Friday, October 19, 2018

Motley Who?

by Glenn T (writer), Las Vegas, NV, November 10, 2006


Although far be it from me to be a concert snob, let me just tell you, you haven't been to the Hollywood Bowl until you've sat up close and personal. My first show at the "Bowl" was Dave Matthews a few months ago - and not even the contact high I got from the copious amounts of weed being smoked in my vicinity could salvage the fact that the seats at the back of the Bowl, if you'll excuse the term, suck. But Tuesday night, I was close enough to Aerosmith and Motley Crue to read their tattoos (see picture), and I have to say that it was one of the best concert experiences of my life.

That being said, Motley Crue was largely a disappointment, or perhaps my expectations were too high, while Aerosmith looked and sounded as though they were just rounding into their prime (with two substitute musicians and lead singer who is about to turn SIXTY!).

I was looking forward to the show as a child of the early nineties; Class of '92 to be precise. Motley Crue was a secret, guilty pleasure of mine. My parents, along with countless others, were convinced that Motley Crue was "devil-worship music" which I, consequently, was not allowed to listen to. But their visceral shouting seemed so in tune with my adolescent struggles, that I stole listening time on friends' headphones, boom-boxes and car stereos whenever I got the chance. Don't get me wrong, I never "smoked in the boys room", and the idea of a singular "girl" was far enough off to make the concept of "Girls, Girls, Girls" seems like so much Greek mythology; but they sang about the life I wanted, and sounded of the fearlessness I hoped for. Aerosmith, despite the fact they were around much, much earlier, was a taste I acquired, with countless other young men, only after seeing Alicia Silverstone and Liv Tyler cut school (and their uniforms) in the first video release from "Get a Grip." I bought the tickets to see Crue, and figured that Aerosmith was a nice bonus.

Of course, there was never a greater example of romanticized memory than Tuesday night. The rock legends I expected seemed more like a tribute band than genuine rock act, and the over-the-hill 70's era band stole the show. Vince didn't have the range or the power - and Tommy... TOMMY was leading the band. Okay, the only other band I can recall being led by the drummer is the Max Weinberg 7, and if resident-band-for-late-night-talk-shows isn't a talent wasteland, I don't know what is. Nikki throwing out half-empty water bottles and Tommy handing out Jagermeister shots came off like wannabe moves, and Vince yelling at the sound guy DURING a song? Straight amateur hour. The pyrotechnics were half-hearted, no doubt dampened by HB restrictions, and the resulting smoke made the whole thing look like an attempt to recapture their contrived "Shout at the Devil" roots. It wasn't the Crue I remembered, it was Crue-Ultra, the low-carb version.

They didn't even finish with Home Sweet Home. Oh, they played it... but in the middle of their set. Seriously?

As for me, I knew all the words to the Crue songs, and it seemed like a pretty good time - and I would have left feeling fine, but after a short intermission - Aerosmith came on stage, and put on a real rock show.

Joe Perry and Steven Tyler amazed. Even after laser surgery on his vocal cords, Steven hit every note - and it sounded better than it ever did coming out of my speakers at home or in my car. Backup guitar was manned by a guy who looked like a poorly-kept Neal Young, and bass guitar by a guy so forgettable that I can't even recall what he looked like - and they both sounded amazing. No pyrotechnics, none. In fact, the largest feature of the Aerosmith stage was the stage-wide HDTV they had set up behind them - which mostly showed close ups of the artists, because they really don't need a whole lot else. They ARE the show.

The set list was fun, with just a few new songs, which I didn't know, the obligatory classics, which I loudly sang along with, and a few guilty pleasures (e.g. "Cryin'"), which I also, loudly, sang along with.

A few unexpected celebrities were watching from side stage - and seeing Slash (of Guns & Roses fame) bopping his head to anything seems license enough for me that it sounds pretty damned good.

In all, the show was well worth the price of admission. Although, if I may suggest an insert to the show's proverbial Playbill: "The role of aging and only marginally talented rock band with be portrayed this evening by: Motley Crue."

About the Writer

Glenn T is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on Motley Who?

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By Ariel on November 10, 2006 at 10:21 pm
nice review!
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By Adam G on January 24, 2007 at 06:23 pm
Didn't Vince Neil do a reality show about his plastic surgery? Oh boy. And he can't sing anymore, either. Sounds like a dog who's been de-barked. Nicely done!
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