Rock the Bayou…Can You Handle It?

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I’ve got one word for you people: Dokken.

Yeah, Dokken. I said it, and you heard me. I’m also saying Bret Michaels, Twisted Sister, RATT, L.A. Guns, Alice Cooper, and Skid Row.

It’s Rock the Bayou time, yes indeedy.

As a child of the late 80s, I was into my hair metal like I was into my Bonne Bell and Wet n’ Wild and Aqua Net. My gal pals and I staged dance contests in our basements set to the music of Poison, Guns n’ Roses, and Def Leppard. Although the discerning critic already blooming inside me was a little disturbed by the idea of grown men with prettier hair than me, I couldn’t deny the fact that “Pour Some Sugar on Me” had a rockin’ beat.

Now, where Astroworld once stood, lucky Houston will host Rock the Bayou, a Labor Day festival staging some of the biggest has-beens you’ve ever seen. (No offense to Alice Cooper, who actually never became a has-been because he’s just too cool for that.)

You can tell the festival is trying to appeal to the aging 30 and 40 somethings who are most likely to attend the event. The Web site is promoting a “climate-controlled Budweiser VIP Village” as well as “clean portolets and hand washing stations” and “well-lit parking.” And don’t forget the all important “misting stations.” Somehow, I think it all went down a little differently back in `86. “Trash cans well-equipped to hold copious amount of vomit” and “butt cans” were more likely.

I’m also pretty shocked and somewhat pleasantly surprised at the festival’s determination to give back to the community. Back in the day, old school hair metal seemed a little more concerned with its rate of blow jobs by groupies per minute than reaching out to its fellow man. But Rock the Bayou is gonna be donating part of its proceeds to the MS Society, and there’s info on the Web site about the festival going green and meeting standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

It’s nice and all, but somehow, I think I liked it better when Sebastian Bach was just out to get laid, ya know? – Jennifer Mathieu

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