A Shot of Poison – The Perfect Antidote for Boring Music

There was nothing but a good time at Orange County Chopper Cafe in Newburgh, NY on Saturday, July 13. The crowd was on their feet dancing and singing along as if it was 1990. Before Shot of Poison took the stage, The Beacon River Dogs warmed up the crowd with a mix of originals and covers.

The Beacon River Dogs have been howling their songs for the last five years in the Hudson Valley area of New York. The band consists of Robert Stell on vocals and lead rhythm guitar, Fred Czaszar on bass, and Vinnie Quattrocchi on drums. Rob plays many original songs. He is strongly influenced by KISS, but he remembers having a passion about music since he was a young child, stating he used to listen to AM radio and loved hearing Stevie Ray Vaughn, Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Paige, and Randy Rhodes. He started his first band when he was only 14 years old, playing the guitar his grandmother had given him.

Robert Stell – vocals and rhythm guitar

Grandma must have seen something in that kid. He has since opened for many artists, including Lou Reed, John Corobi, Government Mule with Warren Haynes, Rick Derringer, and tribute bands such as SATO Ozzy Band, the Alice Copper tribute band School’s Out, Rolling Stones tribute band Satisfaction, and on this night, for Shot of Poison, a Poison tribute band.

The setlist for The Beacon River Dogs was quite extensive as they were asked to play a little longer by the promoter, Rockin Rob Jagusch. Songs included were “Riding Home,” “Angel Christine,” “Give Me Back My Gun,” “Billy the Kid,” “Little Cryer”, and “Let it Bleed.” Check out their Facebook page for upcoming shows.

Bassist Fred “Z” also mentioned “Rock Out the Dope” The Opioid Prevention and Awareness Music Festival will be held on August 9-11 at the Blackthorne Resort located in East Durham, NY. This family friendly event will feature over 100 acts at 13 stages during the three-day event. Find out more here

The Beacon River Dogs

Shot of Poison then came on stage to a roaring crowd and thrilled them with “Cry Tough”. It was a non-stop party after that. The band consists of Ken Gillman on drums, Adam Boc on Bass, Bruce Bennett on guitar, and vocals by Frank Pupillo.

I asked Ken Gilman, the drummer for the band that originally started ten years ago, “”How did this all start?”  Although it was successful, it was short lived, only lasting about a year. But he didn’t give up. He envisioned something bigger, and better. It finally happened in November of 2017, with new band members and more lively artists. When you see how busy they are with the tour, you know how successful it is.

Bruce Bennet, Frank Pupillo and Adam Boc of Shot of Poison

When asked, “Why Poison?” each band member had their own input:
KEN’s answer:  To me, Poison is the epitome of ’80s glam metal and Bret Michaels is to glam metal what Elvis Presley was to adult rock in the ’60s and ’70s. 
ADAM’s answer:  I learned a lot from starting another tribute band five years earlier. I studied statistics and the market landscape, and saw a market gap for a top-quality Poison tribute. 
Bruce similarly learned a lot from starting a tribute earlier. He always loved Poison, and he also saw the potential.  Frank enjoys the glam style, in general, and saw an opportunity to express his love for entertaining people. And boy, did he entertain.

At first, you close your eyes and you hear Bret Michaels, but unlike some tribute bands, you open your eyes, and you also see “Bret Michaels.” Frank does an amazing job portraying the fun-loving Michaels, and he got the crowd involved throughout the night. From having the crowd sing along, to Bruce and Frank getting into the crowd and performing their rose ceremony, if you were there, you were a part of the show.
They interacted with any willing fan. At one point, upon seeing the camera, they stopped what they were doing and posed. What a fun bunch.

The set-list was non-stop as well and featured songs like “Cry Tough,” “I Want Action,” “I Won’t Forget You,” “Talk Dirty to Me,” “Love on the Rocks,” “Nothin’ But a Good Time,” “Back to the Rocking Horse,” “Tearin’ Down the Walls,” “Look But You Can’t Touch,” “Fallen Angel,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” “Unskinny Bop,” “Life Goes On,” “Ride the Wind,” “Something to Believe In,” “What I Like About You,” “Rock and Roll All Nite” and “We’re an American Band.”

Check out the list of upcoming locations and make a plan to experience Shot of Poison first hand, you will be amazed.

Upcoming dates/locations
Fri, AUG 9 – Finnegan’s Irish Rock Club – Scranton, PA
Sat, AUG 10 – Woodlawn Beach & Tiki Bar – Buffalo, NY
Thu, AUG 15 – Maple Tree Place Summer Concert Series – Williston, VT
Fri, AUG 16 – Sharkey’s Summer Stage – Liverpool, NY
Sat, AUG 17 – New London Veterans Motorcycle Run – New London, OH
Fri, AUG 23 – Mc Sober’s Saloon – Coldwater, OH
Sat, AUG 24 – Goodstock Music Festival – Goodland, IN
Sat, SEP 7 – Sterling Fair – Sterling, MA
Fri, SEP 13 – Gusto’s – Barre, VT
Sat, SEP 14 – Mixers Nightclub & Lounge – Sabattus, ME
Sat, SEP 28 – Hairfest 2019 at Indian Ranch Amphitheater – Webster, MA
Sat, OCT 12 – The Phoenix – Stonington, CT
Thu, NOV 21 – Granite State Music Hall (with Mr. Speed) – Laconia, NH
Fri, NOV 22 – Blue Ocean Music Hall (with Mr. Speed KISS tribute) – Salisbury, MA

Bruce Bennett
Frank Pupillo


frank pupilloNYshot of poison