Motley Crue Plays Madison Square Garden in New York City
Band Photo: Motley Crue (?)
As I approached the outer area of the arena I heard The Last Vegas playing inside and had a choice. It was early, so it was either get a beer, or catch the end of the show. The band sounded nice and loud. The beer tasted great. Maybe next time Vegas.
Theory of a Deadman followed with a short set. Being unfamiliar with this band I found myself comparing each song to other songs. One sounded like Alice in Chains, the next Nickelback, etc. Overall Theory of a Deadman sounded good, and would like to see them in a smaller venue.
The last opener was Hinder. Their lead singer, Austin Winkler, has a natural rock star stage presence and brought a lot of energy. For their final song, Get Stoned, Winkler found himself in the pit, screaming inches from either ecstatic or terrified fans. It was hard to tell. They made a great opening band, but again, someone I’d like to see in a smaller venue before the word headliner is used.
Once categorized as unstable, drug induced, and unpredictable, Motley Crue is now a well oiled rock and roll machine. With a near sellout audience, the show starts with the behind the curtain image of an angel pleasuring the devil. From the beginning through the "Home Sweet Home" finale, it appears that after twenty-five plus years the band has perfected the art of the live show. The pyrotechnics, the lights, and the pornographic images are all in sync with a band that no longer fucks up every other song, but rather feeds off each other, resulting in the rock and roll mayhem event Nikki Sixx envisioned many years ago.
Vince Neil (vocals), Sixx (bass), Mick Mars (guitar), and Tommy Lee (drums) begin the show with a pyrotechnic bang followed by fist pumping anthems "Kickstart My Heart," "Wild Side," and "Shout at the Devil." This is followed by the song "Too Fast For Love," and a couple tracks off their latest album, "Saints of Los Angeles," including the song "Motherfucker of the Year," a personal favorite and very cool song to hear live. A little contrived at times (for example, Tommy Lee bringing his Jagermeister bottle to the front row and telling everyone he would like to have a group hug probably happens exactly thirty-five minutes into each show), this is a group that has been touring for decades and is currently in year two of a ten year deal they signed last year. Like it or not, these guys aren’t going anywhere. The show winds down with the rest of their once radio friendly (now classic rock and American Idol covers) hits "Looks That Kill," "Girls Girls Girls," "Dr. Feelgood," and "Home Sweet Home" as the encore.
Do you like Motley Crue, loud eighties music, or a visually stimulating stage performance that incorporates pornography, the devil, and the last Presidential administration all together? Then you are going to love this show. As they blaze through their hits, many autobiographical in nature, I couldn’t help but wonder how these guys are still alive, and how much longer do they have. With their planned Curefest festivals, book deals, and a movie on the way, Motley Crue doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
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