This is a review of last week’s Mötley Crüe concert at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on March 8th. I keep putting off doing this, for absolutely no good reason, and even though I should be in bed now, I’m going to go ahead and do it now – quickly.
In a nutshell, the show was awesome. The "Carnival of Sins" theme was carried throughout the stage show, complete with a big red-and-white striped canvas tent over and around the stage, acrobats (a.k.a. highly-flexible girls nearly naked hanging from ropes), flame eaters and spitters, midgets, and scary clowns. Truly a demented experience, apropos for the Crüe.
The band sounded great – AND LOUD – even though Vince Neil pretty much just decides to do the best he can, whatever that is. As he sings the songs you know by heart – that you know EXACTLY by heart, including every note, cadence, and phrasing, and therefore sing along to – you realize that he’s dropping words, and/or not singing it the same way it was on record. However, it works. It is Vince Neil, the lead singer of Mötley Crüe. If you wanna tell him he sucks, you go right ahead. I think it sounds just fine.
Mick Mars is just a scary looking dude. The guitarist suffers from a chronic degenerative illness called ankylosing spondylitis and even though he sounded great – and is arguably the best musician on the stage (ok, he’s handily the best musician on the stage), he appeared to be in some pain, as he took the final bow at the end of the show and backed up in a stiff, disconcerting manner. Of course, as he is dressed in black from head to toe, and spends the whole show lurking about, it is tough to tell if he is in pain or if it is just part of the act.
Vince and Tommy played their parts well – Vince in jeans and leather vest, Tommy in shorts to begin with and then took some clothing off after his drum solo – of course. Nikki Sixx is an imposing figure on stage, looking like what would happen if Jack Skellington joined the SS Army and sidelined in a punk band.
Tommy Lee brought back his outrageous drum solos from years past, running through the audience and being tied to a harness which brought him up into the rafters where he drummed on two different platforms suspended from the ceiling. The drum solo itself really wasn’t that impressive – it is more of an excuse for Tommy to just be Tommy and get the crowd riled up. At the point of the drum solo, the crowd on the floor turned into sheer anarchy, with any semblance of organization or rows being destroyed as people turned and ran to catch Tommy during the solo.
The first half of the set was filled with their early material – a fantastic treat for long-time and hard-core fans. They then take a 10-minute intermission, during which some of the most disturbing film footage I’ve ever seen is displayed.
They come back to the sound of roaring motorcycles, indicating the start of "Girls, Girls, Girls," and launch into a second half set that mixes some old with mostly newer tunes, and while it still rocks, felt more like you were hanging out with the band than seeing an arena rock concert. Tommy and Vince sat on the drum riser while Nikki talked to the audience, and then they pass around the Jagermeister they were drinking (who the hell would drink out of the same bottle Tommy drank out of? He has hepatitis and lord knows how many groupies he got it from!).
Highlights musically were the entire first set, and then hearing "Girls, Girls, Girls" and "Wild Side" live. "Home Sweet Home" is still one of the most lighter-lighting inspiring songs of all time. "Primal Scream" was perfect live – possibly my favorite "later" Crüe songs of all time, and of course, "Kickstart My Heart" is just a great metal song.
Even though I can appreciate why they do it, and I do like the song, I swear I do, I don’t get why they insist on closing with "Anarchy in the UK." Though I have to say that this was a great version of it, with a giant evil clown in the background and all the twisted circus performers of the Carnival of Sins coming out all at once. That made it much more entertaining.
As I said, the show was great and extremely entertaining. The tickets we had were on the floor, about 25 rows back, giving us a prime view of the show.
Here’s the set list for the evening (I believe this is right. If anyone has any corrections, please leave a comment):
Shout At The Devil
Too Fast For Love
Ten Seconds to Love
On With The Show
Looks That Kill
Louder Than Hell
Girls Girls Girls
Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Home Sweet Home
-Tommy’s Drum Solo-
Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)
-Tommy’s Boob Cam-
Kickstart My Heart
Anarchy In The UK