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LIVE: MOTLEY CRUE with ALICE COOPER – Perth, 23 May 2015

| 27 May 2015 | Reply

Featuring Amberdown. Perth Arena, Saturday, 23 May, 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Maree King

Judging by post-show debate, one’s enjoyment of Motley Crue’s final tour seems to hinge on how accepting you are of Vince Neil’s vocals. Never possessing the strongest voice in town, Neil has developed an, ahem, laid back style, and with his vocals placed well down in the mix, he was sometimes difficult to understand.

Still, one doesn’t go to McDonalds looking for filet mignon, so no-one should be coming to a Crue show expecting Freddie Mercury. What Crue give us is a literally explosive two hours of hits, pyro and theatre that is rarely short of exhilarating.

First up were local lads Amberdown, who won the slot in a radio contest – not always the best way to find the most relevant opener. They made the most of the opportunity though with a confident set of muscular originals.

With nearly fifty years of work to draw on, Alice Cooper only getting a fifty minute set seems a travesty, and many would have preferred the headliners and his band trade places.

The old pro he is, Alice & Co deliver a set that makes full use of every minute, cherry picking classics from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘00s for his triple-guitar-attack frontline – guitarists Ryan Roxie and Tommy Henrickson trade solos and spotlights, but defer to blonde rock chick Nita Strauss more often than not – to flesh out with all the showmanship you’d expect.

Apart from a longer set, no-one could have asked Alice to bring more from his bag of tricks: live snake; guillotine; Frankenstein’s monster; plastic dolls; fake money, strings of pearls and canes to throw to eager fans; a psychotic nurse; straight jacket… a born showman, his set is undistilled rock n’ roll theatre, especially during an epic Ballad Of Dwight Fry when he is beheaded.

Alice Cooper live in Perth 23 May 2015 by Maree King (3)

Culminating, as always, in a riotous School’s Out – incorporating a little of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall Pt II – Alice Cooper, rock’s ultimate showman, comes extremely close to showing up the headliners.

R.I.P. Motley Crue. After three and a half decades they are (allegedly) hanging up their leather codpieces and quitting touring. If this is the case, then they threw Australia a booming farewell party.

Opening with the biographical Saints Of Los Angeles, the foursome made a fiery entry to the stage, before channeling the carnal spirit of 1987, with scantily dressed leather-clad young ladies on backing vocals, pyro, chrome, leather and decibels all in abundance.

Motley Crue live in Perth 23 May 2015 by Maree King (7)

Following a similar all-killer-no-filler mandate to Alice Cooper, were thrilled with old favourites Wild Side, Looks That Kill, Smokin’ In The Boys Room, Dr Feelgood and Shout At The Devil, but as the two hour set wore on it became clear than distributing the time a little more evenly between Cooper and The Crue might have made for a more vibrant show.

Nikki Sixx may be the primary songwriter and driving force behind Motley Crue, but Mick Mars – despite rarely moving as a result of the chronic arthritis he has suffered for many years – proves himself the musical heart and soul of the band. Extracting progressive, striking and defiant sounds from his guitar, he radiates disdain and punk energy – unlike the band’s limp and neutered sounding cover of The Sex Pistols Anarchy In The U.K., complete with roadies spraying the front rows with water guns (the least punk thing, ever), and a totally unconvincing Motherfucker Of The Year.

The show dragged on and Neil’s thin vocals grew whinier as he wandered casually around the stage, only jogging to run offstage at every slightest opportunity.

That’s not to criticise the theatre of it: The Crue were students of Alice Cooper and KISS before they were a band themselves, and made sure that guitars and microphones and half the set were ablaze with jets of fire that could be felt right to the back of the cavernous room.

Tommy Lee’s Cruecifly drum train takes him on a journey not only over the heads of the crowd – yep, it worked this time – but also revolves him 360 degrees all the while playing along. It’s as pointless and gratuitous as the empty techno music he plays along to, but it’s a fun spectacle none-the-less.

When The Crue hit it, they hit a bullseye, and the set picks up towards the end with a searing Live Wire, Too Young To Fall In Love, Girls Girls Girls and Kickstart My Heart. For their encore the band get all ‘at one with their people’ and walk through the crowd to a B Stage halfway back in the Arena, which then rises a few meters into the air as Tommy Lee plays the piano intro to Home Sweet Home. It’s a nice touch and regardless of your thoughts on Neil’s vocals, as the PA plays Sinatra’s My Way it’s impossible to deny that the kings of sleaze rock have put on a great show.
Set List – Alice Cooper:
Department Of Youth
No More Mr Nice Guy
Under My Wheels
I’m Eighteen
Billion Dollar Babies
Dirty Diamonds
Welcome To My Nightmare
Feed My Frankenstein
The Ballad Of Dwight Fry
I Love The Dead
School’s Out

Set List – Motley Crue:
Saints Of Los Angeles
Wild Side
Primal Scream
Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)
Looks That Kill
On With The Show
Too Fast For Love
Smokin’ In The Boys Room
Motherfucker Of The Year
Anarchy In The U.K.
Dr Feelgood
Shout At The Devil
Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Drum Solo
Live Wire
Too Young To Fall In Love
Girls, Girls, Girls
Kickstart My Heart

Home Sweet Home

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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