Motley Crue and Poison live, Target Center, Mpls, MN, 6/24/11
The New York Dolls opened the show but I couldn’t tell you damn thing about them. The girlfriend and I literally watched like, one minute of a song. I like the Dolls, but they don’t belong in an arena, they belong in a club in 1972. Even though we had spent the last two and a half hours sitting in front of the Loon Café drinking light beers and people-watching, we quickly decided to head back out to the concourse to indulge in more of both.
It was as if the rural communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin took a giant crap all over downtown Minneapolis on Friday night. I’ll paint for you a simple picture of the folks in attendance: Old. Fat. Ugly. White. You might laugh at me, but I was actually a little surprised by this. I have seen the Crue a few times in the last six or seven years and the crowd is usually a little more, ah, current. At one point the GF told me it would look less-obvious that I was in awe of these creatures, if I was actually talking to her while observing them, rather than standing there— jaw on the floor, shaking my head in disbelief.
Coors Lights were eight bucks a pop, but we immediately figured out there was a way to get twofers by taking advantage of an unorganized system. There were two people working the line—one would check your ID and take your cash. The other would simply ask you how many you paid for and then proceed to kindly fill the appropriate amount of cups for you. It took all of three seconds to realize you could easily get away with more than you paid for by telling a good old fashioned lie. And we did that several times throughout the evening.
Back in the arena they were playing a set of songs intended to hype up the crowd—AC/DC's “Highway to Hell,” Guns N’ Roses' “Welcome to the Jungle,” and Kiss' “Rock-n-Roll All Night.” Mission accoplished, Poison hit the stage to the a collective shriek of screaming middle-aged women throughout the Target Center. Hair extensions aside, Bret Michaels is one spry young man. He moved around the giant stage at quite a rapid pace; jumping, twisting and turning the whole time. CC Deville’s hair was exactly as big as it should be. They played every single song you’d expect them to play. During “Talk Dirty to Me” I was having flashbacks to school dances in Jr. High, and how I would have killed to have sex in the back of the old man's Ford.
With just enough time to take our respective bathroom breaks and scam a couple more two-for-ones, we made it back into the arena right before Motley Crue took the stage. And they did so without much warning—within seconds, the lights went dim, there was a giant explosion, a curtain dropped, and suddenly the greatest rock-n-roll band in the world was steadfast into “Wildside!” Everyone went banannas for the next hour and a half. It was probably the last time anyone would sit down for the rest of the evening. Even throughout "Home Sweet Home" people stood, illuminated cell phones (in place of lighters,) in the air. Tommy Lee is still very much the kid of the group and the biggest showman. As usual, he did some inverted drumming. His kit was attached to a giant circular structure that swung him side to side and eventually upside down—like a theme park ride. Nikki Sixx was a considerable bit fatter than the last time I saw him but just as much a handsome peacock as ever. Mick Mars was, well, Mick—not a lot of movement, but as solid a rock guitarist there ever was. As a lifelong Crue slut, it pains me to say this, but there is no denying what everyone has known for years: as a live singer, Vince Neil is horrendous. If you didn't have the songs memorized (and really, at a Crue conert, who doesn't?) you’d have no idea if he even knew the words. That being said, he gives you plenty of chances to sing-along, as he is fond of hitting only a partial note and then extending the mic to the audience to fill in the rest. So I guess it’s not signing along with him, so much as it is, singing for him. It matters little though; a Motley Crue concert is more about the spectacle than anything else—fire, scantily clad women, explosions, theatrics, excess, more fire, sex, drugs, and rock-n-fucking-roll!
The GF said it best: "It didn’t take a lot of brain power, but it was the best concert I have ever been to." And that is exactly the point. Bands like Poison and Motley Crue exist for that very reason—rock-n-roll aint lookin' for nothin' but a good time...and it don't get better than this.