The fact that Motley Crue is on its farewell tour should leave fans with mixed feelings. Sure, it was a bit sad to hear the band pound through longtime hard-rock classics like "Too Young to Fall in Love," and "Live Wire," and radio favorites like "Kickstart My Heart," and "On With The Show," on Tuesday night and realize that this could the last time those tunes will vibrate through our bodies. But, it's nice (and smart I might add) for a legendary band to go out on, or near, the top.
The band played to a nearly sold out venue, delivering 19 songs in nearly two hours. The set list was filled with familiar material and in between songs band members individually said their goodbyes.
"We grew up out here and we've been doing this stuff for 33 years," said lead singer Vince Neil. "We love each other like brothers and you are our rock 'n' roll family."
Bass player and founder Nikki Sixx, rigged with a fireball-shooting cannon during "Shout at the Devil," and told the best and most heart wrenching stories centering about their early days. He reflected on his initial meetings with the others: Tommy Lee was 17 and drunk, Mick Mars was ugly and angry and Neil was a skinny (that really was a long time ago) lead singer singing horrible cover songs.
Lee kept his good-byes quick and to the point: "Thank you, guys. Much love. Peace,” while Mars didn't say a word. He just made the weird guitar noises and played the bedrock metal riffs that are as central to the band's sound as Lee's thunderous beats and Neil's witchy wail.
The performances were paired with a big arena-rock production filled with pyrotechnics, moving risers, confetti and go-go dancers. For one of their encores, the band moved to a smaller stage in the middle of the pavilion. They played one song, the power ballad "Home Sweet Home," with Lee jumping between piano and drums.
Classic rocker and special guest Alice Cooper delivered the goods prior to Motley Crue. Cooper and his band did what he does best : delivering the goods by rolling out a big production - filled with costume changes, a live snake and his classic guillotine routine. He treated the fans to a set list of favorites that included "School's Out," "I'm Eighteen," "Billion Dollar Babies" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy."
Motley Crue’s farewell performance had its big-spectacle quality when their stage lifted a good 20 feet in the air, but it was at the same time an intimate moment, as Neil and Lee shared a smile that – if we can read into it – indicated a musical bond. It has to be hard to walk away from that sort of camaraderie. And if, in the end, the Crue goes back on their word about the farewell, they won't be the first band to do so.
SHOW REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY: KEVIN ESTRADA