MOTLEY CRUE GETS LOADED WITH DUFF MCKAGAN
You don’t get a lot of good hard rock concerts in Europe anymore. Sure there are some European bands like the Scorpions or Europe, and some young guns from Sweden and Norway (thank God someone young still plays this kind of music), but compared to the United States we really don’t have that much of a strong roster.
Recently however the Motley Boys decided to give Europe a chance and embarked on a mini tour across the old continent. One of the shows happened in Berlin, on the 16th of June. Initially the show was supposed to be staged at a big concert hall on the outskirts of town, but due to the lower-than-expected ticket sales it was moved to a medium-sized club. Later it was confirmed that the reason behind the relatively low interest in tickets was due to the reunited Faith No More gig and Neil Diamond‘s Show happening on the same evening as the scheduled Motley Crue gig. Three big rock acts at the same time, maybe Europe isn’t that out of luck after all.
Anyway, the gig was moved to a smaller venue, but for the fans it couldn’t have been better. The stage was so close to the crowd, you could almost touch the artist (if you squeezed through the stage security, which was a typical brick wall). The crowd consisted of all kinds of people, all sexes and all ages. Some girls appeared in full rock n’ roll vixen gear, to the appreciation of the gentlemen around.
The concert started off relatively early. About half past six the first warm-up band hit the stage. The band was the Backyard Babies, and needless to say they hit it like the meant it.
An explosive collection of tunes such as “Making Enemies Is Good” and “Fuck Off And Die” thrilled the crowd. The song titles speak for themselves and the crowd was stirred.
Next up came Duff McKagan’s Loaded. Everybody was chanting Duff‘s name (or is it his nickname) while the man himself introduced the band, and the band was tight. They went through the Loaded setlist like a storm showing that their songs are by no means lesser than Guns N’Roses‘ material. At the end of the set Duff‘s band performed what a lot of people were waiting for – an outstanding medley of the intros to GN’R songs “Welcome To The Jungle”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Out Ta Get Me”. These were followed by one of Duff‘s personal favorites, “It’s So Easy”. The closing track for the set was Loaded‘s very own rendition of GN’R‘s “So Fine”, which was written by Duff in the first place (in memory of New York Dolls‘ Johnny Thunders). That was probably the reason why he ripped through this song like no other and the crowd was shaken.
No later than about fifteen minutes after Loaded‘s set, in came the lights and stage gear and the mighty Motley Crue appeared. The band was prepared for a big stadium show, but on the smaller stage they felt right at home. Vocalist Vince Neil was in top form, much more fit than on the photos I’ve seen from the first Cruefest. He was jumping all around, running and screaming like he drank more than a few energy drinks in the dressing room. A lot of people say that Vince isn’t very energetic these days, as he was, say ten to twenty years ago. Well, if they would have seen this show they would have had to change their minds. His voice was maybe a little too high at times but he made the crowd go nuts nonetheless, so why bother.
The rest of the band was in top shape too. Mick Mars was a little scary, but he really showed that he can play the guitar with a unique style. When you listen to his live recordings from the 1980’s and you hear him now you can hear he always had a distinctive style of playing. And while a lot of guitar players stick to their style, not changing it in fear of loosing their originality, Mick evolved his slide play into a modern, unmistakable new tone.
Tommy Lee was bashing the skins like crazy, proving that playing like a madman doesn’t exclude playing tight. He never missed a beat, and even found time to share a Jagermeister with some people in the first rows.
Now Nikki Sixx on the other hand wasn’t fooling around. He just played tight bass, although it would have been nice if communicated with crowd more. He also looked a little bloated, but probably due to just being tired of constant touring.
The band’s setlist consisted off all the live classics such as “Kickstart My Heart”, “Girls, Girls, Girls”, and “Wildside”. They also threw in some of the new songs from their latest CD. Apart from “Saints Of Los Angeles”, and “Motherfucker Of The Year” they also played “White Trash Circus”, which was a treat because they only started to play this song live.
The Crue owned the crowd in Berlin City, and they were stunned.
To sum things up, this show was a sheer kick in the balls. The beer was flowing, the girls were flashing and most importantly the bands (not only Motley Crue) gave a jawbreaker of a show, a one to remember for years… I hope they will visit Europe sooner than that.