The first time Motley Crue played in Canada, it was in Edmonton, Alberta. Nikki Sixx, founder and bassist, mentions it every time the band play the venue. Sixx always tells how proud he is of that fact. Prouder still are the mental mother fuckers that return to Rexall Place each time Motley Crue do.
This is Motley Crues biggest ever Canadian tour. It is close to sold out. Motley Crue however, are not!
This time as with every other, the Crue faithful are seen toting their offspring. The kids it seems, get a thrill from this White Trash Circus, just as much as the (semi) responsible adults in the room!
Big Wreck were the opening band on this occasion. A Canadian band, playing solid rock tunes to warm up the crowd. Would the crowd have even noticed if they had just streamed some more head banging tunes via the PA? Possibly not. They were heard to be described as “vaguely sad rock” by one in attendance. It was also noted that “every early 2000’s band has the same five guys in it” and to conclude “the drummer has more stage presence than anyone else in the band.” That is pretty descriptive. Of course, we all know that the entire audience were there for Motley Crue. Nothing more, nothing less. Whetting the appetite is going to be difficult in any arena with any band, when it comes to such a hardened and loyal fan base.
The show began with an illuminated countdown, followed by a parade through the crowd by the dancing-girls and Sixx. The crowd was not that well controlled at this time on the floor, the walkways were blocked and there was a surge. Perhaps a little more security or forethought could have been used at this time. However, no incidents were reported so, On With The Show!
The show was ON full from the minute Sixx was spotted and there were no sitters in the crowd from that point on. Support was cranked to eleven the entire show through.
Singer Vince Neil is staple when it comes to this band. He never fails to tell of his absolute love for women and the stage show allows that indulgence. Neil, a little more portly than his Girls Girls Girls, days still uses the whole stage, through the whole show while showing love for the entire audience. His voice is still as Vince as ever and he barely misses a note. Not an easy feat for your average 40-year-old. Perhaps even less easy for this 52-year-old!
Guitarist Mick Mars wanders to stage left rarely, but when he does he appears to have gained a little weight and is seen to walk a good deal easier than on the last tour. Ankylosing spondylitis, a form of inflammatory arthritis has consumed and ravaged Mars for most of his adult life. An inspiration in any way you look at it and still ripping his guitar the was only he can. Perhaps he has been following the Vince Neil diet?
What can be said about Tommy Lee that hasn’t already been said? Nothing really. Lee is still drumming up a storm, impressing younger music fans and still with the cheeky teen edge that made him so likeable, lovable and slightly rogue like, back in 1981. Lee chose a young lady to ride on his latest Drum Coaster in the later part of the show. He did mention to her prior to lift off that he would be OK with it if she were to expose her titties. Not unusual for this titty coniseur! The ride would have been a great addition to anyones Rock n Roll resume. Amusing to watch if not slighty vomit inducing. Of course Lee is well-known for drumming upside down, side ways and hanging from a wire. It is what the crowd expects. He delivers every time, hands down…or up?
Sixx, of course has always been at the forefront of this quad. Lee and himself were the founders and Sixx is still very much the king of the castle. Never wavering. Steadfast in his ideals and beliefs, not only is he now the bassist in Motley Crue and Sixx AM, he is a radio host, clothing designer, photographer, record company executive, charity worker and critically acclaimed author. Is anything missing?
Not a bad haul when you consider this is a formerly homeless, former addict from Seattle, who never had a stable home as a kid.
Even if you don’t like the music, there is a lot to be learned, just from learning about this group of (well past) middle-aged dudes. But of course you DO like the music. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t.
Motley Crue played a great selection of songs, from the new “well new to us,” as Neil described the song SEX to a blast from the far and distant past with songs from the early 80’s such as Live Wire and Shout At the Devil. If you are a fan you won’t be disappointed by this tour. If you want a great night out and you can, get tickets. Take your kids and educate them.
This is after all, Motley Fucking Crue!
As always, the staff at Rexall Place could not be more courteous and helpful. A big thank you to all that were on duty for the safety and assistance of the music fans of Edmonton. You are very well appreciated.
Dedicated to my good friend Bessan Oxley to lift spirits through rough times xx
Karen Graham 29 April 2013
All photographs under license by Karen Graham. No reproduction allowed.