Bret Michaels Recruits Dee Snider, Lou Gramm and Don Felder for 2024 Tour
After having nothin' but a good time last summer, Bret Michaels will be back this year with Parti-Gras 2.0, a five-act package that kicks off July 12 in Noblesville, Indiana, and plays six dates during July and August.
Joining the Poison frontman and solo artist this summer will be former Foreigner frontman (and recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominee) Lou Gramm, ex-Eagles guitarist Don Felder and Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider, along with country singer Chris Janson, who Michaels joined for an episode of CMT Crossroads in December.
"We had such a great experience last year," Michaels tells UCR. "What I think makes it come together, besides the friendship and the chemistry of the [performers], is just the music, the timeless classic hits and a lot of energy. It's hit songs. People feel like they're having a great time. They're singing. There's no bathroom breaks. It's just a great night from start to finish."
Michaels even has a fairly clear idea of how the shows will run. "You got Don Felder opening up the whole evening with nothing but Eagles hits – 'Hotel California,' 'Life in the Fast Lane.' And then Dee Snider comes on stage with his hits and joins and Lou Gramm singing all the great Foreigner stuff — I can't even count the amount of hits — and then Chris and eventually by the end of the night we pick out some songs we can all do together and make it, again as I said last year, a celebration of all the fans, the bands, the music — everybody in the building."
Unlike last year's Parti-Gras, which included Night Ranger, Jefferson Starship, Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath and onetime Journey singer Steve Augeri, this year's edition will nod to Michaels' dalliances with country music by featuring Janson, who Michaels considers a kind of kindred spirit and "a truly great friend."
"When we got to meet up and hang out before we started filming [Crossroads], he told me the first song he and his band learned to play was [Poison's] 'Talk Dirty to Me.' I said, 'Well, we gotta do that, and you need to sing it.' And 'Buy Me a Boat' is one of his songs that's on my Parti-Gras mixtape. So we formed an amazingly awesome friendship." CMT will be re-airing Crossroads several times during the next week, starting at 8 p.m. EST on Feb. 13.
Michaels also has a strong relationship with Snider, with whom he shares a birthday (March 15, eight years apart), and he terms Gramm "an inspiration" and influence from his earliest days as a music fan. "As you see with Bret Michaels and Friends...I've made friends, I'm gonna say this, 99.9 percent of the time. Maybe once in awhile you meet someone and that chemistry just doesn't gel, but it's seldom and I don't even remember at this point. Most of the people I get along with and have a great time."
Michaels says other elements of Parti-Gras will remain in place, such as the party beads and bandanas distributed to parti-goers, and having contest winners enjoy the show from an on-stage Tiki hut. He also revealed another element that helps create the proper spirit at the shows. "I got down to make it smell good," Michael explains, "I mean literally making sure our hazers had coconut rum so you felt like you were on the island. People were like, 'It smells good up here!' Yeah, dumping a little coconut rum into the hazers, it just smells good. It smells like you're hanging out in Florida or one of the Caribbean islands."
Hit After Hit
But while Michaels released a new single and video, the nostalgic "Back in the Day," before last year's Parti-Gras he's not planning anything similar this time. "When people come to Parti-Gras we keep telling them 'all hits, no filler,' and we're just trying to fire out hit after hit so the fans can have a great night," Michaels says.
He's planning other individual Parti-Gras shows during the rest of the year, and Michaels is also looking ahead to 2025, when Poison is plotting another reunion to follow up its jaunt on the 2022 Stadium Tour with Def Leppard, Motley Crue and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. "I think it's gonna be great," Michaels predicts. "I think everyone will be unbelievably excited, like we were when we did the Stadium Tour. It's about every two or three years and we get together and just have a great time. We really look forward to being together now."
Tickets for Parti-Gras 2.0 go on sale at 10 a.m. EST on Feb. 16, with pre-sale opportunities and VIP packages available via BretMichaels.com. The full 2024 itinerary can be found below.
Parti-Gras 2.0 2024 Show Dates
July 12 - Noblesville, IN @ Ruoff Music Center
July 13 - Burgettstown, PA @ Pavillion at Star Lake
August 3 - Atlanta, GA @ Ameris Amphitheatre
August 23 - Detroit, MI @ Pine Knob
August 30 - Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
August 31 - Gilford, NH @ Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
The '80s Most Outrageous Rock Fashion
Gallery Credit: Nick DeRiso