Vince Neil and Stephen Pearcy live at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona, USA Concert Review


Date: January 27, 2023
Venue: Marquee Theatre
Location: Tempe, Arizona, USA
Photos: Caroline Walsh

It was only about five months ago that the Stadium Tour roared into the stadium where the Arizona Cardinals play football not all that far from Tempe. Though I didn’t go because the ticket prices were just too rich for my blood, I was told by those who did go that they had a pretty darn good turnout. Well, a few months later and a few miles away, Vince Neil was back onstage with a veteran tourning partner in the desert. But, instead of playing to a full stadium, the very stadium that will house the Super Bowl in a few weeks, he was playing the Marquee Theatre on the edge of the campus of Arizona State University. I coughed up the dough to go to this show because it was both affordable and I would be able to see Vince instead of seeing him from a very far distance. As for Stephen Pearcy? I’m probably a bigger fan of his than I am of Mötley Crüe. So, it was icing on the cake!

The Marquee is a nice venue. It was once a dirty venue, I must say. But, they have certainly cleaned it up over my time going here and the state has really become one of my favorite places to see a show. That changed a bit during the pandemic both because they had fewer shows even though Arizona stayed more or less open for business. But, because they also adhered to very strict guidelines where it came to vaccines and so forth. I won’t get political but I will say this. I never bent to public pressure, I never was told what to do, and I’m still alive and well and able to see these great rock and roll shows along with everyone else. So, if I could figure out how to poke my tongue out or blow a rasberry in text form, insert that here!

As we pulled up to the venue, there was already a full parking lot and we were there before the doors opened… This really surprised me as this was not the case for Tom Keifer‘s show a number of years back. There was a lengthy line to get in and once they did let us in, the first band was already on stage and playing which surprised me as usually they allow people to file in before they shut the lights off over the crowd. But, hey, we hit the ground running!

Show & Tell

The first band was Show & Tell. They were much heavier than the rest of the acts, I would say. Their vocalist is very, very high vocally and can really rip. They did a lot of great songs I didn’t know but they won me over when they did a Dokken cover as they did “Tooth And Nail”. I must say, I was impressed but I do think they were a little heavier than I had expected.

Dead West

Next up was Dead West. They are a somewhat local band who has made some decent waves making two albums already and working on a third. They opened for Tom Keifer last go around and said they had just opened for L.A. Guns last month and that they were heading back to California (I thought they were an Arizona band) to open for Lynch Mob. Anyway, they have got a good thing going with their sound. It is certainly in the ballpark of hair metal with maybe a little bit of that Southern boogie infused. They did two tracks off their new album, not out yet, and I must say I dug those two songs more than the rest of the set. So, that is sure to be in my collection once released.

Stephen Pearcy

Stephen Pearcy took the stage next with his James Bond-like intro. “Wanted Man” was the first song out of the box and we were off and running. Pearcy sounded great. He looked a little thin, though. But, he drank water while on stage and delighted in throwing it over his drummer from time to time. He controlled the stage. He really did. I think that is the biggest difference between bands from this era versus ones you might see today. These guys are the star of the show, know it, and carry that burden as well as the show on their backs and deliver every time.

Almost all my Ratt classics made the cut as “I’m Insane”, “You Think You’re Tough”, “Lovin’ You’s A Dirty Job”, “Slip of The Lip”, “You’re In Love”, “Back For More”, “Body Talk”, and, of course, “Round And Round” were all performed, and performed well. Pearcy went for some notes and hit them pretty damn well. But, vibe is so important for rock and roll and Pearcy just brings the party. You can have 1,000 singers who can sing everything pitch perfect and they can bore you to tears. But, give me a performer like Pearcy every time and I’ll be a happy camper.

Stephen Pearcy performing “Way Cool Jr.” live at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona, USA on January 27, 2023 (video from Melissa Sadowski‘s YouTube page):

Stephen Pearcy performing “Round And Round” live at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona, USA on January 27, 2023 (video from Melissa Sadowski‘s YouTube page):

Vince Neil

Vince Neil took the stage at about 9:45 pm with Dana Strum being the first band member I saw. Being a huge Slaughter fan, that was awesome in and of itself. The rest of the band hit the stage and we were off and running straight away with “Dr. Feelgood”. I often joke that you know what you’re getting when you see Vince live… If you bought the 1997 live album, you know what I mean. He doesn’t always sing every word… In fact, he skips many. But, he delivers a fun show. Contrary to this, Vince was actually pretty on his game with most of the lyrics tonight including the fast ones like “Dr. Feelgood” and “Shout At The Devil”, which followed.

“Home Sweet Home” was very early in the set which surprised me. Seeing Vince perform this again after having seen their All Bad Things Must Come To An End — The Final Tour and getting emotional when he performed it then was really cool. Vince broke out “You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come)” from his solo album Exposed. I sang every word along but did notice that there were a lot of people in the crowd who didn’t carry on quite as much when this song was being performed. I think Vince knew it too because he remarked that he’d go back to doing songs everyone knows after he did it. But, to be totally honest, because this was a rarity for him to break out these days, I think that was the highlight of Vince‘s performance for me.

Jeff Blando, also of Slaughter much like Dana Strum, killed it on guitar often even playing notes that Zakk Wylde would do… I presume John 5 will do this as the new Crüe guitarist too. But, he really killed it on guitar and even sang “Whole Lotta Love”, a Led Zeppelin cover, when Vince took a powder. Zoltan Chaney is Vince‘s drummer. I have no idea where Vince unearthed this madman but I’m going to be researching him. He is a wild man! He was jumping up and down drumming, jumping off of things to slam down on the symbols. He was a show to see in and of himself! “Looks That Kill”, “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”, “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Away)”, “Live Wire”, “Kickstart My Heart”, and “Wild Side” were all on the list as well.

Vince Neil performing “Dr. Feelgood” live at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona, USA on January 27, 2023 (video from Melissa Sadowski‘s YouTube page):

Vince looks like Sam Kinison now. I don’t know what that means. But, if he wanted to add Sam‘s version of “Wild Thing” to his act, I’d welcome it! That is a joke, by the way. Vince really seemed to slim down quite a bit from when I last saw him. He was drinking Jack Daniels quite heavily. But, it never stopped him from delivering the goods!

The audience was interesting. Remember the girl in the white pants who gave everyone, willing or not, cheap thrills at the Tom Keifer show? She was there in silver leather and she was even more trashed than last time! She was so trashed and made such a spectacle of herself, she was ejected! Why do that? I get cutting loose. But, why get so drunk that you behave like a fool and likely won’t even remember the evening? The age range was cool to see. It ranged from folks in their 60’s to teenagers and the teenagers weren’t just there because they came with their mom and dad! Very cool to see our style of music reach so many people! What a great night!

Vince Neil performing “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” live at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona, USA on January 27, 2023 (video from Melissa Sadowski‘s YouTube page):