CrueFest Concert Review

CRUEFEST AT ST. LOUIS

Show Date: July 20, 2008
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
Venue: Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Reviewer: Graham LaMontagne
Band Website: www.motley.com

Signs of a rocking concert:

A) Your ears still ring the next morning
B) Your neck aches from head banging the day after
C) You wake up with crabs

Well, as Meatloaf would say “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” and I was fortunate enough to miss out on a dose of VD after my experience at Crue Fest.

Four gents who are certainly no strangers to penicillin, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee, have taken the beast that is Motley Crue on the road all summer in their very own traveling festival called Crue Fest.

Crue Fest features new metal/hard rock bands Trapt, Sixx AM, Papa Roach and Buckcherry opening for their idols in a six hour long celebration of depravity.

The shining stars of the night are obviously Motley Crue and they ‘cruezed’ through a 90 minute set list that featured their most popular hits, plus the addition of new tracks “Mother Fucker Of The Year” and “Saints Of Los Angeles”. The later featured the singers of the other bands onstage with their mentors for a rowdy final chorus.

The best time to see Motley Crue was on the reunion ‘Red, White & Crue Tour’ back in 2005 because the performance lasted over three hours and featured numerous obscure tracks that diehard Motley Crue fans relished. That is really the only problem with Crue Fest – NOT ENOUGH CRUE!

Though “Too Fast For Love”, “Red Hot”, “Ten Seconds To Love” and “Save Our Souls” are all absent, favorites like “Primal Scream”, “Wild Side”, “Looks That Kill” and “Live Wire” were delivered almost perfectly. I say almost perfectly because anyone who is a Motley fan knows that Vince Neil is a lazy live singer and leaves out many words during a show. Unfortunately, it’s just something he does (even though he shines on albums), but where he lacks in efficiency the other three members pick up the slack and more than make up for his indolent singing. Though crippled by his debilitating disease, Mick Mars‘ fingers are as nimble and fierce as ever, while Nikki Sixx bludgeons the bass guitar and Tommy Lee continues to be his animal self on drums. With the support of his gang, Vince still delivers those piercingly high notes, and it’s amazing his voice was still intact by the end of the show when he faced his greatest challenge “Home Sweet Home”. “Home Sweet Home” might not seem like the ideal encore, but seeing Vince, Nikki and Mick all huddled around Tommy playing piano on a darkly lit stage was sensational.

Motley Crue proved that they more than still ‘got it’ and showed off a whole new meaning of the phrase “respect for your elders” to the young bands that opened for the kings of sleaze.

Trapt opened the night, but I missed them – darn (sarcasm).

Sixx AM really impressed the crowd, especially me since Nikki Sixx performed with them and then again with the Crue.

Papa Roach was to me the weakest band on the bill (other than Trapt), but they had the fans in attendance jumping up and down and signing along so I cannot bash on them too much.

Buckcherry, the most fitting band on the bill, exhibited a younger generation of debauchery that must make the members of Motley Crue feel like proud fathers.

The bands chosen for this year’s Crue Fest seemed to be picked to ensure both young and old fans would come out to partake in the festival, but also to show that Motley Crue is still relevant in the current music business. After all, they do have a new album, Saints Of Los Angeles, which is selling quite well for an aging band. However, many 80’s metal fans wished that some of the other big names from the heyday were on Crue Fest instead of new bands. Though I would love to see bands like Ratt share the stage once again with the Crue, it almost makes sense that they avoid doing an 80’s nostalgic tour since Poison has been doing one for the past several years. However, as I mentioned before, I would like more Motley Crue for my money so maybe next year the festival can feature less bands and a longer Motley Crue set. I think a brilliant Crue Fest idea could feature some of the Crue‘s idols rather than new acts. How great would it be to attend Crue Fest next year and see Ace Frehley open, followed by two of the Crue‘s biggest inspirations, Cheap Trick and The Sweet? Now that would be a spectacle.

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