Sunday, August 16, 2009

Crue Fest 2 - Cincinnati, Ohio 8/14/09

When I first heard the line up for Crue Fest 2, I was less than excited. Actually, I was pissed. There wasn't one band on the line up, aside from Motley Crue themselves, that I wanted to see or hear. Once I heard Motley was planning on playing Dr. Feelgood from start to finish...I was stoked and a little more accepting about what was in store for me at the show.

My concert buddy, Dee, and I arrived at the venue at 4pm only to be bombarded with the shittiest music I'd ever heard. There was a band playing on the second stage who were absolutely offensive to my ears. Then the band decided to do a horrendous rendition of Pantera's Walk and that was it for me. I later found out that it was local band, Calloused, who won some contest to play at Crue Fest.
Lucky for us, Charm City Devils were about to make up for all of the crap that just mutilated our hearing. All I can say about this band is WOW. They really blew me away. CCD are just straight up rock & roll and they were a very pleasant surprise. I only wish that there would have been more people there to appreciate them and that they had a longer set. This band really kicks ass and are better than almost all bands that are on the radio today. And while Dee and I were on a beverage run to try to keep hydrated in the oppressive heat, we happened to run into John and Jason from CCD. Both were super nice and friendly...and Jason made it a point to tell me my lips were orange from my Powerade. Just great.

Next up was Theory of A Deadman. I'm still trying to figure out why they were brought out on Crue Fest since they just did the Saints of Los Angeles tour. If you read my review on the SOLA tour, you'll know that I didn't really like Theory of a Deadman. After seeing them at Crue Fest 2...I REALLY don't like them. Holy hell...I was stunned at how terrible they were. Tyler Connolly was singing so out of tune it was ridiculous, and that was on the first song! Dee and I lasted three songs and then immediately walked out because we just couldn't take it anymore. This band is mediocre at best. They're just Nickelback with a WAY hotter lead singer.

My next surprise for the evening was Drowning Pool. Although I missed most of their set, I caught the last few songs and these guys put on one hell of a live show. Drowning Pool is another band that I'm not a huge fan of and had no interest in seeing at Crue Fest. After watching a little bit of their set, I'm now more interested in them. They really got the crowd going and sounded freaking fantastic. I have to say that I was impressed with them and glad that I caught what little of their set that I did.

I missed Godsmack because I was too busy meeting Rob Rockitt from Hard Rock Hideout and JT from Hard Rock Nights! We played a little text tag for the first couple of hours (because we were both busy either watching shows or talking to CCD), but finally ran into each other. What great guys! Make sure you check out their sites (especially since I write for Hard Rock Hideout)! And if I'm being honest...I missed Godsmack because I really, really don't like them. We made our way back to our seats in time to catch Godsmack's last song, and the crowd really seemed to love them. Wish I felt the same way.
Now time for Motley Crue!

I was forewarned on my way down to Cincinnati about Tommy Lee not playing drums and I was thoroughly disappointed. Tommy burned the shit out of his left hand while playing with fireworks. And he wasn't playing with sparklers or bottle rockets; he was playing around with some really big fireworks. Due to Tommy's "bonehead" move, the band was forced to find a last minute replacement, Morgan Rose from Sevendust. This bonehead move also caused a catastrophe for me, but we'll get to that later.

As the lights went down and the crowd went wild, a very sexy nurse came out on stage pushing a very creepy, old, gigantic wheel chair. When she reached the middle, she opened two doors on the seat of the wheel chair and hot, sexy lunatic jumped out. Some creepy orderlies ran out with a gigantic syringe and jammed it into the lunatic. Then the curtains dropped and Motley Crue played Dr. Feelgood in a padded cell. The whole set up was very Alice Cooper and it kicked ass! After they finished Dr. Feelgood, the padded cell was pulled away and all that was left was an old, decrepit hospital set in the same sea foam green as the Dr. Feelgood album.

Of course they went through Dr. Feelgood in its entirety and it was so nostalgic for me. It totally made me feel like I was in the 6th grade again. Morgan really held his own on drums and I was really impressed with him, especially since he learned the entire set on the plane ride in. Yes, Vince sang every third word; I've certainly heard him sound worse. And yes, Mick messed up in parts; I've heard him play better. Tommy came out to apologize for being an idiot; it was nice that he was still a part of the show. And Nikki was perfect, as usual. But it was honestly the best I've seen these guys perform in years. It was a combination of the set, the album and the chemistry that made this show so spectacular for me.

After they finished Dr. Feelgood, there was a quick set change to a very industrial, dark, dirty, steam punk set with big gears and sparks flying everywhere. Tommy came out and played Home Sweet Home on the piano just wouldn't have been Home Sweet Home without him. And then there was Wildside. I don't know what to say about that except that it was a cluster fuck. There was about 30-45 seconds of complete chaos where no one was playing the right thing and had no idea what was going on. I'm not sure if it was Morgan or Mick that caused it, but it was the most uncomfortable 30 seconds of my life. My heart hurt for them. But being the professionals that they are, they eventually pulled it all together and finished the song. And they certainly didn't let this debacle get them down or ruin the rest of the show.

It was really kind of weird to have to watch Motley Crue struggle, and I don't mean struggle in a bad way. It's just interesting to see them work through last minute issues on stage and in front of your face, especially when they are usually a tight, well oiled machine. With Morgan filling in at the last minute, Nikki had to give him cues constantly throughout each song. It made me respect Nikki more than I already do (surprising, I know). Watching him wrangle his troops and give them orders showed what a strong leader his is and that Motley Crue really is his baby. And watching the rest of the band follow his cues was quite impressive. Maybe there were mistakes here and there, but the show was really spectacular.

Now on to my catastrophe...

I am lucky enough to know Tommy Lee's drum tech, who happens to be a very good friend of mine. We were supposed to meet up with him and hang out backstage before the show. The plan was to go to catering and eat dinner with him. Since Tommy burned his hand, the whole day was totally chaotic and my friend was way too busy to entertain friends, which is totally and completely understandable. But do you know who happens to hang out in catering quite often? Nikki Sixx. Do you know what that means? That means I missed seeing Nikki Sixx. Yes, it's Tommy Lee's fault that I didn't get to meet Nikki Sixx. Jerk.

No worries. We hung out with my friend backstage after the show and had a wonderful time. I got to meet Tommy's right hand man/Protools genius and Tommy's assistant. While I was sitting next to Tommy's assistant, he actually called Tommy to check up on him to make sure he was OK. I could hear Tommy's voice on the phone. Weird. And then I got meet Nikki Sixx's tech. Do you know what that means? That means I'm only one person away from Nikki Sixx. Yes! I'm now one person closer to meeting you Nikki! Watch out!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll get you next time my love...


Anonymous said...

Cool review. I felt the same way about the lineup, except I love Drowning Pool. We caught the last few songs of Godsmack, and they were pretty good even though I'm not a fan.

It was good meeting you there!

Guillermo Rascon said...

hearing all of dr. feelgood live would be so cool.

Sparky said...

Ah, the boys at their best, and worst. I missed Crue Fest 2, as it was here on a Tuesday, and I couldn't take off work to attend. And I was like you, less than excited about the lineup other than the boys. I would have been seriously upset that Tommy wasn't playing, but how cool to have Sevendust filling in! And to be one away from Nikki.....I can't even think! You go girl!