The Spectacle of Mötley Crüe

Mötley Crüe’s Glam-A-Geddon Tour, with Poison and the New York Dolls, brought all the explosions, titillation, and special effects of a Mad Max movie to the Schottenstein Center last night.

With Mötley Crüe and Poison celebrating their 30th and 25th anniversary respectively, there is a certain nostalgia to their shows. Not that it’s a bad thing. Myself, and a large contingent of the audience came tonight to hear the music we used to hide from our parents. That aspect of nostalgia, though, can lead to a lack of surprises. What is a band to do, when your audience can basically write out the setlist before hand?

Opening act, New York Dolls, started things off with a fantastic set. Unfortunately, not many in the audience cared. It’s a shame since they are considered one of the major influences of the 80’s glam metal scene. Lead singer, David Johansen, sounded great, and I don’t mean just great for a 61 year old. He and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain (the only other original member left) bantered before ripping through classic cuts like “Looking for a Kiss,” “Trash,” “Personality Crises,” and a raucous cover of Bo Diddley’s “Pills.” Johansen also provided the line of that night claiming Rolling Stone declared their new album the greatest record ever made…”right after two Steve Miller albums, and Carol King’s Tapestry.”

The audience would show up in full frenzy mode by the time Poison took the stage. Moments before, drummer, Rikki Rockett spray painted “Buckeyes” on his bass drums, the crowd was so amped, they were cheering and singing along with the pre-show music. Poison rode that energy all the way from the opening riff of “Look What the Cat Dragged In” to the closer “Nothin’ But a Good Time.” The only new song that made its way into the setlist was a cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band,” which was… Let’s just say I think the Grand Funk version was awful to begin with. The rest of their setlist was filled with all the hits you would expect: “Unskinny Bop,” “Fallen Angel,” “Talk Dirty to Me” etc. This all lead to a solid but predictable show. They even shoe horned in a drum solo and C.C. Deville guitar solo. I know these solos are a staple and provide a break for the other band members, but are they absolutely necessary? The one surprise was actually, front man, Brett Michaels. Maybe it was because of his health struggles last year, but he took the stage like this was Poison’s first ever arena tour. His whole performance carried a feeling of pure joy, and he was going to be certain the crowd experienced it too.

With a literal bang, that nearly caused about a hundred heart attacks in the arena, the curtain dropped to reveal Mötley Crüe standing in front of a part Thunderdome and part Burlesque construction with ramps extending into the entry level seats. Guitarist Mick Mars started into “Wild Side,” beginning the onslaught of hits that would make up most of their 90+ minute set. For this tour, Mötley Crüe let the fans decide the setlist through an online poll. While you got your “Home Sweet Home” and “Girls, Girls, Girls,” they also played hardcore fan favorites like “Ten Seconds to Love.” I would assume in an attempt to be current, lead singer, Vince Neil tried to fit a bit of Cee-Lo Green’s “F@#k You” into “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away).” It not only felt dated,(Even my grandmother thinks that song is played out), but it just made a mess of the whole song. Everything else was simply classic Mötley Crüe bathing in pyro and fan adoration. Remember what I said about drum solos before? I guess Tommy Lee is an exception. His solo consisted of attaching his drum kit to a roller coaster track that would take him upside down and back around. A lucky fan even got plucked from the audience to go for a ride. Bassist Nikki Sixx went onto to explain that Lee’s drum contraption was actually designed years ago. I guess, if you have to do a drum solo, make it a full tilt ride. After the solo the concert went a little darker thematically. The two back-up singers/dancers changed from burlesque dresses that you could imagine an escort düsseldorf wearing to Mad Max attire including mohawk wigs and the occasional flame thrower. The video screen images were a little more disturbing. There also seemed to be a lot more fire. The show culminated into roadies with flame throwers, Nikki Sixx spitting fake blood, Vince Neil screaming “Kickstart My Heart,” and buckets of fake blood that would soon drench the first few rows of the enraptured audience.

To say the audience enjoyed every moment would be an understatement. They came to hear their favorites and both bands delivered. From Poison’s set onward the people clapped, cheered, raised their “maloik,” and sang every word to every song. Even this hardened critic left the arena with shot vocal chords.

Small side note: For those worried about the youth of today, there was a young teen sporting some awesome Ace Frehly, Destroyer era, boots. May the rock gods bless your Beiber-hating heart.

Bradford Iten; Columbus Wired


Comments ( 38 )

  • Danika

    OMG! I love them! it sound that the concert was amazing! I feel so bad ’cause I didn’t attend to any of they concerts but well with this review and the videos I can see something about haha, wow I love that “small side note” ho ho.
    With Poison there and with the songs that MC play like wild side and girls girls girls I think it was amazing

  • Alex

    Join the street team to show your support for the Crue!

  • Cynthia

    I attended the concert this summer and Motley Crue was simply amazing!!! We missed out on the buckets of blood 🙁 . Guess they didn’t quite have the idea all planned out yet so early in the tour but maybe next time. These guys can still ROCK 30 years later. I absolutely LOVE them.

  • Justine

    Motley Crue fans know how to support their band! I didn’t know the name of this tour until I read this, article though, and I went to the show in Scranton. It was my 3rd time seeing the Crue at that venue and I wasn’t disappointed. Long live the Crue!

  • Jeremy

    An amazing band!! Check out their Fancorps!!

  • Alexx

    I am proud to say I was one of those teenagers at a Motley concert 🙂 Can’t get enough of them, hope they keep on rockin for a loooooong time.

  • Kale

    The day I can go to one of their shows will easily be one the best days of my life. I always get pumped when I read articles about Motley Crue!

  • Spenser

    They always put on an excellent show. The Crue just has that dynamic, that charisma, that fire that lets them excel on stage where most bands can’t. Long live the Crue!

  • Jamie

    Very well written article, sounds like it was an awesome show

  • Niko M.

    Great review. I have seen Motley Crue twice so far cant wait to see them live again.

  • Evan

    Great review!!! Saw them in Omaha and it was one of the best I have seen from them, out of 5 times, by far this was the best! If your a big fan of Motley, head here …it is their street team, great way to win free stuff!!

  • Jess

    Sounds like an awesome night, wish I could these guys in Sept

  • I saw Crüe this year in Brazil. It was amazing. We didn’t have the pleasure to see that amazing drum but it didn’t matter when you’re in the best day of your life. I’m proud to be a Crüehead and a member of their Street Team in fancorps.

  • Sure was an awsome show !!!

  • Tom

    I’m so glad they’re still rocking! I wish I had the cash to see them this year. Love the article too, really cool. Keep rocking!

  • This year was an awesome year for Motley Crue, their 30th anniversary is a great accomplishment and they proved how much they still kick ass over the years! And with the support of the Motley Crue street team they are reaching out to more fans everyday! 😀

  • Sophia Talotti

    I attended the Crue show on July 16th in Camden New Jersey and it was my 5th time seeing them and they definitely blew my mind!!!!!! I loved getting blood thrown on me by Tommy and spit on me by the one and only NIKKI SIXX!!!!! I loved this concert it was without a doubt one of my favorites and was a night that I will NEVER forget…I still am talking about it like it was yesterday!!!!!!

  • roni

    You give it your 100% and I could watch your shows over and over!!! TY for your amazing talent!

  • Candyce

    I’d love to get to a show this tour! All the reviews I’ve read sound amazing! I saw them during the SOLA tour a few years back- needless to say they blew my mind! Can’t wait to see them again! UK dates please!! 🙂

  • I will always love Motley Crue. Join the street team 😀

  • Valerie

    Great Article! Motley Crue is one of the greatest bands of all time!!

  • david

    wish i was there. seems like forever since i seen Motley

  • johnny g

    seen them twice this tour – its a great show, new york dolls (icons) – poison sounded great – Motley Crue blew the roof off the place, sounded awesome and one of the better tours they have done – i like the crue so much that i became part of the motley crue fancorps



  • Jennifer

    Motley always puts on a great show. Glad Columbus enjoyed it!

  • The Crue are great, the show was great, Poison are a great band either, but I honestly prefer Motley Crue !

  • Sadie

    Will always love Motley Crue, they are one amazing band.

  • Riker

    It was a rocking time.

  • Kathy

    I agree with everything said in the above, although it seems the main author favors Poison over Motley Crue which is fine but dont tear apart their performance because of it. I have seen both bands in concert before and swore I would never see Poison again because of how bad they were. I saw them both last night and I saw no flaw in either performances. It wouldn’t be Motley Crue if they didn’t do any of the stuff that they are so famous for and so good at. They know how to put on a show!

  • kevin

    Great article! The show was amazing! Poison was on top of their game and Motley Crue was as good as they were when I saw them on the “Girls, Girls, Girls” tour.

    I have never experianced anything like the opening of the Crue set. The house lights were up, people were talking, getting beer, hitting the head, what ev. Then 5 explosions and Mick starts into “Wild Side.” No warning what-so-ever. No bringing down the lights to let everybody know the show was about to start, just grab you by the throat and kick your ass for two hours.

    I left sweaty, tired, with no voice, and wanted to do it all over again.

    Thanks to Poison and Motley Crue for a great night! Hope they do it again!

  • Cathy murphy

    It was awesome! Everything this guy said is right on. The bands were amazing! They looked great considering they’re getting up there, the music was flawless, and they had fabulous energy and really seemed happy to be in Columbus.

  • gustavo

    Motley is my life,is awesome from argentine,my friends

  • motley crue always good vince neil reminds me of young elvis then old fat elvis sorry vince

  • penny

    THE “CRUE” Will always have this crazy bitches heart even if its in a thousands pieces if tohorrow would ever get here i would be put back together again u 4 Guys made the world i lieve in so wonderful and so wild its great SEE U ON THE OTHER SIDE

  • f***en awsome, wish i was there

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