Poison’d and Red, White & Crue
Being Bret Michaels" has been good to Scott Seville.
Portraying the leader-singer of 1980-90s glam metal band Poison has taken Seville, leader of the tribute band "Poison’d," all over the world, from shows in Alaska and Canada to a recent stint in Trinidad and Tobago.
As Seville puts it, "the music is an easy sell, wherever you go."
Saturday night, Feb 2, Poison’d comes to Hagerstown, with a few tricks up Seville’s sleeve.
"We’ve been going on 11 years now doing this, believe it or not," the singer said. "I think the realism has been the key to our success. We really go all out to make the show as realistic as possible, down to the exact replica guitars. The detail is extreme."
It helps that Seville physically resembles Michaels, especially when he dons a headband and cowboy hat in the style of the famous singer.
Seville orders his custom-made hats through the same craftsman who makes hats for Michaels. That’s the level of realism to which Poison’d aspires.
"I’ve been stopped at airports and malls and stuff by people who think I’m Bret, so that’s definitely one of the ways to know that the look is working," Seville said. "Don’t get me wrong, we don’t take ourselves that seriously. I know I’m not Bret. But when you get on stage, you have to believe it."
The biggest surprise Poison’d packs, though, is that the group doesn’t perform a tribute to only one band. For the second half of Saturday’s show, Poison’d will transform into Red, White & Crue, their Motley Crue tribute band.
The second tribute was born out of the group’s original music.
"People kept telling me that during our originals I sounded a lot like Vince Neil, the lead singer of Motley Crue," Seville said. "It worked out great, because doing two- or three-hour-long Poison shows is kind of a lot. Doing both bands lets us do 100 percent hits all night long. The fans leave happy."
The current real-life incarnations of both Poison and Motley Crue went on tour together last June. Seville believes the two made a natural double bill, with the Poison’d set leading into the Red, White and Crue performance to close the night.
"There’s a big crowd shift between each of the performances," he said. "Poison is kind of happy and fun and very energetic, and the female audience is probably more toward the front of the stage. When we go and change costumes and come back as Motley Crue, though, it’s heavier and wilder and more intense."
As for getting into character as either Bret Michaels or Vince Young, Seville says "the music does a lot of the work."
"It brings out the emotions and helps you become that person," he said. "I think we’re dead on; we’re extremely proud of this show. We’ve got the dress, the mannerisms, the hair down to a T. As far as the modern style of tribute that we’re doing, I feel confident that we’re among the best out there."