Artist: Motley Crue
Venue: Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)
Opener: The Last Vegas, Theory Of A Deadman, Hinder
Label: 10th Street Entertainment
A last minute call from a member of the Metal Community granted me an available ticket to the evenings Motley Crue show at Madison Square Garden and it was an admittedly nice surprise after what had amounted to be a rather trying day. These insane economic times and the tribulations we are all facing seem to matter very little when you convene with your friends and peers at a Metal show so I happily took advantage of the offer to join in on the fun. The fact that the band was performing in the legendary MSG was also a part of the night’s appeal because I had personally seen so many memorable shows at this arena and could not resist the possibility of adding one more to the already long and legendary list. The night’s roster was a full one with three openers to enjoy before The Crue would hit the stage and it all began with The Last Vegas, would continue on with a set from Theory Of A Deadman and then Hinder who were actually considered the “co-headliner”. Here is how the night went down should you be one of those who missed it.
The Last Vegas: Sadly we would miss these winners of the Guitar Center competition that offered a lucky band the chance to be the first slot on the band’s tour but despite this crucial factor we wish them the very best in their own quest for musical greatness. As I glanced around the arena I had to admit that there were not a lot of people in their seats yet and assume that more people missed them along with me and will have to rely on the bands MySpace or YouTube clips for any of their highlights. My guess is we shall all regret this should the band become the “next big thing”. Their album will be coming out on Eleven Seven Music and is called “Whatever Gets You Off”. Theory Of A Deadman was up next and we were now in place in our seats preparing to enjoy the Rock and Roll that they would deliver.
Theory Of A Deadman: From the moment these guys came on I felt that while a very tight musical enterprise that it was quite out of place from what I had expected to see kicking off a Motley Crue tour. The band is currently signed to Roadrunner Records and their latest CD is entitled “Scars and Souvenirs” and if you are a fan of the kind of stuff that is labeled as “Post Grunge” then they are the band for you. It wasn’t horrible by a long shot, but not what I am following these days when it comes down to it. They played their well known numbers which include the tune “Bad Girlfriend” which is a good song but like many have said there is too much in common across the melody with The Cult’s “Fire Woman”. Some of their stuff was winning me over and I can say if you lean to bands like Nickelback or Daughtry you might like these guys as well. I did like what I heard and had to chuckle when they did the expected “see if your audience is awake by bringing up the local hockey team” dialogue. This is a NY Rangers house, so this question was met with a roar. Hinder was up next.
Hinder: Talk about a lucky band and don’t hesitate to correct me if you think I’m wrong but did you ever expect to find a band like Hinder on a co-headlining tour with Motley Crue? That being said, the band from Oklahoma City came out and delivered what appeared to be their hard rocking best but as I observed the general crowd who had gotten into place already for maximum Motley enjoyment, it was almost painful to see the alarming level of disinterest for the band. I don’t say this to sound cruel but it wasn’t as exciting for me as I would have liked it to be and there is too much of other bands sounds going on in what they do. They are popular of course and have shown to be doing well with their album “Take It To The Limit” and singles like “Lips Of An Angel” but to me if didn’t sound like anything that I had not heard a couple of dozen times before. I think that they would work better off on a headlining tour of their own with bands that are more along their own style as opposed to the Glam Sleaze of a band like Motley Crue. Perhaps I will feel different about them after giving their CD a few spins so it’s on my list of things to do. Luckily, the one and only Motley Crue was coming up next and now the place was packed with all of those folks who had been hanging around doing their pre-show preparations.
Motley Crue: Continuing to decimate audiences across the states, Motley Crue hasn’t really slowed down their reunion tour momentum that began a few short years ago with their “Carnival Of Sins” extravaganza. As far as musical years go, I had to say that 2008 was a really good one for the Crue as it not only found them remastering and re-issuing their entire back catalog but also saw them delivering a new CD that they called “Saints Of Los Angeles”. This short co-headlining appearance followed the bands first ever tour that they called “Cruefest” and those shows found the likes of Sixx AM, Buckcherry and Trapt helping to bring the Metal to a larger than life scale. I had not caught that go round so was glad to see what Crue would be doing tonight for their fans. They came out to the audience from behind a backlit curtain that showed a shadow of a giant devil being treated “favorably” by the shadowy image of a woman. The first tune was the rousing “Kickstart My Heart” which sounds great as an opening tune as opposed to finding it later in the set.
Tonight the bands stage was a lot different from their “Carnival Of Sins” setup and played off of the new album’s theme by having a giant lighted sign that spelled out Los Angeles in the background. The interesting part of this view was how the sign was not facing us as an audience but made you feel as though you were watching the band perform behind it as it looked out over the city. The sign would obviously light up quite a bit during the show but did this the most during the track from the new CD that it was named after. As far as their set went there was a lot of digging into the back catalog and pulling out some gems. The Crue has a lot of good tunes and so many of them are “must haves” for the set list that it makes it hard to devise one that doesn’t leave their audience screaming that it was unfair or not what they expected. “Shout At The Devil” while not the opening tune still came on the early side and showed that Vince really needs to work on his register because he was sounding like he was losing it tonight. He kept making the audience sing along and while that’s fun for a bar or chorus here and there, the folks that paid good money did not pay to have you prompt them to do the number. I always liked Vince’s voice for what it was but can safely admit that he was never a soaring vocalist like your Geoff Tate’s or Bruce Dickinson’s of the genre. Mick Mars seemed to be holding up despite his well-publicized issues and he would deliver a guitar solo that while having some of the melodies of “Voodoo Chile” would be a little too long for my liking.
The first album was addressed during “Livewire” and the band continued to treat us to the older stuff with condensed renditions of both “Too Fast For Love” and “On With The Show”. This tactic surprised me just a little since the songs themselves are short and probably could have been doing in their entirety. Tommy Lee would forgo his “titty cam” this evening much to a large part of the audience’s dismay and instead come down and sit among the fans and pass a bottle of Jaegermeister back into their number for everyone to take a swig out of. I am not sure how far the bottle actually made it back but it was sure different to see him also come off the penitent and reflective guy who reminded us about how short and precious life is. I know this struck everyone as a little odd since the drummer is so known for being a rowdy individual on the stage. He would not do a drum solo tonight and if he was going to do that weird experimental crap that he did during the “CoS” tour then I was fine with that. As the night progressed we got the bands new signature tune “Mother Fucker Of The Year” which continued into “White Trash Circus” and it was for this track that we suddenly saw a number of other people singing on the stage with Vince. After the tune was done Vince asked us if we knew what we were seeing and if not that it was the full lineup of vocalists whose bands will be appearing on the “Cruefest 2” concert tour. The tour will feature Charm City Devils, Theory Of A Deadman, Drowning Pool and Godsmack. I was curious as to why ToaDM was selected again but if the Crue likes them then so be it.
“Looks That Kill” and “Dr. Feelgood” were excellent and I love these numbers in concert. As a matter of fact the latter tune will be the premise of the bands next tour and find them delivering the full release from beginning to end for their fans. The entire affair would close out with Tommy sitting at a piano that had been moved to the front of the stage where he would play the intro to “Home Sweet Home”. The song has become their latest closer and during its final notes we were showered with confetti that was being shot out from a number of locations. The band all took their final bows and left the stage but Tommy returned to do some sort of b-boy chant call and response with the audience. He should have left this as simple shouting out the band members names as opposed to bringing elements of his dreadful Methods Of Mayhem project into the mix. Apparently the drummer will be revisiting this project soon and I can only imagine that a worse return would be that of Limp Bizkit, and oh yeah, they are coming back as well.
All in all the night was a fun one, but Crue could have swapped around some songs for some other ones. I would have preferred hearing “Public Enemy #1” as opposed to “Primal Scream” and “Red Hot” as opposed to their awful rendition of Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock”. Oh well, I guess you cannot always have every song that you want to hear at a show. Be sure to catch these guys when they return since they do put on an exciting event.
Full Hinder Photo Gallery: http://piercingmetal.com/hinder-live-photos-madison-square-garden-3162009/
Full Motley Crue Photo Gallery: http://piercingmetal.com/motley-crue-live-photos-madison-square-garden-3162009/
Hinder Set List:
1. Use Me
2. Homecoming Queen
3. Heaven Sent
4. Take It To The Limit
5. Without You
6. How Long
7. Up All Night
8. Lips Of An Angel
9. Get Stoned
Crue Set List:
2. Kickstart My Heart
3. Wild Side
4. Shout At The Devil
5. Saints Of Los Angeles
6. Mick Mars Solo
8. Too Fast For Love – condensed
9. On With The Show – condensed
10. Jailhouse Rock
12. Motherfucker of the Year
13. White Trash Circus
14. Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
15. Same Ol’ Situation
16. Nikki Speaks
17. Primal Scream
18. Looks That Kill
19. Girls, Girls, Girls
20. Dr. Feelgood
21. Home Sweet Home