As soon as I walked into Madison Square Garden in New York City on October 28th, 2014, it was as if I stepped out of the T.A.R.D.I.S. (Doctor Who reference, look it up) and into 1989: there was big, matted hair, denim jackets, leather pants, and countless rockers clamoring to reclaim their youth. I waited at the concession stand to purchase my farewell tour t-shirt, threw it on, and headed towards my suite.
Yes, I said suite. And as much as 18 year old me would have kicked my ass for seeing Mötley Crüe from a suite, 29 year old me wasn’t about to pass on free tickets with free food and drink. As I stepped on to the ledge and into the arena, I was in awe by the giant structure rising from the stage and snaking throughout the crowd like a metallic wave. Alas, I got my first glimpse of Tommy Lee’s Crüe-so-fly.
The lights dimmed and it was time for Crüe’s special guest; Alice Cooper. Cooper came out and rocked the stage. Showing none of his 66 years, Cooper put on a show that caused everyone around me to say almost in unison; “This is awesome.” Cooper played a 14 song set list, with favorites like “No More Mr. Nice Guy and Feed My Frankenstein combined with a stage show that included a beheading, electrocution, and a 20 foot Frankenstein. Even with all of the theatrics, the highlight of the set, to me at least, was the last song, “School’s Out,” at which they incorporated “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2” by Pink Floyd. Both songs, with the same theme fit perfectly together and it made for an awesome impromptu sing-along for the crowd.
After Cooper was finished, there was about a 30 minute set change so I indulged in some drinks, some food, but mostly drinks to get warmed up for Crüe. After a while, I heard a song that sounded vaguely familiar; it was “So Long, Farewell” by Rogers and Hammerstein (or from that scene in Family Guy for the ones who haven’t seen Sound of Music.) I remember thinking, “this is funny that they’re playing this, since it’s their farewell tour.” About halfway through the song, the lights went out, the crowd went wild, some shadowy figures appeared on stage, and exploded into “Saints of Los Angeles.”
Crüe raged on, with fire and pyro blasting, through some of their greatest hits from their 33 year career like “Wild Side,” “Shout at the Devil” and Dr. Feelgood. For those who don’t know, Mötley Crüe is comprised of Vince Neil (vocals), Nikki Sixx (bass), Mick Mars (guitar) and Tommy Lee (drums) and, unlike many bands from that era; all 4 of the original members are in the group. About halfway through the set, Sixx told the story of how the band came together and some stories of the early years. It was pretty cool to hear the story almost as if he was reminiscing on a past life.
After a few more songs, the lights went black again and we heard the kick of Tommy Lee’s bass drum and the snap of his snare, while we all stared in amazement as his drum platform rose from the stage and began to rotate. Now when I say rotate, I don’t mean tilted a little from side to side, I mean he was a good 50 feet in the air and flipping completely upside down, while still wailing on his drums. Along with some accompanying music, Lee spun and glided along the Crüe-so-fly to the opposite end, which was much closer to where I was. I knew Tommy Lee had done some raising drum solos in the past, but to see it live like this was definitely an epic sight.
The night continued and Crüe ended their set with “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Kickstart My Heart.” The lights dimmed and stayed dark, feeding the notion to the already knowing crowd that Crüe was not done yet. A spotlight came on and followed the band through the crowd and onto the B Stage, which was located at the end of the Crüe-so-fly. After taking in the roar of the crowd, Tommy Lee sat at the piano and played the opening notes to “Home Sweet Home.” The crowd sang along, swaying side to side, paying homage to one of the greatest heavy metal bands in history. The song ended, and the band stood triumphant, relishing in the glory of their song, their show, their career.
Mötley Crüe – “All Bad Things” (Official Video) – Clean …
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