• Dean Birkheimer

Bret Michaels Headlines an 80’s Rock Explosion at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, IA

FIREHOUSE – LITA FORD – WARRANT – DOKKEN – BRET MICHAELS

MID-AMERICA CENTER, COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA – 3/31/18

“You've got to see the show, it's a dynamo. You've got to see the show,

it's rock and roll” - Emerson, Lake & Palmer

When Emerson Lake & Palmer wrote Karn Evil 9 and referenced a “show” this damn well may have been the show they were thinking of. Unless you’re at some huge two day out-door festival it’s not often you will see bands of this caliber on the same stage on the same night. Firehouse, Lita Ford, Warrant, Dokken and Bret Michaels collectively took the energy at the Mid-America Center

in Council Bluffs, IA to levels that will hard to duplicate. March 31st, 2018 will be a day that many of the people in attendance will look back on and proudly acclaim -- “Hell yeah man, I was at that show!!”

C.J. Snare (vocals), Bill Leverty (Guitar), Michael Foster (Drums) & Allen McKenzie (Bass) make up the band FireHouse. Twenty-seven years this band has been around and excpet for McKenzie, who joined in 2004, they’ve kept the same line-up. Now you tell me, If you do something nearly everyday for twenty-seven years, wouldn’t you be great at it? (get your mind out of the gutters). No different for these fellas, but great doesn’t quite cover it. Let’s see if I can do better… amazing? Nah, maybe fabulous? Nope..how bout excellent…No wait I got it. They are FXXing GREAT!!! Hmm how about that, I didn’t need to change the actual word, just needed to add an adjective. You simply could not ask an opening band to do more than these guys did. The crowd was loving everything that the band gave us. Foster was flipping and tossing sticks in air like he’s been doing it for twenty-seven

years. Oh wait, yeah. HE HAS!!!. It was incredible how magnificent Snare sounded. His voice was phenomenal. Leverty is as polished a guitar player as you’ll see and even the ”new” guy McKenzie likes to sneak in some bass lines from his old prog rock days. When they left the stage, they left to a very thankful audience who were now properly prepared for the rest of evening’s entertainment.

SET LIST:

OVERNIGHT SENSATION – SHAKE AND TUMBLE – ALL SHE WROTE – LOVE OF A LIFETIME –

REACH FOR THE SKY – DON’T TREAT ME BAD

She’s been called the Queen of Metal and I’m sure possibly a few other things during her illustrious career, but I’ll bet you she doesn’t care one iota. Some people are born to do certain things. Lita Ford was born to be on stage and to share the stage with her, she brought some incredibly talented musicians. Marty O’Brien on bass (I honestly don’t think this guy stopped moving all night), Patrick Kennison on guitar (his backing vocals were right on point), and drummer Bobby Rock (A Berklee College of Music alum). Lita has a presence about her that makes you follow her as she moves about the stage and when she talks, you feel like she is talking with you, not at you. After "Cherry Bomb," Lita told us about her mother’s passing, then presented a tribute to her with "Lisa / Only Women Bleed." It was a touching and moving moment. Next song was "Close My Eyes Forever." Kennison took the Ozzy parts on this, and he was perfection. The show closed with "Kiss Me Deadly." It was raw rock and roll and Lita's voice sounded strong. In the end, the band waved and walked off to the sounds of cheering and chanting fans.

SET LIST:

GOTTA LET GO – LARGER THAN LIFE – CHERRY BOMB – LISA / ONLY WOMEN BLEED –

CLOSE MY EYES FOREVER – KISS ME DEADLY

So far, we’ve seen FireHouse and Lita Ford and so far, the concert has been amazing.