general. I was always outdoors being active as a kid. I played a lot of sports, always something active. I rode dirt bikes all the time. I don’t recall ever gigging in Youngstown back in the day, but I loved growing up [there]. I spent a fair amount of time in Youngstown as well, so I’m excited to be coming back to the area.

Q. After your recent medical issues, has performing live changed for you?

A. If I was at home doing nothing I’d go crazy. I know some people think that I should sit around and heal, but it’s just not me. That’s not the life I lead. It’s not the life I want to lead. That’s not what I find fulfilling. Look, I’ve had diabetes since I was 6, and I have always been a fighter. No matter what gets in your way you get on the horse and ride. And it’s important now to show my daughters those same ethics. So for me being out on tour is the right thing to do.

Q. Finally, it’s been a while since Poison released any new material. Any ideas when fans can expect your next album?

A. I’m not sure when that will happen. But I’m sure that it will one day. I love writing music, and I love those guys. When the time is right and the inspiration hits, I’m sure we’ll all find ourselves back in the studio together. Music is, without a doubt, what keeps me going.

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