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Motley Crue Still Kicking Ass

Metro Center -  Rockford, Illinois - February 24, 2006

Review and Photos by Rob Grabowski

After the show was delayed a half-hour due to the Metro Center's inability to get the concert goers into the venue smoothly, Scantily dressed female circus performers, a midget named Mighty Mike, and the aptly named rock group, Motley Crue, brought the Carnival of Sins tour through Rockford, Illinois. While the crowd consisted of about 6,500 of Rockford's own motley crew, the bad boys of rock did not disappoint. 

Kicking the show off with "Shout At The Devil," Vince Neil appears out of a box center stage with the help of a few of the circus performers to a fist pumping crowd chanting "Shout, Shout, Shout,"... The crowd and the band feed off of the electricity in the air and kick off what will be the beginning of about 2 hours of Crue hits and debauchery usually confined to the likes of a strip club. The title track to their debut album, Too Fast For Love, entrances Rockford's dregs of society and now the time warp is complete and the crowd is back in the early 80's and for most of the Rockford crowd, don't look like they ever left. The Crue went on to play such hits as "10 Seconds To Love" and "Red Hot," where Nikki Sixx paid homage to local Rockford native Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick fame. 

"On With The Show" which is the tour's biggest surprise had the entranced audience singing along to every word showing what a masterpiece this song is performed live. Rounding out the first part of the show was "Looks That Kill," "Louder Than Hell," and of course, "Live Wire" which left the crowd chomping on the musical candy and begging for more.

After a 10 minute intermission, Tommy and Nikki re-appear driving motorcycles to the stage which also has the female circus performers doing a sleazy performance in true Crue fashion to an awe inspiring version of "Girls, Girls, Girls," "Wild Side" and "Don't Go Away Mad" are a perfect prelude to "Primal Scream" which showcases the true artistry of Tommy Lee as he hammers the intro out on the skins and lays down the beat for an unforgettable ride during this anthem. There are songs that will have you talking about them for months, even years after a performance and for this show it was "Primal Scream" and "Home Sweet Home." 

As Tommy Lee begins the intro to "Home Sweet Home" Vince tries to stop him and after some doing Tommy finally hears him and stops the show so Vince can ask the crowd to light the venue up and they accommodate with lighters and cell phones throughout the arena that would put a Christmas tree to shame. Vince and Tommy start the song off and the audience belts out the opening verse which leaves Tommy and Vince in appreciation and brings Mick and Nikki back to the stage for a bombastic middle verse only to depart once again for Tommy to do his piano outro to one of the greatest renditions of this song ever witnessed. Next Nikki puts on a spectacle as he does his own musical solo dressed in a mad scientist outfit and as he brings the solo to an end, he blows himself up! Yes, the Crue definitely doesn't hold back. Vince enjoys his medical exam from the female performers dressed in nurses outfits that would have any of the men in the audience hoping to have their own wounds licked while they chanted along to "Dr. Feelgood." 

Tommy Lee, not to be out done by Nikki's solo, goes in to the middle of the main floor by the soundboard and flies up to the rafters where he has 2 drum kits 20 feet apart near the ceiling. Tommy goes on to get the crowd going by chanting, "when I say MOTLEY, you say CRUE.. Motley CRUE, Motley CRUE,..." as he does this repeatedly he does a drum solo which is more techno than metal and definitely falls flat amongst this crowd and would be better suited for a disco than a rock concert. Finishing the show up with "Same 'Ol Situation" (SOS) and Motley's own national anthem "Kick Start My Heart" blowing the roof off of the joint and left the Crue living up to their reputation and proving that they are still kicking ass...

If you didn't get a chance to see the Crue during this tour, go pick up the DVD to see what you missed. And with the talk of the co-headlining tour with Aerosmith this summer, be sure not to miss that lineup. While it probably won't happen like this but, could you imagine both bands coming back on stage for an encore of the Beatles' "Helter Skelter?" That would truly leave people talking however, I think the days of bands enjoying the music that much to check the ego's at the door may be long gone. Although, wouldn't that be truly a walk on the Wildside?



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Photos By Rob Grabowski
Copyright Rob Grabowski 2006
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