There are very few bands I'll travel five hours to see. Motley Crue is one of those bands, even though I've seen them plenty of times. They weren't coming to Ohio on this leg of the tour (didn't know they were coming to Rock on the Range in May until the day of the show), so I was willing to do a little traveling to see my boys. Luckily, my travel/concert buddy, Dee lives in Kalamazoo, MI and was willing to make the trek to Grand Rapids with me to go to the show. Was it worth the drive? Yes.
We went for some pre-concert cocktails at a bar across the street from the venue and ended up missing The Last Vegas. Upon our arrival, Theory of A Deadman was on stage. Our seats were on the floor, right in front of house, so the sound was fantastic. I wasn't all that impressed with Theory of A Deadman. They were just another band that sounded like the rest of those bands you hear on the radio. The crowd seemed to enjoy them and went crazy for their hit "Bad Girlfriend."
While waiting for Hinder to come on, a guy in the row behind us showed me his balls. Don't ask me why.
I don't like Hinder, but that doesn't mean I didn't want to see them live. There's a lot of hype with that band and I was interested to see what it was all about. After watching their set...I'm still wondering what all the hype was about. They sounded great. Austin Winkler's voice was superb. However, I just can't get past their douchiness. Honestly, I had more fun contemplating their hair do's (they ranged from the Flock of Seagulls to a mohawk to an afro) than I did listening to them or watching them. Sure, the crowd loved them, but it certainly didn't make me like them any better. Everyone pulled out their lighters and cell phones when they played "Lips of an Angel" and I sang it under my breath and cursed them for ever releasing that song. I won't deny that there's a certain 80's cock rock influence that pulled me in with that song and made me buy the CD...only to be let down completely by their piece of crap first album. Their current hits definitely have a hook that make you nod your head to the beat, but it's not that impressive to me. Overall, Hinder was mediocre. I'm pissed that they'll be getting a cut of my ticket sale.
Finally! It's time for the Crue!!!!!!!!!!!!
After seeing Cruefest last summer, I wasn't expecting a lot this time around. That show was OK, but Vince's voice was awful, so I prepared myself for disappointment. There was a fun group of people sitting next to us during the show who were very obviously drunk and having a good time. One guy's drunk fun turned into drunk obnoxiousness and ruined the first songs of the show. He stood directly in front of me, facing me, dancing and making stupid faces. I asked him politely to move out of my way and he just stood there dancing. After about 15-20 mintues of this and me yelling at him, I was ready to punch this mother f-er in the face. Luckily, his friend FINALLY pulled him away from me.
OK, back to the show.
I have to say that Vince surprised the shit out of me. Don't get me wrong, he still mumbled and skipped words, but overall his voice was pretty strong. The one thing about Vince that irritated me was that he was wearing a SOLA shirt. There's nothing more annoying than an artist wearing his own shirt. It's just silly. We know who you are. We know what band you're in.
The boys really looked stellar on stage. Nikki Sixx looked smokin' hot, as usual. I didn't get to see a lot of Tommy since I had floor seats, but it was a relief that he skipped the titty cam this time around (not that girls weren't pulling them out to show him anyway). And Mick looked even more brittle than he did over the summer. I swear...I was just waiting for him to crumble into a million pieces.
They plowed through all the classics from "Looks That Kill" to "On With the Show" to "Dr. Feelgood" to "Girls, Girls, Girls," along with a couple of new songs like "SOLA" and "Mother Fucker of the Year." It was all the shit you wanted to hear and it all sounded great and tight. It really felt like each of them was having a good time right along with the crowd. Mick f-ed up the intro to "Too Fast for Love," but I'll let that slide. At one point during the show, I kept looking around on the stage trying to find the back up singers only to find...none. It was a recording and that was a little disappointing.
Of course the encore was "Home Sweet Home." I'm not going to lie, I got a little verklempt listening to that song. If any of you read my post on Hard Rock Hideout, you'll know that I listed Theater of Pain as one of the albums that changed my life. Motley Crue is probably the most influential band in my life and listening to them triggers special memories. Hearing "Home Sweet Home" brought all of that back to me at that exact moment. I've heard that song live a few times, but this time really moved me. Don't know why. It just did.
The show was fantastic. It was nice to get lost in the music, which was something I was not able to do the last couple of times I've seen Motley Crue. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to see them at Rock on the Range.