Winger's musical masterclass, which followed, proved exactly why the band were so successful, with eponymous front man Kip Winger's voice soaring just as it had back when monster hit album 'In the Heart of the Young' was released in 1990. More usually seen on stage with Whitesnake these days, guitarist Reb Beach meanwhile proved exactly why David Coverdale employs him as his musical director, with a searing solo spot.
It was headliner Bret Michaels that stole the show however, raiding the Poison catalogue and putting on one of the most entertaining slots of the weekend. Greeting the ecstatic crowd, the singer said; "I don't know about you all, but after the last two years, I needed this".
Going on to talk about the forthcoming much-delayed 'Stadium Tour' which will see Poison hook up with Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, and Joan Jett for a mammoth 2022 summer run across the USA, Bret excitedly exclaimed; "if I've gotta drive those damn trucks myself, that Stadium Tour is gonna happen. They're not gonna stop us this summer, we're going!"
Saturday saw Enuff Z'Nuff take the island on a 'Magical Mystery Tour', opening the day with their take on the Beatles classic, while Bulletboys debuted a new line-up and Warrant celebrated a belated 30 years of their defining 'Cherry Pie' album.
Introduced by weekend compare and fellow New Jersey man Eddie Trunk, Skid Row tore through a set that leaned heavily on their 1991 'Slave to the Grind' album, with gems such as the title track, 'Monkey Business', and 'In a Darkened Room'. Digging deeper for the hardcore, the five-piece ripped through the rarely-aired 'The Threat' which has only been performed a handful of times in the last three decades.
Closing out Saturday, rock royalty Cheap Trick put in a solid performance. "We were invited at the last minute. We're like the bridesmaid", quipped Robin Zander, in reference to their late addition to the bill. With a set bursting with the staples of US rock radio including 'Big Eyes', 'I Want You to Want Me' and 'Surrender', it was the perfect end to day two.
Sets from a embattled Slaughter - whose gear failed to make it to the venue due to the storm, meaning that they had to borrow from the other bands - and Dokken, with "Dokken alumnus" guest George Lynch followed, before force of nature Dee Snider took to the Stage.
As fearsome and energetic as the hurricane which had earlier loomed over the island, the Twisted Sister legend simply owned the stage. Dispensing with all subtleties, "Can I get a fuck yeah?!", he exclaimed, greeting the crowd. He continued; "This is only my second show in two and a half years. I'm damn fucking glad to be in Key fucking West!"
As hilarious with his between song banter as he was on point with his vocals, Dee's set focused on; "what you want to hear- Twisted fucking Sister fucking songs". Never one to be predictable, the lunatic even brought a snow machine with him for a belated take on the Bing Crosby seasonal classic 'White Christmas'.
It fell to greasy rock n' rollers Jackyl to close out what had been a colossal weekend of music, sunshine, friendship and good times. Greeted ecstatically by the crowd who had endured four fun-filled days, the Georgia four-piece raised the bar with a set that was a lively as it was loud.
With $120,000 raised for local charities by auctioning bespoke Rokisland guitars signed by the bands that had performed, the festival also gave something back to the local community, ensuring a warm welcome awaits when it returns in 2023.
A deposit scheme is now open for Rokisland 2023, where patrons can register interest ahead of further announcements.
Check out the video summary of the final day of Rokisland 2022, below, courtesy of the Rokisland Fest Facebook page.