a fine line
-David St. Hubbins
(Guitarist / Spinal Tap)
|Mötley Crüe - Tampa, FL / July 28, 2012|
(Photo: Rhonda McMahen)
Mötley Crüe stormtrooped the stage at Tampa's 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre (yes, that really is the name of the venue) promptly at 8PM on July 28th and the ear-splitting, lowbrow ninety-minute f-bomb shower / pryo exhibition / sex show ensued.
Sporting a glittery denim-type vest with the words, "I Love Single Moms" printed prominently across the back, husky frontman Vince Neil provided sporadic vocals as the Crüe ploughed through a string of predictable arena rock anthems from their 1980s platinum-selling glory days, including, "Kickstart My Heart," "Girls, Girls, Girls," "Live Wire" and "Dr. Feelgood."
Their infamous stage show is not the only thing that recently has expanded in the Crüe camp, and founder / bassist Nikki Sixx limited his typical prowling to his side of the stage – venturing beyond his zone occasionally only to spit in a more centralized locale.
(Photo: Christopher Long)
Drummer and showman extraordinaire, Tommy Lee, scored big. Manning a center stage piano, the shirtless Lee led his band in a mighty rendition of their iconic power ballad, "Home Sweet Home" – but not before dropping a couple of spirited GD-bombs and articulating clearly to the 15,000-plus fans that they were in fact, ALL "motherfuckers." And for the second year in a row, Lee's death-defying rollercoaster drum solo was a thrilling highlight.
|Perhaps it would be more fitting if the|
"Dr. Feelgood" back-up singers were
replaced by the Krispy Kreme girls.
As a mature adult, I've discovered that often in life, less is more. And honestly, I'm personally not the least bit impressed with, or enticed by, the endless parade of paid strippers, showgirls and back-up "singers" typically presented onstage during Mötley Crüe performances. To me, it's simply gratuitous, over-the-top and much too calculated to possess any titillating wow-factor. Regardless of whether the chicks are making out with each other, grinding on a church pew or hanging from the rafters, struggling to free themselves from strait jackets –the imagery seems more silly than sexy.
Oddly, it was the ever-frail and oh so pale Mick Mars who delivered the most compelling individual performance of the four Crüe members. Dressed all in black, with a black hat pulled down, hiding most of his face and wearing smeared, sinister-looking black makeup, the acknowledged guitar hero chose simply to let the music do his talking while preserving his iconic mystique.
In sum, despite the smoke and mirrors, Mötley Crüe's performance was simply crüde and paled in comparison to the high-quality, family-friendly, Vegas-style rock professionalism of headlining act, Kiss.
Author Christopher Long's latest book,
is available NOW on Amazon.