Dayton, OH, Nutter Center, February 19, 2006

 

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

It is hard to believe that it has been since 1999 that the original line-up of Motley Crue was touring across the globe. Since then, Motley Crue continued to tour with various drummers and Tommy Lee became a porn star, solo artist and reality TV coed. Vine Neil toured solo; Nikki Sixx helped form Brides of Destruction and well, who knows what Mick Mars was doing. But during that 16-year hiatus, Motley Crue the named remained in the forefront while Motley Crue the band became something more suited for VH-1's "I Love the 89s."

So when the Crue announced its final reunion tour in 2005, both fans and critics were eager to see how the tour would unfold. For those in Dayton, Ohio, the unfurling of Motley Crue was broadcast loud and clear at the Nutter Center at Wright State University.

With a set list that began with Shout at the Devil and ended with Anarchy in the UK, Motley Crue filled their two-hour set with just about every song a fan could want to hear. Playing plenty of tracks off Two Fast for Love, the Crue definitely made this reunion show about the fans, and not about selling more records.

Although there were two intermissions, the show seemed to move quickly, as a bass solo, drum solo and various videos were created to keep the crowd entertained and members took breaks and the stage could be set differently. After a furious rendition of Live Wire, which ended the first set, acrobatic dancers on chains and bungee cords hanging from the rafters broke the 10-minute break. These scantily clad girls were as much exotic dancers and aerial acrobats, and just helped prove that this was the psycho-circus tour.

Although this wasn't the Crue of the 80s, after all, a few decades can slow anyone down, even the "most notorious band" in the world, Neil and the rest of the band sounded about as good now as they did then. This was never a band that sounded as good live as they did on the record. Motley Crue was a band with plenty of faults, but all those faults were made up with raw energy, sexual aggression and pure entertainment.

This show was no exception, as fire, half-naked women and deranged clowns dominated the stage behind the charismatic quartet. Sixx and Lee rode choppers on stage to begin end the first intermission and Lee's drum solo in the sky could only be compared to his Theater of Pain tour solo in the spinning cage.

Motley Crue may never go down in music history as a great musical group. But what it brought to music went beyond meaningful lyrics and super guitar riffs. Motley Crue brought a bombastic element to music that could only come off the Hollywood strip in the elegant 80s. This was a band that played hard, both on and off the stage, and lived the life most want rock stars to live.

So to heard the Crue again, with Lee, Mars, Neil and Sixx was long overdue. But perhaps the wait was what made it so special. Listening to the backlog of material was relentless in hostility and what the fans of Dayton brought was excitement and black tee shirts. Although there are bands such as Avenged Sevenfold and Mudvayne are starting to bring back the excitement of live music, it is always good to see the pros to bring it brutal.

Nikki Sixx
Mick Mars
Mick Mars
Vince Neil
Nikki Sixx
Tommy Lee