In my last post, I “analyzed” the revival of 80s hair metal.
Last night, I lived it.
No, dear reader, I did not put on a Spinal Tap-esque wig and turn my amps up to eleven. Instead, I went to see the Crüe.
More specifically, I joined thousands of Caucasians—most of whom I suspect came in keg-filled buses from Wal Mart—at the Mötley Crüe concert at Nissan Pavilion. If you are not familiar with the nation’s capital, “Nissan” is the Washington D.C.-area’s pre-eminent outdoor concert venue for acts that can draw more than 10,000, but not the 50,000+ that will get you into RFK Stadium in the District’s charming eastern sector.
And they put on a SHOW. This was pure entertainment. Loud, raucous, balls-to-the-wall multimedia entertainment.
It was the best known, and the best, Crüe lineup. Nikki Sixx. Tommy Lee. Vince Neil. Mick Mars.
Reunited, and it feels so good.
Flanked by two screens measuring 30’ by 40’ each, our heros took the stage in a blaze of hellfire and flesh befitting their reputation—and the name of their current tour: Carnival of Sins. And let me tell you, the boys lived up to that theme nearly as well as one can in a large public venue.
Flames shooting several stories into the air. Makeup out of a George Romero film. Midgets parading around in chains.
And scantily clad, often topless, women climbing girders, dangling from trapezes, and humping each other in something akin to a leather-and-spikes lesbian outtake from Eyes Wide Shut.
I thought I was in a kinky, fun version of hell.
Or Bangkook. (Oops, I mean Bangkok ... sorry about the Thai-po.)
Nikki, of course, was solid on bass. And Mick played much better than I remembered. But Tommy and Vince were the stand outs—and for different reasons.
Tommy, frankly, was a disappointment. Do not get me wrong: he played well throughout the set. He even won the crowd over by screaming how much he loved us—and by using his camcorder to show, on the venue’s uber-screens, the crowd’s ample supply of women flashing their ample breasts.
Tommy’s solo, however, was less a drum event than some adolescent Peter Pan fantasy. Instead of showing us how well he truly can play, he chose to fly back and forth by cable harness between two platforms high above the stage and hit a few steel drums to an annoying backing track.
Vince, on the other hand, was the biggest surprise of the show. I had feared he would have a raspy, has-been voice. I was anticipating cringing at a bloated and lame shadow of Vince’s former, quasi-Roth self.
I expected, in short, Sally Struthers with an Adam's apple.
Instead, he belted out everything from “Live Wire” to “Primal Scream” with authority. He held the mike out to the audience more often than Donahue … but when he did sing, he hit his notes. And, despite my dread before the show, he looked reasonably healthy for someone about to turn 45.
On the whole, I give this concert a solid thumbs up. Although the band did not share the naked hotties with the audience, much to my dismay, they DID share something else worth cherishing, something not common enough in our all-too serious lives.
One hell of a good time.