Live review: Motley Crue

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Motley Crue

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

July 12, 2011

The Deal: Motley Crue celebrates 30 years with fan-selected setlist on a hot, summer night.

The Good: I heard the last couple of songs from Poison as I walked toward my seats. Having seen them recently, I can assure you they sounded about like they always do — playing a hits-heavy set for roughly an hour.

With a series of loud fireworks, the white curtain dropped and Motley Crue revved right into "Wild Side." The centerpiece of the stage being a massive iron roller coaster loop with an LED screen behind it. A never-used stripper pole was atop stairs on the left side of the stage, next to a sign simply stating "SIN." A microphone hung from the ceiling in front of bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee sat behind a minimal drumkit, guitarist Mick Mars wore his top hat low and hung back while singer Vince Neil hit all the high notes from the opening lyrics.

There were plenty of sing-along moments during the show as Neil sometimes sounded out of breath. He was hitting the notes, but I couldn't tell if it was a tired of singing the same songs or tired from running around the stage. He did his best to involve the crowd, but too much of the performance appears routine at this point.

The band's setlist had a range of older and newer songs, including the recent single "Saints of Los Angeles" and the older hits "Too Young to Fall in Love" and "Smokin' in the Boys Room." They did their best to mix it up, including a verse from Cee-Lo's "Fuck You" in the middle of "Don't Go Away Mad."

Fireballs shot out during a variety of songs, mostly during "Shout at the Devil," and Tommy Lee made his way to a piano for "Home Sweet Home." Lee told the crowd that he spent the day on High Rock Lake and loved being in a city with a place to chill out nearby.

Lee's drum solo is the highlight of the current tour, as his drum set does a handful of 360-degree loops on the roller coaster track. He plays along with some techno grooves before stopping and inviting an audience member along for the ride, at which point he drums along to "Love Rollercoaster."

Sixx found a brief moment to address the crowd — his bass having "The Queen City" written on it — saying, "Thank God we're not Bon Jovi or we'd put your asses to sleep." He apologized before taking it back with a "Fuck Bon Jovi."

The band's set wrapped up with "Girls Girls Girls" and "Smokin' in the Boys Room" before "Kickstart My Heart."

The Bad: Due to other obligations, I missed New York Dolls and Poison. It's cool that the Crue decided to play a setlist picked by fans, but sucks that they're playing the same thing night after night — it shows. Neil often sang half of the words, when he wasn't mumbling the others. Sixx looked bored and walked around the stage when he wasn't standing still.

The Verdict: Rumors of poor ticket sales show this has become a nostalgia trip for fans and probably the band, as well. They've toured quite a bit in recent years and there's "nothing new to see" if fans come out. Having said all that - the old guys can still put on a great show. It's basically note for note what you'd hear on the albums, but for fans who grew up listening to hair metal like this, sometimes it's all they need.

Poison setlist

Look What The Cat Dragged In

Ride The Wind

We're An American Band

Your Mama Don't Dance

Guitar Solo

Fallen Angel

Unskinny Bop

Drum Solo

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Talk Dirty To Me

Nothin' But A Good Time

Motley Crue setlist

Wild Side

Saints of Los Angeles

Live Wire

Shout at the Devil

Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)

Primal Scream

Home Sweet Home

Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)> Fuck You> Don't Go Away Mad

Drum Solo

Looks That Kill

Dr. Feelgood

Too Young to Fall in Love

Too Fast for Love

Girls, Girls, Girls

Smokin' In The Boys Room

Kickstart My Heart

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