Monday, August 08, 2005
Rock and Roll is Alive and Well!
Ok, that's how I saw it at least, but I'm a little bit biased. (Jenny will have to give her impression of the show herself). You see, ever since the Crue released their first album in 1981, and I got the cassette for Christmas, I have been hooked. When everyone else was either hanging on to 70's rock icons like Kiss, AC/DC, Aerosmith and Boston, or getting sucked into the 80's pop phenomenon with the likes of Madonna, Michael Jackson and Duran Duran, I was rocking out with the LA bad boys of the Crue.
Their first album, Too Fast For Love, was blasting through my headphones before every single race or meet in high school, and their song Live Wire became my official motivational mantra. Shout at the Devil, Theatre of Pain and Girls, Girls, Girls followed, and then Dr. Feelgood (which I would argue is the greatest rock album of our generation) firmly cemented them in the public eye, on the popular music scene and in the annals of rock and roll legend.
With super stardom came troubles and the inevitable split in the 90's, but now the guys have patched up their differences and put it back together to take us all for one more magical ride.
The music Saturday night was absolutely fantastic. Mick Mars (guitar) and Tommy Lee (drums) have not lost a step out there and can definitely rock the house. Each of them did kick ass solos that blew us away. Mars in particular was just outstanding and really impressive. This comes as even more of a shock since I read that they had to literally revive him off his deathbed (he suffers from a degenerative bone condition) to get him ready for the tour. At one point in the show, he literally laid down on the stage and took a break for about 10 minutes! I'm not kidding.
Nikki Sixx was great too, although the sound on his end kept cutting out and you couldn't really hear his bass. He did however perform his signature move and set himself on fire at one point, which was very entertaining! Vince Neil was the only letdown of the night, if you can even call it that. Either he just doesn't have the voice anymore to belt it out like he used to, or he was just phoning it in that night, relying on the crowd to sing the lyrics for him. He basically only sang about every third word of each song, taking awkward and inexplicable pauses in the middle of lines, and holding the microphone out to the crowd to let us do the work.
And man did we ever! I never left my feet the entire show, and regardless of Vince's half-hearted effort, I sang every damn word to every one of those songs. You see, this was a realization of a lifelong dream for me. A culmination of 24 years of internalizing their music, letting it flow through me, and shape me with it's power and passion. I never had the opportunity to see them through the years, and this was my chance to finally exist live within the music and rock out in person with the men who were my idols. I sang 'til my throat was raw, hugged and high-fived complete strangers, and had the best time I have ever had at a show.
And believe me, I wasn't alone.
Around us was an ocean of fans all feeling the same way. Here we were, a bunch of thirty somethings dealing with real life, families and careers, and all living with the undeniable fact that our generation of music, our icons and heros, and our unique trademarked sound has faded into the collective memory. But Saturday night, for one night only, we got to go back in time and have 3 more hours to rock out with our boys. We had the Crue, front and center, giving us the business, and we loved every second of it.
What do I rank it? On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it about a 47. If you are like me and grew up on these guys, you'll know exactly what I mean. If the tour is coming near you this summer, get out and see it. Just trust me on this one.
Thanks guys for everything. The good and the bad. You made this 35 year old happy as hell, and I wouldn't change one thing.
Rock on fellas.