Poison and Pop Evil live in Florida 2018

It’s 5pm on steamy, rainy Friday in St. Petersburg Florida. Everyone that has arrived early at Al Lang Stadium is wondering just how wet they are going to get when the Poison, Pop Evil, and Pitbull Toddler concert starts. This is also the first time that live music will be happening at Al Lang Stadium, which is usually the home of the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the United Soccer League. As show time approached, mother nature decided she was a Poison fan and wanted everyone to have nothing but a good time and the skies cleared up.
Poison & Pop Evil 2018 poster

The first band to take the stage was a local Tampa Bay band Pitbull Toddler. Formed in 2008 the band consists of Mike Calta on bass, Greg Galvin on drums, John Brennan guitarist, Josh Maloney vocals, and Pete Larios on guitars. They have been locally voted as the best cover band. It’s easy to see why they were voted this. While they were limited to a short set, they delivered rousing version of staples such as Guns N’ Roses  “Paradise City”, AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell”, and Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” among others.
Now it was Pop Evil’s turn to take the stage. Formed out of the pieces of several bands in 2001 in Muskegon, Michigan, the band is made of up Leigh Kakaty the lead vocalist, Hayley Cramer on drums, Dave Grahs on guitars, Matt DiRito the bassist, and Nick Fueling on guitars. They put out their first album “Lipstick on the Mirror” in 2008, which contained one of their big hits “100 in a 55”. Tonight’s set kicked off with a ripping version of “Boss’s Daughter”. Next, they went to their new album “Waking Lions” to play “Ex Machina”. “Deal with the Devil” off “Onyx” came next. One thing for sure is these guys were on fire tonight! The rest of the set consisted of a great mix from all their albums that consisted of “Deal with the Devil”, “Be Legendary”, “100 in a 55”, “Take it all”, “Footsteps”, “Waking Lions”, and “Trenches” to close out their performance. What a great show they put on! Leigh worked the crowd like a pro, and the rest of the band brought their best for sure. If it was anyone else but Poison on the bill, Pop Evil would have been the headliner.
As this was the first Concert at Al Lang Stadium what better way to kick off their debut as a concert venue then to have Poison play there. Formed in Pennsylvania in 1983, the band initially consisted of singer Bret Michaels, bassist Bobby Dall, Drummer Rikki Rocket and guitarist Matt Smith. When the band moved to Los Angeles seeking their big break, Matt Smith left the band and in came CC DeVille forming their classic lineup. Now it was time for them to show everyone what they do! The first song of the night was “Look What the Cat Dragged In”. Wow! What a way to start the night off! You could tell that tonight the band was going to make sure everyone had a fun night. The rest of their set could have been a greatest hits album. They played “I Want Action Tonight”, my personal favorite “Ride the Wind”, Talk Dirty to Me”, “Something to Believe In”, “Your Momma Don’t Dance”, “Fallen Angel”, “Unskinny Bop”, “Every Rose has Its Thorn”, “Nothing but a Good Time”, and a cover of Kiss’s mega hit “Rock and Roll All Nite”. During their set they featured a blazing extended guitar solo by CC DeVille, as well as amazing solos by Florida’s own bassist Bobby Dahl and drummer Rikki Rocket. During the show when they were getting ready to play “Something to Believe In”, Bret asked the audience to turn on their cell phone lights and he dedicated the song to all the members of the Armed Forces; a nice moment for sure! When they came out for their encore and played “Rock and Roll All Nite” they brought out Leigh Kakaty and Matt DiRito of Pop Evil to help them out on the song. What a great song choice it was! From start to finish, everyone rocked and rolled all night long!
As this was the first time that a concert was held at this venue, no one knew how it would fare. But with the lineup they had tonight, the deck was stacked in their favor. All the bands delivered their best tonight. Pitbull Toddler did an excellent job playing the cover songs that they know and perform so well. Pop Evil showed why they are a force to be reckoned with playing songs from their catalog, as well as from their brilliant new album “Waking Lions”. Then there is Poison, they are the consummate veteran band that knows how to deliver all their hits and leave an audience thrilled and satisfied. If this tour is coming anywhere near you, go see it you won’t be disappointed. Pop Evil and Poison together put on one hell of a concert.