All bad things must come to an end. But, with who we’re talking about, we’re glad they came through one last time before hitting Europe.

When you’re an icon of music, the rules are a little different. The scrutiny is more harsh, the run-ins with the law are front page, the divorces are tabloid fodder, and in rock you rarely get to go out on your own terms. Mötley Crüe is doing that, with the aid of a legal contract, and making the most of the final tour, All Bad Things Must Come To An End. Put aside the egos, the Chicken Dances, the drugs, and the drama; the Crüe helped to shape a generation and more of new musicians, fans, and strip club anthems. They guys brought along two opening acts to warm up the crowd at Huntington Center, one you might have heard of and the other you should look up if not.

Opening the show was the Listen Records artists from New York City, The Cringe. This four-piece unit consists of John Cusimano (vocals), James Rotondi (guitar), Jonny Blaze (bass), and Shawn Pelton (drums). They are currently in support of their latest album, Blind Spot, released October 16 on Listen Records.

Their performance was a smooth bourbon on ice to the ears. The energy was contagious from Cusimano to the rest of the band to where even Blaze had to come close to the front of the stage and semi-jump around to the beats. Knowing that their fans are what allows them to play music, the set wasn’t complete until a circuit around the venue’s floor by Cusimano was done slapping hands and stealing women’s hearts.

“He has a woman’s name and wears makeup. How original,” was the quote of our next artist on Marilyn Manson from Celebrity Diss and Tell : Stars Talk About Each Other (2005) by Boze Hadleigh. This Detroit native born as Vincent Damon Furnier, or better known since 1968 as Alice Cooper, took over the reins and gave them up only after they were bloodied, torn, and ragged. The current line-up for the band is Alice Cooper (vocals), Ryan Roxie (guitar), Chuck Garric (bass), Glen Sobel (drums), Tommy Henriksen (guitar), and Nita Strauss (guitar).

The stage show was fantastic, the joy on Alice’s face was genuine, and the sound of the songs was as close to the recorded versions being played live as any fan would hope to hear. At the end of the night, not just a few times was the thought of Alice having stolen the show overheard as patrons filed out of the arena. While there has not been a new release from the band since 2011’s Welcome 2 My Nightmare, we are still holding our collective breath that the wait to a new release is shorter rather then longer.

“Evil should get punished. It should never win. And that, to me, is what’s most satisfying. I may love Darth Vader when I watch Star Wars, but I feel relief when he finally gets what’s coming to him.” ~ Alice Cooper

And, by that logic, the end is nigh for our headliners this night. The numbers on Vince’s microphone are a reminder of how long the band has been together, off and on, from start until the soon foretold last show at Staples Center, which is 1981.

While there were a few line-up changes throughout the storied career of the Crüe, the classic, current, and final roll-call is of course Mick Mars (guitar), Nikki Sixx (bass), Tommy Lee (drums), and Vince Neil (vocals).

Each member got their own special moment on stage as part of their farewell. Tommy had four thousand cell phones recording his Cedar Point like drum kit ride above the crowd and back. Nick had a small story to tell, a knife to brandish, and a flame throwing bass to go out in style. A grand guitar solo was had by the master of the six strings, Mick Mars. While age doesn’t let anyone off pain free, a certain amount of wear and tear could be seen with the band.

The stage show was on point with flames, flash pots, and even the ending pentagram of fire behind the guys for the final time in Toledo. What drinking, smoking, and over all debauchery might have taken away from the no longer spring chickens, their effort to give their fans young and old the best show they could was the most important thing that we could have seen this night. And, we may miss Sofia Toufa and Allison Kyler almost as much as the guys themselves.

“Listening to Queen inspired Mötley Crüe to work with Roy Thomas Baker on Too Fast for Love. He would come in, ‘Hello Darlings…’ and listen for maybe thirty minutes or so and leave. And we’re like, ‘What?! Where’s he going?’ But he produced Queen, so, man, we had to have him produce us, too.” ~ Tommy Lee

The Cringe
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Alice Cooper
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Mötley Crüe
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Huntington Center
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