The eighties really was a rather good time for Metal wasn’t it? Shit loads of make-up, hair spray and spandex coupled with enormous riffs, lots of volume and rebellion. Songs about motorbikes, whiskey chugging and partying all night. It was a simpler time. People went to shows and (this may shock some of our younger readers) watched the show rather than taking photos or videos!
Motley Crue were (ok, scrap that, they still are) the bad boy kings of rock & mother fuckin’ roll, two fingers firmly stuck up to anyone who opposed them and have had a life span as long as it has been dramatic. So when the legendary Californian quartet announced their final world tour forever, expectations were seriously high, with fans expecting all the sops to be pulled out and for the chaps to go out with the biggest show of their careers. Setting out with no less than Alice Cooper, was Wembley Stadium ready for what was about to hit it? Was this the goodbye we all hoped for? Well, let’s think back.
Dismembered heads on poles? Check. Sexy nurse covered in blood? Check. A guillotine and a 20 foot Frankenstein at the ready? Check. It’s a typical day in the life of Alice Cooper, with his carnival of horrors pumping an already hyped crowd into overdrive as hits like ‘Poison‘ and ‘Feed My Frankenstein‘ melt out of the speakers and all over the thronging crowds. Three guitars is a brave move by any rock outfit, but three guitars is what can be found here and the sound makes the stadium itself look positively tiny in comparison. Theatrics also play a big part in the show tonight (as is par for the course with Mr. Cooper and his bunch of merry misfits), all culminating in a brutal execution scene involving the aforementioned sexy nurse and guillotine. This, followed straight up with a mash up of ‘School’s Out‘ and Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall‘, leaves the thousands in attendance in awe. If that wasn’t even the main show, then what the hell has yet to come?
Here it comes. The main attraction. The lights dim, eerie music plays and Motley take to the stage in a shower of fireworks, flames and flashing lights. These guys have brought the party with them and are as spectacularly over the top in all the best ways. A set-list that crams in all the biggest tunes hits the spot, all killer and not an ounce of filler. There’s almost a mutual understanding that only the outfit’s most popular tunes are welcome tonight and each receives the almost hysterical reception that it deserves. Whether it be the motor-bike roars of opener ‘Girls, Girls, Girls‘, the pumping bass-lines of ‘Shout At The Devil‘, cries of saying a big fuck you to the system with an infamous cover of ‘Anarchy In The UK‘ and a finale that leaves even the toughest of metal-heads with tears in their eyes in the form of ‘Home Sweet Home‘, there isn’t a dull moment. Tommy Lee’s rollercoaster drum kit (literally) flies him from one side of the arena to the next, spinning 360 degrees as the master of drums smashes out rhythms to electro and dubstep mixed with Rage Against The Machine and Beastie Boys. Nikki Sixx blasts jets of fire from his bas guitar, members are hung over the crowd in cherry-pickers. All we can say is that if you’re a rock fan and you missed this, you missed out on what of the greatest shows of the century. Musically, the Crue are on their top form, with rumours of front-man Vince Neil’s vocals not being what they once were proved wrong from the very first moment.
This may have been the end, but for those who were there to witness this spectacle, the night will live on forever. Young and old, rick and poor, everyone here is united by one thing. Heavy Metal. This may have been the end of the band, but it sure as hell isn’t the end of their legacy.
To paraphrase an old saying: Motley Crue are dead. Long live Motley Crue!