CrueFest Concert Review


Show Date: July 26, 2008
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.
Venue: Journal Pavilion
Reviewer: Vinnie Gunns
Band Website:

It was 3:30pm and I heard the radio DJ announce, “No Umbrellas!” What’s left of Hurricane Dolly had come to New Mexico. Oh, that’s just grand I thought to myself… they will cancel and I’ll be out $100 for pit tickets to CrueFest!

“Rain or shine the show will go one!”

What?! Rain or shine? Albuquerque’s new venue is the Journal Pavilion which is an outdoor amphitheater. I was just there a few months ago to see Megadeth.

First things first. After being molested by security we find the bar, where it was three beers for $24. Wow… I won’t be drinking a lot tonite.

I saw the Rock Band semi and a small crowd. It’s kinda cool for the kids, you can win and get to play Rock Band just before Motley Crue hits the stage. It was still raining as I stood in line for a t-shirt, $135 later I had a t-shirt, tank-top, headband and one other shirt. Wow… I seem to remember seeing Motley Crue with Heaven And Hell and another band and getting a t-shirt for 15 bucks! It’s just money, what the hell right?

Then it was two double ‘crown and cokes’, for $32 plus tip. Man, CrueFest wasn’t gonna be cheap.

Trapt finally hit the stage. They had little to no stage room to move around, but put on a great show, even if it was kinda short. I wanted to hear some songs other than the radio played ones, but still it was a great show.

Then they started tearing down for the next band to start. $32 more at the bar, but now the bartender brings me my drinks as I wait in line (it pays to tip well).

Then Sixx AM hit the stage. Wow… Nikki Sixx looks damn good and they played a great set (sorry, but I didn’t write down setlists). One thing I noticed was the guitarist DJ Ashba. I had never heard of him before, but holy shit! He was playing an Ernie Ball Eddie Van Halen signature model guitar and I was amazed, there was lots of flash, slapping the fret board with a drum stick, and some really cool stuff.

Sixx AM finished off with “Life Is Beautiful” as the crowd had started to grow and was singing along.

It was tear down time again and another $32 at the bar. Even though there were only ten people in the drink line-up, we get our drinks first… again, tip well!

Papa Roach… one word describes this band, ‘FUCKINGAMAZINGENERGY!’ The singer, Jacoby Shaddix, was all over the stage and full of energy, he makes one hell of a front man. And out of no where he was out in the crowd, singing while running amuck! Papa Roach put on a great, great show! They played “Scars”, which is a great song, and at the end he sings in Spanish, a capella. Wow… viva la cucaracha!

Tear down time again and yet another $32. But wait, there was a huge crowd near the local rock station’s booth. Holy shit, Sixx AM‘s singer and guitarist were hanging out taking pictures and signing shit. I got a few photos with them, and there was no security to push you around, it was damn cool of them!

After another $32 Buckcherry was getting ready to go on…

As I had been standing for six full hours, I had to take a break. while I like Buckcherry, I missed some of their set. They did play a few new songs from the upcoming CD, and ya… $32 at the bar again.

Motley Crue‘s stage was now going up and as I looked back the venue was packed! Another $32 at the bar and back to the pit we went.

There was a great little pre-show, a shadow of an angel silhouette in white on the left side of the stage and a devil in red on the right side. The two met and she dropped down to her knees and… ya, you know the rest.

Motley Crue is still amazing! Nikki Sixx seems to have saved his energy for this part of the show. As for the rest of the band, ya can’t say enough about Tommy Lee and Vince Neil is still a hell of a front man. I couldn’t really see Mick Mars as he wasn’t moving too much. I heard he has something that makes it very painful to move, yet he never missed a single lick!

A little over three-quarters of the way through the set I got tapped on the shoulder by someone in a bright yellow ‘Event Staff’ t-shirt. He yelled something about my camera, which I had with me throughout the entire day and through the security check when I came in. We go for a little walk so I can hear what he says, “give me the memory card”. WTF, “umm, no”, is my reply. Then he gets on his walkie-talkie and I hear BCSO… great, the local sheriff’s office. I was escorted to the head security person, and at this point the memory card was in my pants. Ahhh great, I knew this head security guy as he has been a huge pain in my ass since I was in bar bands in the late 80’s. The head security guy demanded the camera battery, and I asked if I would get it back. He said “No”, and then I told him that he wouldn’t get it. At that point he tried to tear my arm-band off as his breathing became heavy and labored… Jesus, what a fat tub. I said, “here, take it”, and tore the arm-band off myself.

He wasn’t going to get the camera’s memory card, as I had personal pictures of my kids on there. This guy was sweating like some sort of animal in heat! Oh well, I figured I’ll just miss the encore and walk to the truck and wait. But nope, there came ‘John E Law’! They must have thought or assumed that since I am tattooed with long hair I would be an easy target, as their ‘strong arm attempts’ started coming. “GIVE US THE MEMORY CARD OR GO TO JAIL!” “Go to jail for what?” I asked, and are you ready for this… he says, “Copyright laws!” Oh wow… this guy, wow… and he carries a gun?

“If you know copyright laws please tell me what I have done wrong” I say, as according to the web site, professional cameras have removable lens. My camera is a Sony cybershit 10 mega pixel 15x zoom with no removable lens. This goes on and on until finally a Sergeant comes up. He said the camera would be kept for 30 days and is wise to me. He said, “delete the card”, and between him and me says, “you look smart, I know you can get what you lose back.” I laughed to myself, as I knew I could, but ya. So I deleted the pictures, and I kid you not, I hear, “Holy fuck, 600 pictures!” It only got worse after that…

All in all CrueFest was a great show!