Going to a concert on July 4th has become a yearly tradition for my sister and I. Two years ago on July 4th we were treated to an amazing show by Iron Maiden. The following year we were treated to a concert by Rush, in which they played for nearly three hours. Years ago, 1996 to be exact, I went to see the Violent Femmes on the 4th of July. Well this 4th of July was Motley Crue with Alice Cooper opening up for them. This blog is about that night.
Normally when a show starts at 7:30 the gates will start open around 6 so people can get in there, grab some beers, grab food, go to their seats, etc. Well they weren't letting us in. There was a big cluster fuck of people waiting to get in and we were in the middle of it. People were getting irritated and pissy. It got close to 7:30 when finally something was said to us. The show was delayed due to a problem with the stage. Delayed? How long? Would this mean the show would be shorten? All of us paid really good money to see the Crue on their farewell tour. There was a guy behind us who was clearly unhappy. At first it was funny but then he got annoying and he was talking about pushing people over to just trample his way inside. He actually got a group of people to go with him and they pushed their way to the front of the line. Don't know what he actually hoped to accomplish, I mean if they weren't opening the gates for us they certainly wouldn't open it for him. I think it was around 8 or so that they finally started to open up the gates.
Alice Cooper came on at 8:30, an hour later then he was suppose to start. Alice Cooper, despite his age still puts on a very entertaining show with the stage theatrics. The music was solid and to be totally honest, his singing was way better then Vince Neil. I am not a critic however so I will not attempt to be one. Some highlights for me during his set was when he played "No More Mr.Nice Guy", I should really adapt this as my theme song now a days. That song was near the beginning and got the crowd into the show. Most people sang along to the song "Poison". I remember hearing that song when I was like 8 or 9 years old, yes years later I still like it. During "Feed My Frankenstein" is when the theatrics came out. He was transformed into a big Frankenstein. The Frankenstein was walking around stage singing. It was pretty amusing. The next couple of songs showed Alice Cooper being put in a straight jacket and singing in said straight jacket. When he escaped the jacket he was put in a guillotine and his head was chopped off. He finished the night out with "Schools Out" mixed with some of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall". For any fan of rock or any fan of seeing theatrics during a show I have to recommend Alice Cooper. One of the best in the business.
Motley Crue took the stage at about 10pm. They did not cut the show short cause of the late start either. They played until about 12am. If this is their farewell tour then they put it all out there for everybody. It was one hell of a show with explosions, pyros, dancing girls, and an encore that was bittersweet. Out of the 20 songs played, I knew 14 of them. Ones I didn't know, some I have heard of but were never familiar with. One of the first songs I remember ever hearing by Crue was "Too Young to Fall in Love", I must of been like 5 years old at the time. 30 years later and it is still a favorite of mine by them. It was nice to hear it live. Some moments that really stood out for me was "Shout at the Devil", Nikki Sixx's bass guitar became like a flamethrower and was throwing out flames during the beginning portion of the song. They went through other songs that I like a lot such as "Wild Side, Looks that Kill, Without You". The show wrapped up with "Kickstart my Heart", which was really awesome to hear live. That beginning guitar riff, love it. For the encore they finished with "Home Sweet Home", I will talk more about that in a moment. Few things that were disappointing were Tommy Lee not being able to do his drum solo cause of the stage setup n the venue, that is why the show was delayed. Vince Neil, it was hard to hear him sing all night and he did not do a very good job of keeping up with the songs either, often sounding winded. Again I am not a critic and I give them all props for all they put into the show. The one that really stole the show for me was Mick Mars. I never paid attention to how good of a guitarist he is. His guitar solos were amazing. I feel bad for the guy, he stands up on stage and he looks like he is so fragile. I realize that he is pretty sick so for him to go out there and play guitar like that, amazing!
I had to write a separate paragraph to explain the significance of "Home Sweet Home". Five years ago on the day before my sister passed away, we went to the hospital to see her and say our last goodbyes. We did not go into the room cause she had a staph infection but we could see how she looked and it was a terrible. At that point she was already partially brain dead and being kept alive by a machine, so this was the last time we would see her alive. I held back my tears, anger, and frustration about what was going on until I got home. I remember turning on music and "Home Sweet Home" was the first song to come on. I totally lost it. Balling my eyes out and just repeating to myself "why did she do this to herself?". Later on that same night my sister passed away. When the show ended with "Home Sweet Home" I started getting all emotional while singing along. Instead of staying up on stage for the song, they had a platform in the middle of the venue that they played on so it was like a close intimate thing with the audience. They were in section six, my sister and I were in section five. It was a great ending to what could of been a potentially horrible night due to the one hour delay.
At this point I am unsure how I can even rank the top 5 shows I've been to. I've been to so many good shows over the years and this one was memorable for me. I was never a really huge fan of Motley Crue, but I always liked their music. I am glad I got to see them one time before they finally decided to hang it up. Despite sound issues and missing Tommy Lee's drum solo, it was a night to remember.