Bret Michaels gives a rock and roll masterclass at Tortuga Music Festival

By Dave Parsons


On what could only be called a perfect Florida spring evening, the Tortuga Music Festival had a buzz of excitement that only a rock legend like Bret Michaels could bring. The DJ pumped a steady flow of 80‘s and 90’s rock songs over the speakers to rile the crowd up, waiting for one of the most highly anticipated acts of the festival. 

The excitement was at a peak as the first chords of “Talk Dirty to Me” rang out, the crowd erupted into cheers, and Michaels burst onto the stage with the energy and enthusiasm that have become his trademark. From that moment, it was clear that Bret Michaels was here to put on a show. 

The setlist was a mix of Poison hits and Michaels’ solo work, ensuring that fans of all eras were satisfied. Songs like “Nothing But a Good Time” and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” had the audience singing along, their voices echoing across the beach. Michaels’ interaction with the audience was another highlight; he frequently moved to the edge of the stage to high-five fans, throw out guitar picks, and share anecdotes from his life and career.

Michaels banter between songs showed he was in the best of moods.  He commented on having family in the crowd, and even gave a nod to the dozen or so photographers in the photo pit. (The one and only act of 30+ to do so throughout the weekend….actually one of the few ever!)

The band supporting Michaels was top-notch, delivering overall musicianship that was impeccable. Michaels’ stage presence was nothing short of magnetic. He commanded the stage with a mix of swagger and sincerity, that only an entertainer with experience can do. 

A standout moment of his set was when he brought Cooper Alan back out on the stage for a duet. Alan played the stage early in the afternoon with about 1/3 of the crowd there to see it. Alan seemed to have a really good time sharing the spotlight with Michaels.

The advantage of having acts that are legendary at a festival is you know that you will get a masterclass in showmanship. Michael’s ability to connect with the audience, combined with the blend of classic hits and heartfelt moments, ensured that every fan left happy. Michaels proved that he is not just a rock star, but a consummate performer, and on this night, he let the Tortuga Festival feel the enduring power of rock ‘n’ roll.

Bret Michaels Set List:

 1) Talk Dirty To Me

 2)  Ride The Wind

 3)  Your Mama Don’t Dance (with Cooper Alan)

 4)  Look What The Cat Dragged In

 5) What I Got

 6) Something to Believe In

 7) Unskinny Bop

 8) Every Rose Has Its Thorn

 9) Sweet Home Alabama

10) Nothin’ but a Good Time


Photo Gallery : Bret Michaels – Tortuga Music Festival (04.06.2024)

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