See below for a review of last night's Crue show at MSG, followed by a rebuttal, both from friends of mine acting as guest music reviewers for the day:
Yes, we ventured to Madison Square Garden last night to partake in the New York City stop of Motley Crue's Carnival of Sins tour. To be quite honest, I think the Crue did the best job they possibly could given their one fatal flaw. And what is that flaw? Their songs are derivative and they all sound eerily similar. I am not saying that characteristic is necessarily a bad thing. But for a band to pull this stunt off successfully, they better have their craft perfected (AC/DC comes immediately to mind).
The first set of the show was a full frontal assault from their first two albums, including Shout At The Devil, Too Fast For Love, On With The Show, 10 Seconds To Love, Red Hot, Too Young To Fall In Love, Looks That Kill and Live Wire. The advantage of this set was that the songs were tight and succinct and really showed off the unbelievable talent of Tommy Lee. As for the other members, Vince Neil's voice was surprisingly strong, Mick Mars barely made a movement besides picking his guitar (it's a major detriment to a hard rock band when your lead axe man looks like a mannequin) and Nikki Sixx had the low hung bass look down pat.
The second set focused on the back half of their career which veered from the good ("Girls, Girls, Girls" and "Wild Side") to the painful ("Without You" and "Home Sweet Home"). The encore featured a percussion masturbation from Tommy Lee that was brutal to endure. Also, if I had to hear one more shout out to the fans about how, "we got back together for one motherf***in reason only, its because of you motherf***in fans!" Is that right, Vince? It wouldn't have anything to do with my $70 ticket now?
While there is no doubt that Motley Crue has written rock anthems that will persevere through time and will continue to make my drive home after work entertaining, they are a one trick pony. And when a one trick pony goes on for over two hours, boredom will inevitably set in.
Grade: C +
NOW, the rebuttal:
"All the songs sound the same"---are you fucking kidding me??? This is the exact same thing my father said as he was driving me to the Twisted Sister "Stay Hungry" Tour" show at Freedom Hall Plaza (Johnson City, TN)--circa 1985. A couple of points to add: While I will agree that "Without You" falls into the "let's go get a beer" category, the song "Home Sweet Home" is neither from the "back half of their career" (it came out on the "Theater of Pain" album in '84) nor should it fall into the category of "painful". Indeed, many would categorize "Home Sweet Home" as the original hair metal ballad and as such should be given the respect it deserves (As I type this with my right hand, I am holding a lighter in the air with my left). Secondly, a drum solo by Tommy Lee is "brutal"?? Here again, it is time for the reviewer to go ahead and slip on the mock turtle neck and tweed sportcoat and turn in his metal collection for the soothing sounds of Sade, Kenny G, or Clay Aiken. Tommy Lee's drum solos, while purposely overly dramatic, are considered a staple in the world of heavy metal shows such as these---letting him showcase his talent, etc. Would you have made the same claims if John Bonham was still alive and had the obligatory solo??