Monday, July 28, 2014

Don't Go Away Mad

Mötley Crüe / Alice Cooper
Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California
July 23, 2014

Tonight was the first time I would be in the same geographic location as Motley Crue since this show 32 (!) years ago:

I hated Motley Crue in 1982; hairspray posers. I'm sure Nikki Sixx would be amused if I told him I was one of the Bay Area Metal gang in the front row in Concord on Halloween '82 who flipped him off during their entire set. I'm sure he remembers that, right?! Sixx finally flipped us off which only made us dislike Crue more. We got so enthusiastic in our dislike of Crue that at one point a security guard or roadie came over and told us if we didn't stop he'd have us thrown out. True story.

One thing led to another on this warm Summer day and I found myself at this show under the guise of being a "professional" type guy sort of...  After some pre-show Will Call drama was sorted out I had the required pass to wander around the venue like a free range chicken.

Best random conversation overheard backstage: 

Pregnant Woman: "He (her husband) took me to see King Buzzo... It was AWFUL!!" 
Husband: "It was awesome!" 
Pregnant Woman: "It was AWFUL..."

Also, this happened:


I will cut right to the chase:  Alice Cooper completely blew Motley off the stage despite his abbreviated time onstage.  Before Alice came out I was shocked by how empty the reserved seats were in the amphitheatre... WTF?!  Where were all the Sick Things!?   Thankfully, when Alice and band hit the stage the seats quickly filled and Alice had the entire crowd in the palm of his hand beautifully, from the VIPs down front all the way back to the lawn.  It seemed like many in the crowd had not seen Alice before BUT they knew all of the songs which was a rare organic music thing, man.

It was magical and unrelenting with hit after hit after hit coming off the stage:  'Hello Hooray' into ' No More Mr. Nice Guy' into ' Under My Wheels' into ' I'm Eighteen' into 'Billion Dollar Babies'.. DAMN.. and that wasn't even half way through the set.  Combine those iconic songs with Alice's standard stage props (the Frankenstein machine.. the guillotine!) and it was easy to forget who the headliner was tonight.  All of the pyro that Motley had later that night could not compare to Alice having his pet boa constrictor wrapped around him during 'Welcome To My Nightmare'.   Sometimes the old, low-tech ways of doing things are the most effective and bad ass.

 [Photo courtesy of Cable Car]

Trivia: The Nurse in Alice's show is his wife.  As Alice introduced his band I loved how he said "... and starring tonight as Alice Cooper.. ME!"  

Right before Motley came on there was a very excited commotion in the crowd in the rows ahead of us... and low and behold it was douchbag celebrity chef Guy Fieri making his way to his seat.  He obviously shares the same fanbase as Motley Crue because the men and MILFs were losing their shit at the sight of him.  Now I'm kind of hungry... Anyway..

It was pretty funny that the only times I've seen Motley Crue were on their first tour and their "final" tour;  I'm almost positive I didn't miss anything in the years in between.  As their set started I quickly became fascinated by how *off* the stage production seemed.  There were odd pyro cues that didn't seem to be synced to the songs.  The background vocals by the band and the "background singers" were a bit too "perfect" (if you know what I mean..) which only made Vince Neil's voice sound more ragged. 

The staging looked half thought through with no theme to make it, you know, a stage show.  I'm not saying all of this as a Crue hater... I'm saying it as someone who took a step back and tried to see the show objectively since the vast majority of the 14,999 people around me were losing their shit over the same things I was seeing and hearing.  Motley Crue shout AT The Devil and not WITH The Devil and I guess that's been my issue with them since 1982.   Anyway, I made an early exit as the encore started to beat the crowd... and that meant the Prius was out of the parking lot and on the freeway heading back to Casa de Umlaut in less than 10 minutes.  Too fast for love.. or something like that.

Number of people who commented on my Slayer shirt with a "WTF??" tone:  2.  It's nice to know the Slayer / Motley Crue crossover still has not happened here in the 21st Century.  If you bought one of every Alice Cooper and Motley Crue merch item you would have paid around $400 and $1,100 respectively.   On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag.  I'm sure somewhere Baloff was unfriending me because I had seen Motley Crue again.

"Don't go away mad... Just go away."