Saturday, February 28, 2009

CrueFest: August 23, 2008

PNC Bank Arts Center - Holmdel, NJ

This is the first in a series of posts reviewing Cruefest that I attended this past summer.
Part One

Earlier in 2008, Motley Crue announced they would be releasing a new album (their first in many years) and would commence on a North American tour dubbed “CrueFest,” a festival of rock and roll debauchery. They were bringing out other big bands with them to play mostly outdoor amphitheaters for the summer of 2008.

Metal Eddie called me up to tell me he bought tickets and one of them was mine if I wanted it. We’d be sitting in the 100s, approximately 25 rows from the stage. Intrigued, I wanted to know who else was on the bill. Trapt, Sixx AM, Papa Roach, Buckcherry, and of course, Motley Crue. I told Metal Eddie to count me in, how could I miss that experience?

The day of the concert was a warm one, late August in New Jersey. Fortunately it was not too humid, so it would be a nice day overall. Metal Eddie and his crazy friends got to the parking lot of the PNC Arts Center early, along with me, and we had a tailgating blast. Food, beer, and fun, all the way around. Two other friends of mine joined us and we commenced with our tailgating feast and fun filled festivities.

One of the best things about attending a concert during the summer is the tailgating experience. I love to people watch while drinking a cold beer and eating a sub, or some burgers and hot dogs. It’s always interesting to see who is attending the concert, what are they dressed like, what kind of body art they come with, etc. I’m always curious to know who is a fan.

I also like the fact that some fans came in polo shirts, khaki shorts, and Berkinstocks. Just a sign of the times. Crue fans are getting older and some of them like to dress for the Hamptons instead of for the Crue. To each their own, I try not to judge.


At 5:50, we headed inside to see the opening act, Trapt. I did not know much about them except for their two radio hits, which I liked when I heard them. I just never went out and bought a Trapt CD.

Their set was short and tight, but the music was great. The lead singer sounded incredible and although quite a few people were still outside, the band played like it was a sold out show and they were the headliners. Lead singer Chris Brown was doing all he could to keep everyone who had come early to see them involved and the crowd responded by singing, dancing, and enjoying the music.

Trapt closed with Headstrong, one of the two songs that I knew, and performed a great version of it. The sound was crisp and tight, and the entire crowd, which had gotten larger by that point, was singing every word. Apparently, this was a popular song amongst a lot of people.

Cruefest was quick to turn the acts around and I give them a lot of credit for that. Most times when attending these festival shows, the wait is close to thirty minutes between acts. Not here. Ten minutes after Trapt left the stage, Sixx AM was making their appearance.

Next week: Sixx: AM.

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