[LIVE REVIEW] John Corabi @ Prince Bandroom, Melbourne 29/03/2019

It is a night that Mötley Crüe fans could only have dreamt of, seeing the 1994 self-titled album in its entirety.  With John Corabi bringing it to Australia and leaving it here when he departs, vowing that this is the end of the line for the heaviest album that the Crue diehards had ever heard. I am certainly glad I got the opportunity to soak it up in a room full of metal lovers giving it the atmosphere and love it deserved.

The Prince Bandroom was filling rapidly as the nights opener Ablaze took to the stage. I was keen as mustard to catch these guys as I grabbed my spot front and centre. Opening with Back For More my attention was peaked and held for the duration of their set. The stage was no stranger to singer Danny Slaviero who worked it like a master. Thoroughly engaging ripping out Pick Your Poison and The Hard Way while the cheers grew louder from the expanding crowd. Reminiscent of Gene Simmons, Danny turned into a fire breathing demon catching us all unawares, lashing us all with flames but also adding some nice artistic flare. Dan Mangano was the happiest of drummers with a smile from ear to ear as he slammed the kit, and when Danny did the rounds with the Sailor Jerry he was keen to grab the bottle for a large chug, but fear not it didn’t affect his skin hitting one bit! They packed a large amount in their short set and I am eager to get along and see them headlining in a few months at Bombay Rock. Ablaze is one to watch, and if you get the opportunity to catch them live do not let it pass you by.

The second band who now call Melbourne home was Sisters Doll, think glam rock with a mix of all things that we loved about eighties metal. They have been hitting the live circuit for quite a while now supported by their ‘Doll Army’ many of who were in attendance cheering them on. They worked the stage like pros and blasted out plenty of their catalogue keeping us entertained. Good Day To Be Alive and Dollhouse were fan favourites and the new single Black Mirror was warmly received, the crowd heating up as more and more punters streamed in.  Electric Mary took the third spot and also made it a trifecta of Melbourne based supports, proving again that we really are the home of live music! Electric Mary are well known around the traps and have been at it for a long time. They had a 45-minute slot which they used right to the last minute smashing out eight songs including Let Me Out, Hold Onto That and Already Gone. The fans enjoyed every minute, many singing with gusto and they also amassed a posse of groupies who turned out just for them. Finishing up with Woman to rousing applause they departed the stage leaving the fans satisfied, but hungry for the main event.

It was late into the evening when John Corabi graced the stage, looking cool as catshit with his trademark scarfs in place, immediately taking ownership busting out Power To The Music, Uncle Jack and Hooligan’s Holiday were exceptional and while the album may be 25 years old it could be released today and still pull in the listeners. The songs are still current and John sings them as he would have 25 years ago, his voice has not suffered any even though a quarter of a century has passed. With John being quite the comedian, we were treated to some funny jokes and stories across the night, giving some very interesting insight into what went on back in 1994. I loved the spoken inserts, it gave feeling to the show and worked well in the intimate venue. I found John’s stage presence quite alluring, with lots of eye contact and singing directly to the fans and when it was my turn to be sung to, I was somewhat star struck, fangirling like I was back in 1994.

Misunderstood saw John bring out the double neck guitar and what a treat it was, this brilliant ballad building sensationally to the heaviness of the second half. The band exceptional, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with John’s son Ian Corabi tearing it up behind the kit. He is an insane drummer and played out the album to perfection. The setlist followed the album as expected so next up was Loveshine and then my favourite of the night Poison Apples. The punters were getting quite rowdy by this time of the night and after a slight scuffle, John stepped in to sort them out. Reminding them we were all there for the music and to have a good time. That took the testosterone down a level or two and we were back in action. With Hammered and Til Death Do Us Part and it is was even heavier than I imagined it could be, heads banging on autopilot not wanting it to end.

The music behind the tour’s version of Welcome To The Numb belonged to guitarist Jeremy who admitted to toking some green when he came up with a plan as to how it could work live, and seeing this said plan come to fruition was mind-blowing. Nice work all around it was bloody amazing. Keeping with the ‘green’ feels we heard a terrific story about Nikki Sixx and his refrigerator full of the natures finest, which of course led to Smoke The Sky. The fans were losing their minds by this stage and whether you were flying high or sober as a judge it mattered none, it really was all about the music and Motley 94. The magnitude of this album was an absolute gamechanger and seeing it raw and in the flesh gave me a whole new appreciation of it. Droppin’ Like Flies and the gorgeous Driftaway finished out the album in superior fashion, but the fans were hungry for more and the cheering began to rise, we were all living in hope of just a little something extra. It was then that renowned Melbourne photographer Paul Miles took the microphone, urging us to “make some fucking noise” and we eagerly returned the call, and low and behold John and the band returned.

We were treated to two more including 10,000 Miles Away which finished off the two-hour set in magnificently.  With promises to return this time next year it will be one to watch. John Corabi you are so much more than your time in Mötley Crüe, outstanding from start to finish you are a most polished musician and exceptional singer and I for one will be lining up to do it again on your next trip Down Under.

Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale

Gallery by Lynda Buchanan