Motley Crue kicked off their final tour in Grand Rapids as Vince and the boys prepare to retire the band for all things Motley must come to an end.
After 33 strong years of rocking, shocking, and terrorizing the world the infamous Motley Crue have decided to call it quits. They are going out on their final hurrah, dubbed the All Bad Things Must Come To An End tour, after which they have signed a contract declaring that they will never again play again as Motley Crue. The Crue has sold in excess of 80,000,000 albums, toured the world , released some incredible music, and forever changed the face of rock and roll.
Nikki Sixx has stated that this will be the Crue’s most ambitious outing, claiming this tour will be their biggest production. In the words of vocalist Vince Neal, “lets take one last ride together”. Since 1981, Nikki Sixx, Vince Neal, Mick Mars, and Tommy Lee have taken the concept of over the top, debauchery, decadence and insanity to a whole new level. The fact that all four original members are still playing together, much less alive, is a real miracle in itself. With the drug OD’s, jail terms, lawsuits, fights (internally and externally), who would have thought theses maniacs would be standing on the stage in 2014 to show us all one last time just how the Crue rolls!
July 2nd was the opening night for this last goodbye, Farewell and F#%$ You tour that had received so much hype since the announcement was made. Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan was ground zero. So what happened??
Opening up for the Crue was the legend of shock rock, Alice Cooper. Alice doesn’t play much these days (he is 66 after all). But when he does, it’s always an event. Alice was the original shock rocker. He was doing it before even KISS and his stage antics and persona are legendary in the rock world. Nikki Sixx has himself cited Alice as an early inspiration for what would become Motley Crue.
Alice Moved about the stage, often swaggering, in a way you would expect from someone half his age. His voice was spot on. In fact, I was amazed at how good he sounded. Alice commanded the stage, he was the ring leader and the director of the incredible backing band he had at his disposal. Alice has always made the use of top-notch players and this tour is no exception. The band was made up of three great guitarist being Ryan Roxxie, Nita Strauss and Tommy Hendrickson. On bass guitar, the long time Alice vet Chuck Gerric, and Glen Sobel on drums. The band ripped through all the classics you would want to hear and they played them to perfection. There was a lot of cool action by all thee members of the band and Alice himself seemed incredibly fit and delivered!
The Guillotine was brought out as well as the Frankenstein monster. The props were simple, cool, and effective! A great job by the Alice Cooper band, they continue to live up to the name they’ve established. Comparatively speaking, Alice could easily be the headliner on this tour. This however is about Motley Crue and I think a lot of respect is owed to Alice for taking the opening slot.
Upon seeing the massive stage set for the Crue, I could not help but sit in awe. It was incredible to look at and the show hadn’t yet started. From the very first note of the first song, Motherfucker of the Year, it was… intense. They began with an instant barrage of explosions, flames and LOUD music. I have never heard a band play so loud. It wasn’t just loud, it was powerful. The ‘feel it hit your chest’ kind of sound. It was actually on the verge of being too much. It could be that I was so close to the stage where often you will not get the full impact of the sound that is designed to carry out over the crowd.
The Crue rolled through a few songs and then dead stop. Tommy broke his drum head. Mick took a very impromptu solo spot which sounded cool but was certainly off the cuff. To see this man up there in the spotlight is a testament to true resolve and dedication to his music and his fans. Eventually the show got rolling again, but not without more issues. Mick’s monitors wouldn’t work causing the band to mess up songs, then his guitar wouldn’t work. Vince also had this same trouble and finally they botched Too Fast For Love.
The frustration was evident on the band’s faces to the point that Nikki stopped the show to regroup. Opening night with a huge production is a scary thing. Kinks need to be worked out, the band often needs time to gel. There is no denying that there were quite a few misfires, but scanning the sold out arena, the fans didn’t seem to be that bothered. There was no heckling or yelling, the fans waited patiently for THEIR band to get it together.
The Crue did in fact get it together and they ripped through the rest of their set which included all the well-known hits as well as some cool old songs, such as On With The Show, Anarchy In The UK, and the brand new song, All Bad Things.
Nikki’s bass was really pounding, and it blended seamlessly with the kick drum. This made a really heavy impact on the sound for sure.
Mick Mars has always been a great blues rock guitar player. Through all the years the Crue has been around, he has been a constant; the ever quiet Mick and always LOUD guitar!
Tommy Lee… well what more can be said about him? Incredible rock drummer through and through. He has always had the coolest solos. Yea, he doesn’t really play anything that special, it’s what he does. This time he rode a roller coaster to the top of the arena, across it above the crowd and down by the soundboard, the entire time rotating in complete circles. He played along to some Corabi era Crue as well as bub beats. Not the coolest stuff to hear but a very Tommy thing to do. It really was incredible to see, all the while lights, lasers, and all sorts of other stuff was going on. It took about ten minutes to get back to the stage.
Rolling on they blazed through more classics like Shout at the Devil, Girls Girls Girls, Dr. Feelgood, Livewire, and Kickstart My Heart, with Mick ripping it up. Vince sounded great this night. He has long been set in his style of skipping words, something we’re all used to. He also did a good job trying to keep the crowd alive even with all the bumps in the set.
A live show is just that. Its been said if you want to hear the record, stay at home and listen to the stereo. A live rock and roll band should be a spontaneous act, something that can be unpredictable and unchecked. Motley Crue has always been these things and more. I have seen them tight and I’ve seen them loose. But either way, they were always the same band. I think they did a great job keeping it together despite many issues beyond their control. I guarantee that they will pull it together and make this a tour to be remembered.
If the first show was any indication… incredible lights (a pentagram light truss over the stage), pyrotechnics and special effects, dancing back up singers, great songs, a loud PA… what more could you want in a rock concert? I’ll tell you what… for the finale, the band appeared center arena, rose up in the air on a mini stage and cranked out a memorable performance of Home Sweet Home.
Thank you Motley Crue, I am glad to see you guys go out with a bang and not try to milk it. Who bows out like this? I cannot think of another band who has decided to call it a day in the way that the Crue has, Loud, Rude and Aggressive! Like the closing music, they did it their way and if that isn’t rock and roll, nothing truly is.
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