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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Mötley Crüe

Live at Crufest 2 July 2009, Tinley Park, IL

Review by Travis Jensen

The undisputed kings of rock and roll are back once again to prove that they can stand the test of time and come back stronger with every passing year! Crüe Fest 2 is one of the top music festivals of 2009 which stars Mötley Crüe with Godsmack, Theory of a Deadman, Drowning Pool and Charm City Devils. Since this is the 20th Anniversary of the Dr. Feelgood album, Mötley Crüe has decided to recreate the energy they had with fans a generation ago with a new age of metal fans while bringing back the screams of concert-going veterans. The album itself was nominated for a Grammy, as was one of the more popular tracks “Kickstart my Heart”. Also featured is the introduction of the Monster Energy Stage, providing fans with something to do between stage set changes with the leading acts in the pavilion. This is a second stage outside the main arena that consists of supporting bands such as Rev Theory, Cavo, Shram and 16 Second Stare. I had the opportunity to check out all of these bands and found Rev Theory to be very impressive musically…definitely a band that will be on top someday soon headlining their own tours.
As the sun was going down, a large black curtain was cast over the entire front of the stage. I noticed several stage hands preparing the set wearing typical green doctors coats, accessorized with white scrubs and stethoscope. Then, after what seemed to be an eternity of anticipation, the amps fired up like a swarm of Harleys…the stage curtain dropped and out roared the band in full force. The stage set was an enormous white, padded room; the same you would see in a psychiatric ward and the same as the back of the Dr. Feelgood album. The crowd exploded as Vince Neil charged the edge of the stage cast in a white coat in the height of rock-star fashion. “Dr. Feelgood” was the opening song, and with the ambience of the stage and screaming fans, it created a new dimension. After the opening song, the padded top and sides lifted to expose a stage set which was even more stunning, with the look of old world insanity; it seemed disturbing, like something from a horror movie.

I had never realized how many popular songs were on the Dr. Feelgood album, as one cool song unfolded into the next; “Slice of Your Pie”, “Rattlesnake Shake” and “Kickstart My Heart” kept everyone on their feet, totally engulfed in the passion and excitement of the music. As with any band with as much to offer as Motley Crue does, there is a soft side, commonly known as a ballad. And as unnecessary as they are today, they were really powerful musical tools at one time with radio play and music videos. “Without You” is one such song, and when it was played, it received the same reverence as any other popular song with these guys. This was the time for a bathroom break for me. Then it was back to business with songs such as “SOS”, “Sticky Sweet”, “She Goes Down” and “Don’t Go Away Mad’. By that time, the band had captivated its audience and had transcendentally meditated them into another dimension. As the first set came to a conclusion with “Time for Change” and “Wild Side”, the band was in rare form and ready for round two.


Greg Olma
     

In hindsight, I felt it was an inopportune moment to disrupt the flow of the musical energy, but it was time for an intermission and change of set. As we waited for the stage set to change, I thought that the Crue would put on some type of obscene entertainment to amuse the hostile crowd, but nothing happened…I was kind of disappointed and a little detached when the band came back on. However, it was well worth the wait as the last several songs were played. “Saints of Los Angeles” was the first song on the new set; nominated for a Grammy award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2008, it seemed fitting that they came out with something that totally rocked! Just when I thought things couldn’t get any cooler, “Shout at the Devil” was next, and I was on top of the world. I had that album in vinyl and cassette way back when, and it was nice to see them acknowledge the song when they hadso much to choose from. Just as any band with such great success and longevity does, the Crue has their anthem…“Home Sweet Home”. The lighters came out, and everyone was singing. Then they concluded with the most popular strip-club song of all time, “Girls, Girls, Girls”, which was an excellent night-cap to such an extreme set of songs. The two lingerie dancers came from the background and danced with members of the band, as well as those at the edges of the stage…in spirit, of course.


Greg Olma
     
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Greg Olma
     
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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