Review and Photos by Darren Eagles

http://www.motley.com

http://www.alicecooper.com

Working their way around the world for the last time, Motley Crue made their final stop in Toronto to a sold out crowd armed with their greatest hits, and an armada of pyro.  Opening the show was their long time, seemingly favourite touring buddy, Alice Cooper.  No stranger to big production shows, Cooper always has a full box of toys to show the crowd.  But for the last couple of years while this tour has been going, he cutback his setlist and left half the box at home.  Truthfully, if he left all of them at home, the sheer power and skill he and his band unleash on the crowd every night would be enough.  With a trio of solid guitar players in Ryan Roxie, Tommy Henriksen and the female guitar phenom Nita Strauss, the wall of sound rivals any world class rock band out there.  Add to that, bassist Chuck Garric and drummer Glen Sobel’s sealed tight backing and they have the crowd in their hands at every show.   Cooper did work some of his signature art into the show, with Julius Squeezer, his giant snake making an appearance, as well as the naughty nurse, Frankenstein, and the guillotine.  Everyone loves the guillotine.  The show allowed each band member to showcase their chops as well, with guitar solos, a drum solo and instrumentals while Cooper changed costumes.

But the main event was Motley Crue.  Their monstrous industrial looking steel stage, spiked “mirror ball”, giant pentagram backdrop, flame throwers, fireworks, and of course Tommy Lee’s beloved rollercoaster drum rig showed the fans that this time, the last time, they meant business.

Opening with the sound of a Harley motorcycle, the band tore into “Girls Girls Girls” and “Wild Side” and didn’t look back.  The flame columns and fireworks were in full gear right out of the chute, and the crowd was going off.   Crue fans of all ages were dancing, fist pumping and nearly blowing the roof off with their screams.  Mick Mars was shredding at center stage and seemed much more mobile than previous tours. With his black top hat and understated demeanor, he let his road worn white Fender Stratocaster do all the talking – or rather, shouting!   Vince Neil gave his vocal cords their usual workout, with most of the high notes still seeing life.  A pair of female background singers added eye candy and some extra fuel to Neil’s veteran pipes.

Something was always hitting the viewer hard visually at this show. KISS used to be the ones to follow for big and flashy when it came to stage shows.  Motley Crue has this title now with this tour, I think.  Nikki Sixx was the showman that we all expect after all these years, his face painted red, white and black, he strutted and got the crowd worked up.  “Looks That Kill” was the first track that took us back to the band’s 1983 stellar breakout album Shout At The Devil.

The band worked through their greatest hits swan song setlist and most of the expected cuts were there.  Sixx brought out the fire breathing bass rig for “Shout at the Devil” as Mars held court at center stage for the intro.  “Live Wire” and “Dr. Feelgood” were also standouts of the main set.

But the monolith of twisted metal that everyone waited for since last summer where the venue structure couldn’t allow it was front of mind now.  Tommy Lee has been building on his crazy drum solo dreams for a few years now, with each subsequent tour adding an element to one up the previous.  The final version dubbed the Cruecifly stretched from the stage to across the arena roof to behind the soundboard.  His whole drum stage was drawn up along the track, slowly inverting as it travelled, all while a strapped-in Lee mashed his kit.  It was a sight to see.

The main set finished off with “Kick Start My Heart” as Mars bent and wrestled the wailing intro out of his axe to get the finale under way.  And what a finale! Seriously, fire up Youtube and watch this one song if you want to see a band end a show with a bang!  Taking a bow and thanking the fans for years of faithful service, the band left the stage for a short break.

They emerged among the floor fans and made their way to the raised B-stage at the back of the venue for one last hurrah.   Their classic ballad “Home Sweet Home” saw the band raised high in the air on the small stage, along with a single row of chosen fans to take the ride up with them in seats mounted on the stage.  Lee played the piano intro before jumping on a small kit to finish it off.

After the encore, the band spent time in the crowd giving out guitar pics, signing autographs and talking to their fans.  It’s been a nice long 30+ year ride with the band.  And while the band will no longer be around in its current state, it won’t be the last we hear from the boys.

Click to Enlarge Photos.  Setlist included below. 

Alice Cooper Setlist:

 

The Black Widow

No More Mr. Nice Guy

Under My Wheels

I’m Eighteen

Billion Dollar Babies

Poison

Dirty Diamonds

(bass, drum and guitar solos)

Go to Hell

Feed My Frankenstein

Ballad of Dwight Fry

Killer

I Love the Dead

School’s Out

 

 

 

Motley Crue Setlist:

 

Girls, Girls, Girls

Wild Side

Primal Scream

Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)

Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)

Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room

(Brownsville Station cover)

Looks That Kill

Mutherfucker of the Year

Anarchy in the U.K.

(Sex Pistols cover)

In the Beginning

Shout at the Devil

Louder Than Hell

O Fortuna

(Carl Orff song)

Drum Solo

Guitar Solo

Saints of Los Angeles

Live Wire

T.N.T. (Terror ‘N Tinseltown)

Dr. Feelgood

Kickstart My Heart

 

Encore:

Home Sweet Home