[LIVE REVIEW] Motley Crue w/ Alice Cooper & Muscle Car @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne 13/05/2013

A tremendous contingent of fans both young and not so young line the precincts of Rod Laver Arena for this historic and monumental celebration of a tremendous musical and popular culture career.

Being avid fans of Melbourne based band Muscle Car, I keenly await their appearance on the big stage and see what sort of a wallop Damo and the lads can pack.

Clearly, Muscle Car has been rehearsing for a performance of this magnitude since their inception circa 1998.  There is no doubt the boys were ready, willing and as keen as you like to grasp this opportunity with both hands and belt the proverbial out of it…musically speaking.

The first night provided some unfortunate sound issues that clearly made a minor impact for the band, but with those gremlins overcome by night 2, the boys were ready to dominate and show what they are capable of.  Their stage presence and celebration of the night were truly reflected in their musical delivery, thereby making certain that all assembled were in no doubt that this is what the group were always aspiring to.  I have absolutely no doubt that performance, coupled with the opportunity afforded to them by Triple M Melbourne, will launch the lads further into musical success and ensure an ongoing staple of appearances.  The confidence demonstrated by Damien during a prior interview with me was clearly present on stage.  Well done lads, you certainly delivered in extremely fine form.

Having had prior opportunity to visit Alice Cooper in Las Vegas and observe in bewildered awe the Raise The Dead Tour in full effect, I was just a little excited to see the toned down version of his show in support of the Crüe.  A more apt description of my mood was like a kiddy before Christmas just after the folks had landed the lottery.

As Alice took to the stage, the crowd front and center seems astonished and somewhat befuddled.  We saw his name on the promo, we saw his merch on the way in…but now it hits home…It’s him!  The mighty one here and before us live in Melbourne.  Into the tracks and the crowd was in full celebration. It is difficult to grasp that a man of this vintage remains so thoroughly capable and tremendously thoughtful in his delivery of malevolent madness through song.  But having met with the man and discussed music at some length, it is clear that he remains genuinely concerned for each, and every concert attendee’s pleasure and enjoyment of the shows he delivers with his tremendous group.  I must admit to a little disappointment in the knowledge that Orianthi is busy with other commitments and would not be traveling with Alice on this tour.  All concerns were laid to rest and replaced with new memories of the wonderfully talented Nita Strauss.  Her guitar prowess and immersion into the Alice Cooper show are tremendous and thoroughly memorable.

With classic tracks of old accompanied by more contemporary music, the crowd really appreciated the performances delivered by the entire band.  The stage show of legend, in shortened format, was not the slightest bit disappointing, save for the fact that I could not help but wish all assembled could see the madness in full flight, complete with Alice’s daughter playing the part of a second psychopathic Sister of sadistic nursing intent on Mr. Cooper’s demise.  Yet again, Alice is eloquently electrocuted, transformed into his fiendish Frankenstein alter ego famished for feeding, and finally beheaded in vain attempt to put this walking, talking legend of shock rock to everlasting silence.  This is, of course, impossible as the only one capable of killing off Alice Cooper is the wonderful gentleman himself, namely Vincent Furnier.

Veiled in darkness, the headliners take to the stage and erupt into the music magnificence that we have all enjoyed for so many decades.  I believe Mötley Crüe are completely cognisant of the fact that this is a sad night for so many.  The last chance for a multigenerational mix of fans to watch their heroes live, loud and present everything that Crüe to a triumphant finale.  This show is acknowledged by the band as the last for so many, but that’s where the sadness ends. No teary fare thee well, and completely sans sobbing sentiment and we are provided with a tremendous and memorable show.

Vince Neil has lost nothing to time in his stage presence and vocal ability, wowing the crowd to what can only be described as a pyrotechnic festival of light, confetti, fire, and fanfare.

I will resist the temptation to wade track by track through the show, but rather comment on some of the highlights such as Nikki Sixx parading each section of the stage in an attempt to personally acknowledge each and every celebrating soul.  The same goes for Vince who I think winked and smiled at me about 10 times.  Perhaps it was the great seats or an unforgettable ugly mug like mine.  Either way, I know is wasn’t alone in a personal acknowledgment. The crowd responded in fine fashion to ‘Shout at the Devil’, although after all these years I still don’t know what to shout at him.  Perhaps a kindly inquiry as to whether he is suitably fitted with asbestos underpants.  That way he may be safe from the flame-throwing guitar donned by Nikki because nothing else was. Not even his microphone.

For me, ‘Kickstart My Heart’ was the highlight offering both fond memory and somber farewell as the group charged through every ounce of my physical being and elicited every emotion brought to the fore with every track enjoyed, every year of their career.

Tommy Lee states he has been waiting for his entire career to be aloft the crowd in his tremendous ‘Cruecifly’, highlighting his percussive skills in whatever physical attitude we might seek his services.  And yes Tommy, we wish there were 13000 seats up there with you too and we know that you mean ‘dear devoted fans’ each time you fondly refer to us as ‘fuckers’.

This tremendous show with animated solos and stage presence from Mick Mars, seeming abridged in recent shows was only marred by one disappointment, namely the final track. Home Sweet Home was absolute faecal matter on a special stage. Performed beautifully and as a special treat to those seated at the back, but complete crap none the less. Utterly disappointing simply because that’s it.  It’s all over. No more Mötley Crüe for Melbourne ever.  But chin up and cries of nil desperandum. They will perform in our heart and minds forevermore and each track put to the speaker will bring us all right back to this tremendous finale.  Farewell Mötley Crüe and thank you for it all.