Saturday, January 30, 2010

Motley Crue - March 3, 2005

The first time I ever witnessed Motley Crue live in concert was many years after I had become a fan. In high school I missed out on seeing the band during their Dr. Feelgood world tour, and then they split up. There was a brief reunion in the late 90s, but it was ill fated and short lived. 2005 changed everything and made every Crue fan’s dream come true. Motley Crue was fully reunited, touring in support of a greatest hits package with 3 new songs, and coming to a city near you.

That city for me was New York City, and Madison Square Garden would be the place where I would witness the mayhem that is Motley for the first time ever. My cousin, Jane, and her husband, Greg attended the concert with me. We were all excited to see the original band reunited and rocking out. I didn’t know what type of destruction to expect from the original bad boys.

It was a sold out concert and the venue was packed. This was the band’s only area performance, skipping New Jersey and Long Island, and tickets were hard to come by. The Garden was rocking waiting for the Crue. The lights went dark and a video screen appeared. A mini-movie featuring the band opened the show, and although it was sort of cheesy, I found it amusing and a unique way to start the night.

After the film, the bombs exploded and the pounding drums of Shout At The Devil filled the arena. The curtain dropped and out stormed the Crue with the entire audience screaming “Shout! Shout! Shout!” Shout At The Devil started the night off for us and it was a great way to begin. Shout gave way to Too Fast For Love followed by 10 Seconds To Love. This was going to be a night of classics and I was going to love it.

The Crue pulled out a lot of the old songs, refusing to touch any post Dr. Feelgood material, focusing instead on their early years of glory. In my opinion, that was a smart play. Primal Scream sounded incredible and I screamed my throat raw on that one.

Halfway through the show, Tommy Lee took the spotlight to do his drum solo. Now, it’s no secret that I think he’s the idiot mascot of the group. I don’t think he has that much talent and I’ve never particularly cared for him. However, his drum solos while never being enjoyable to listen to, have always been technologically innovative. This show at the Garden would prove no different.

Two drum sets were lowered from the rafters and Tommy was raised through the air to one of them. He said something lame to the crowd, maybe “hey, how ya doin’?” and they of course went nuts. When it comes to disliking Tommy Lee, I am apparently in the minority. After a lame attempt at a drum solo that was really nothing more than a few banged out drum beats, Tommy stood up from the one drum kit and flew in the air to the other that was a few hundred feet across the arena. He was cursing the whole while about how cool it was, how cool we were, and how cool everything was. This went on for a little while. Tommy would end up at one drum kit, bang a few snares and toms, and then fly back to the other kit to do the same thing. While the drum solo part was lacking, the innovativeness was totally there. The Crue always tries something different.

After the flying drum artists landed safely back on the ground, the rest of the band came back onto the stage and the music went on. Vince Neil was actually somewhat fit for this tour and he sang more than just every 3rd word. He actually made an effort during this tour, and my guess was that it had something to do with the fact that the band just got back together.

Overall though, I was unimpressed and a little disappointed. The music wasn’t as sharp as I thought it could have been, and while the song selection was great, the songs themselves lacked the luster of the studio version. It felt that The Crue had gotten back together and was performing for the money and not for the love of the music or the fans. That will always result in a less than stellar performance. I could feel that they weren’t at their best and they certainly were not trying as hard as they were capable of.

The show ended with the 1-2 punch of Kickstart and Anarchy In The UK, which is a great closer. Those are two incredible Crue songs and they pack a punch for the end of the night. When the show ended, however, I left the Garden somewhat disappointed. Jane and Greg loved it, but I felt it could have been better.

I would see The Crue again over the years, and they would more than make up for a lacking performance, but on that cold March night in New York City, I was definitely disappointed at a lackluster performance.

Home Sweet Home

Shout At The Devil
Too Fast For Love
10 Seconds To Love
Red Hot
Too Young To Fall In Love
Looks That Kill
Live Wire
Girls, Girls, Girls
Wild Side
Home Sweet Home
Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Primal Scream
Louder Than Hell
Dr. Feelgood
Same Old Situation
If I Die Tomorrow
Kickstart My Heart
Anarchy In The UK

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