One Jan. 28, 2014 Mötley Crüe announced their final tour and signed a Cessation of Touring Agreement at a press conference. The tour took the band all over North America, Europe and Australia with opening act—rock legend—Alice Cooper. However, the three final shows were opened up by U.K. band The Struts. The final Alice Cooper show with Crüe was Dec. 22 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. The tour started on July 2 in Grand Rapids, MI and ended on New Year’s Eve at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. As Nikki Sixx said, the final show had to be in Los Angeles, where the band started 34 years earlier, and this year (2016) marks 35 years.
The final three shows took place on Dec. 28, 30 and 31, and exceeded fans’ expectations for a grand finale. The set list throughout the tour was mostly the same including 18 songs on the second leg and 20 on the first leg. The final show started at 10:30 p.m. To get the crowd ready, a newer version of “So Long, Farewell” from the Sound of Music played as a black curtain still covered the stage. The song ended, the lights went down and the band revved up the engine’s one last time. Staples roared with engine sound effects, which sounded like an NHRA race. First appeared Mick Mars, then Tommy Lee and Sixx wearing a skull bandana over his face kicking off “Girls, Girls Girls,” and then out came Vince Neil with two female backup singers/dancers. The first of the band’s major pyro display came during the next song “Wild Side.” The hits kept coming with “Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S),” “Smokin’ In The Boys Room,” “Looks That Kill,” “Muther F*cker of the Year,” a cover of the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy In the U.K.,” “Shout At The Devil” and “Louder Than Hell.” On “Shout At The Devil,” Sixx brought out his famous flamethrower bass.
Now it was time for one of Lee’s world-famous drum solos for the last time. Lee is known for having crazy drum stunts over the year from flying drums to rotating drums to a rollercoaster loop. For the farewell tour, he came up with the ultimate combination of all his previous rigs for drum solos known as The Crüecifly. What is the Crüecifly exactly? It’s basically a drum rollercoaster that flies from the stage to the soundboard rotating as the drums move along, and once it reaches the soundboard it goes backwards to the stage. The Crüecifly worked fine the whole tour but got stuck on the last night as Lee was reaching the soundboard and upside down. Three crewmembers had to climb up to get Lee and bring him down. What caused the shortage was the amount of video cameras used for filming for the DVD. Once he got down, the drums slowly returned to the stage. Lee took the breakdown very well and interacted with the audience while upside down then had to be escorted back to the stage as Mars’ solo began.
At this point of the show it was almost midnight and time to celebrate the New Year. Mötley Crüe played “Saints Of Los Angeles,” the title track of the band’s final album, which came out in 2008. The song that brought in the New Year was none other than “Dr. Feelgood.” However it was already passed midnight by a few minutes when the song ended, so Neil said “We’re not any schedule here,” and then led the crowd in saying “Happy New Year!” as balloons fell. Crüe played their final song on the big stage, “Kickstart My Heart,” and confetti and streamers shot out of cannons from all-over the arena. Sixx and Neil came out on cherry pickers as the front center of the stage rose with Mars. The song ended with the biggest explosion of the tour and flames could be felt all throughout Staples Center. The band took their bow and walked off stage.
The band was brought through the crowd to a special smaller stage set up at the soundboard with a piano behind the Crüecifly and separate rising stage with a drum set. For the encore, Mötley Crüe played “Home Sweet Home” as the closing song the whole tour. Sixx and Mars were on the stage with the drums and Neil and Lee were at the piano. As Lee played and Neil sang, tears began falling for the crowd and band as it could really be the last time Mötley Crüe played together. Lee jumped behind the kit after playing piano, and the stage rose along with the VIP crowd members who had seats built into the smaller stage that also rose with the stage. For the end of the song, the stage went back and Neil and Tommy went back to the piano. The crowd said goodbye and the four Crüe members walked through the crowd on the way backstage. For 34 years Mötley Crüe changed rock n’ roll and sold over 80 million albums, and they will always be known for some of the greatest live performances.
Text and photos by Alex Kluft
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