terry charles | behind the stage | march 2019
The day was bound to come. After 60+ years of concerts, circuses, home shows, ice events and sports, the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena will host its last concert on Saturday, April 6. We recently announced Bret Michaels “Nothin' But a Good Time" — For The Last Time will be the show that wraps it up. Special guests will be Warrant and Lita Ford. It will be part of Michaels' “Unbroken" world tour.
Bret Michaels was the easy choice because he has a lot of history with the arena. The final concert will be his sixth headlining show there, more than anyone else. Most of the previous dates were as the front man for Poison. To say he's no stranger to the dome would be an understatement. Michaels kicked off several world tours at the arena with Poison and the band rehearsed there for several days before the start of the tours. What a lot of people don't know is he also filmed the video for his No. 1 hit song “Every Rose Has Its Thorn" in our very own Brown County Arena.
“I consider the people of Green Bay three generations of amazing friends and family," said Michaels. “They love their football, they love their rock 'n' roll, having a great time, and they love giving back to great charities equally — all of which I can relate to."
In fact, the last time Michaels appeared at the Resch Center with Poison he asked to have a tour of the Brown County Arena to rekindle some memories. Even then he mentioned he'd like to play the building one more time. As we looked to book one more concert, he became the obvious target. When we talked with him several months ago, he expressed excitement about being the last performer.
The multi-platinum singer/songwriter and reality TV star has performed to sold out crowds across the globe, and through his Life Rocks Foundation gives back to local charities with amazing donations in towns where he performs.
“As a Type 1 juvenile diabetic, it's my way of leaving something behind until I come back — and we are going to do amazing things this time with Make A Wish Wisconsin, Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary and JDRF of Northeast Wisconsin,"said Michaels. All three charities will receive a portion of the proceeds from the final concert. Red Rock Productions is the concert promoter and the company has been very consistent in giving a portion of proceeds from the concerts it has promoted in our buildings.
Michaels has told us he would do whatever he could to promote it. He wants it to be a big party and send out the arena in style. Well, we probably won't need a lot of help from him because at the time of this writing the concert was essentially sold out. It was certainly a combination of Michaels having a big following in Northeastern Wisconsin and thousands of concertgoers wanting in on the last concert to ever be hosted at the arena.
It will be a bittersweet day on April 6. We will say goodbye to a grand building that has created memories for so many people. I constantly hear “I remember when I saw Elvis there or I remember seeing KISS there." Up next is a $93 million expo center that is badly needed. But we also needed to have a proper sendoff. Mission accomplished.
Terry Charles is public relations manager for Green Bay-based PMI Entertainment Group. He's all about media relations, publicity and social media for the Resch Center Complex, Meyer Theatre, Green Bay Gamblers Hockey and other events produced by PMI. When not at work, please don't hit him with your car as he runs and bikes around the Green Bay area. You can follow him on Twitter at @TCCharles.