June 27, 2012

LIVE! Mötley Crüe

Going strong for over three decades Mötley Crüe has never been a bunch of technical virtuosos. Instead, the band has always stressed the fact that they are a show band and that – ladies and gentlemen – is the truth. Known for being the most dangerous band in rock and roll, Mötley Crue seemed more like a goofy rock circus than anything even close to a danger rising to headline the stage of Rockin’ Hellsinki –festival in Finland.

As the park bathes in sunlight, the crowd that has arrived looks rather dark and dressed in black. A lot of glam rock –fans, a lot of black kohl, a lot of shiny scarfs and shit loads of Nikki Sixx –copies. And ladies, oh, there were some hot ladies. A noticeable fact is the age distribution within the crowd, a great portion of the people are on both sides of 20’s which isn’t that common for a legendary long term –bands such as this one. These young rock fanatics must’ve found Mötley Crüe through their second coming after the bands greatest pitfalls in the 90’s.

The actual band takes the stage fashionably 30 minutes late. The producers sure have made a big deal out of the intro that actually just lacks a lot of content in within, a huge banner is raised on front of the stage just so it can be not-so-dramatically dropped down a minute later. A good idea in theory, but very poorly put together. A lot of fuss over nothing.

Mötley Crüe starts their set with Wild Side. It’s easy to see right from the get-go that the members live as an entity are definitely in a good shape. Though they’re not the most technically talented musicians in the world, they are fun to watch. Each and every member of Mötley Crüe is definitely a character, Mick Mars being the one who first and foremost catches everyone’s eye due to his weak, skeleton-like shape. Ankylosing Spondylitis that’s been troubling him for years makes moving very difficult for him, but luckily for the crowd this doesn’t affect his fingers. Though his bad shape personally makes me pout a bit, I have come to the conclusion that he wouldn’t still be up there if he didn’t enjoy it (or get shit loads of cash for it.)

Whereas Mick Mars finds it hard to move, the band’s mental front man Nikki Sixx is the complete opposite to that. He seems to be in a very good mood walking the walk around the stage, making contact with the crowd and doing kid-like things such as trying to catch his own spit from the air. Overall Nikki Sixx, who knowingly has actually died and risen from the dead, is obviously way past his party life and is in a good place being sober now.

Tommy Lee also has that same spark in his eyes that Nikki does. His drumming is as tight as his constant “Fuck Yeah!” –screams from behind the drums and his child-like innovative contrivance shines through all the way from his presence to his drum stand that actually spins around. I’ve seen a lot of weird things in my life but I surely never thought one of them would be Tommy Lee playing drums to dubstep upside down while having a fan taped on the back of his chair. Yes, dubstep. And yes, I think that fan might’ve won some sort of a contest.

In where the other “characters” in the band definitely leave a positive vibe, Vince Neil is a whole other story. While growing his belly steadily over time his familiar squealing definitely hasn’t gotten any better. I was in shock right from the moment he first opened his mouth to the moment when the band was finished and I got to walk out of the area. I give my colleague a look in disbelief only to get a similar look back in return. Vince Neal is definitely the weakest link in the band and letting a voice like that out in public is just wrong. And this little piggy should’ve stayed home.

The set list is very smartly built considering that the band released their new Saints Of Los Angeles –album four years ago but the live show still mostly offers the greatest hits from the past decades, including songs like Looks That Kill, Dr. Feelgood, Smoking In The Boys Room and Girls, Girls, Girls - most of these with half naked girls dancing and “singing” on the side of course. The crowd cheers when yet another old song keeps coming up after another and the band notices it as well. “Oh so you like the old stuff huh?” Vince Neil states. “Then you must love Nikki” he adds and makes Tommy Lee crack up and chuckle behind his drum set. Nikki Sixx turns to Vince in a matter of seconds but instead of a good old-fashioned fist in the forehead, he just gives him a hug. Whatever happened to the old times?

The most important thing on the How To –list when going to a Mötley show, is to just let loose and not take everything so darn seriously. Mötley Crüe is a circus that’s a bit goofy, predictably cheesy, ridiculously rock, and not at all dangerous. And I mean this in the most loving way possible. Mötley Crüe came, they saw, and they… well, they stayed alive after all that. 7/10

Mötley - Helsinki 07.06.2012
Wild Side
Live Wire
Too Fast for Love
Saints of Los Angeles
Shout at the Devil
Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)
Looks That Kill
Piece of Your Action
Primal Scream
Smokin' in the Boys' Room
Dr. Feelgood
Girls, Girls, Girls
Home Sweet Home
Kickstart My Heart

Text: Joanna Tzortzis