Back in the ‘80s, hard rock acts like Motley Crue and Metallica played with an unrivaled fierceness. Those days are long gone — middle age will do that to you.
Give Motley Crue credit for knowing when to call it a day. The group’s farewell tour swung through town last night for a stop at the Q. While the band’s musical chops aren’t what they used to be (singer Vince Neil, in particular, struggled to consistently sing on key), the band put on an entertaining show that had the crowd that filled about two-thirds of the venue on its feet for the entire set. You can see a slideshow of photos from the concert here
With its metallic spikes and various flamethrowers, the stage resembled something out of a Mad Max movie. Band members dressed the part too, wearing leather overcoats and oversized boots that looked like they were made for walking on the moon. And that’s not to mention the rollercoaster-like track that extended into the rafters so drummer Tommy Lee and his kit could embark on a death-defying, upside down ride in the middle of the nearly two-hour concert.
The group kicked off the show with a slew of hits, including “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Wild Side,” “Same Ol’ Situation” and “Shout at the Devil.” Though the swagger was gone from “Same Ol’ Situation,” “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” still had a raunchy edge to it as did the band’s take on the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the UK.” Neil managed to get through “Primal Scream” by shouting more than screaming. For the drum solo, Lee and his kit rode along the track that went up to the arena ceiling and then extended down to the soundboard on the middle of the floor. He hammered away with intensity to a backing track that included riffs from tunes by acts such as Led Zeppelin, Cypress Hill, Beastie Boys and Mark Ronson.
Through it all, band members embraced the end of an era, saying things like “thank you for putting up with our bullshit for all these years” and “Cleveland motherfuckin’ Ohio we love you so much.” Before the encore that included a rendition of “Home Sweet Home,” the set concluded with the one-two punch of “Dr. Feelgood” and “Kickstart My Heart,” songs that suggested the band’s songwriting skills have never really gotten the credit they deserve.
Shock rocker Alice Cooper opened with a theatrical performance that included a fake beheading and a segment that featured a giant Frankenstein-like monster. It was all good fun, though the set looked like it was from a high school production of Rocky Horror Picture Show
. He closed with a rousing rendition of “School’s Out” that included a snippet from Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.”