Mötley Crüe concert review – Cleveland, OH – Quicken Loans Arena – 08.18.15
Mötley Crüe have embarked on the last tour of their 35 year long career, and have aptly used the slogan “All Bad Things Must Come to an End” to describe their tour, which is simply called ‘The Last Tour.’ The band is playing all over the world one last time, leaving in their wake many teary eyed and heartbroken Mötley fans. In January of 2014, the band announced their retirement, last tour, and even went to so far as to sign a legally binding document stating the band could not perform under the name Mötley Crüe past 2015- the first band in history to make such a bold move. Bassist Nikki Sixx stated that the group will continue to record music, but instead of releasing full length albums, the band will release one song at a time, and focus on getting that one song to the ears of at least 11 million listeners as opposed to the 2 million that would buy en entire album.
When Mötley Crüe hit the stage at Quicken Loans Arena, it was evident they spared no expense on their set design, lighting, pyrotechnics, and sound. With a giant pentagram as a backdrop and a stage littered with glowing pointed obelisks, the band opened their set with the iconic “Girls, Girls, Girls” and peppered the set with early hits like “Wild Side,” “Smoking in the Boys Room” “Looks That Kill” and “Shout at the Devil,” which seemed to resonate the most with the already rabid audience. Frontman Vince Neil sounded better than he has on recent tours and had more energy onstage than this writer has ever seen. It was apparent by his incessant smiling and banter with the crowd that he was genuinely enjoying connecting with his Cleveland fans one last time. Neil repeatedly pointed the mic at the crowd and encouraged them to sing, clap, shout, scream, and pound their fists. Nikki Sixx rocked his trademark old school Mötley look and even got a chance to address the audience alone and expressed gratitude that we let Mötley Crüe be our “knife” for so many years.
Courtesy of YouTube user tracy bradshaw
All the hits from the band’s 1989 release, ‘Dr. Feelgood’ were rolled out, such as the title track, “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” and “Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.).” At several points the infamous backup dancers, always scantily clad, made appearances- a sight not seen at the band’s shows in some time.
Flames of several different colors blared out from either side of the drum kit, fireworks were shot off, glitter and confetti were shot into the audience, and Sixx touted a hand held flame thrower as his drop down mic stand, shaped like a big pentagram that was set ablaze. The sheer amount of pyrotechnics was astounding, the lighting design was different yet stunning for each song and the sound was louder and clearer than I have ever heard at a live show.
When the stage went dark and “O Fortuna” came over the loudspeakers, we knew it was THAT time- time for Tommy Lee’s legendary drum solo. He emerged strapped into his drum kit, which proceeded to move along the roller coaster like track above the crowd which extended the length of the floor, spinning as he hit each peak. He too, took time to speak directly to the crowd and his drum solo was, as always, spectacular and flawless, accompanied by a variety of techno beats which added musicality and depth to the drum solo. The set was closed with a rousing rendition of “Kickstart My Heart,” which saw Neil and Sixx mount long pedestals which rose high above the crowd and rotated around, so that Neil and Sixx rotated out over the crowd, getting up close and personal even with those who had seats in the nosebleed section.
After a short break, the band emerged and walked through the crowd- slapping hands along the way- to a smaller stage in the round in the middle of the floor area which raised to elevate the band and those fans in the “Crüesnest”- a group of people that paid $775 or more to sit in a section attached to the platform and be only feet from the band as they played their last song ever in Cleveland- “Home Sweet Home.” Some wept as the band finished the song and stood waving to the crowd, Mötley Crüe’s final goodbye. The band exited through the crowd, solidifying their connection with their fans- a theme constant throughout the evening. This was a show for the fans old and new, and they delivered with a gusto not seen collectively in many years. The Crüe did not disappoint, and the fans left knowing they saw one of the best Mötley shows ever- fitting, as this was the last time they would ever see them in Cleveland.