hmv.com reviews... Mötley Crüe @ Wembley Arena
Rock legends Mötley Crüe played their final UK show and we were there to review it...
Hair metal originators and Los Angeles natives Mötley Crüe, a band who started out in a time when the supposed corruption of American youth by popular music was all over the papers and the term ‘heavy metal’ didn’t make you cringe. It was all about who could anger their fans’ parents the most; demonic subliminal messaging in tracks revealed by playing your record backwards, debauched antics with groupies and album artwork involving explicit, Satanic or just downright weird imagery. And now it's coming to an end, this is the foursome's last ever tour, they've signed a contract and everything...
Wembley Arena, the enormodome in the corner of North London.
Any good supports?
Little known up and coming performer Alice Cooper with a typically modest stage show.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
It was sold out. The crowd were singing along at the top of their lungs, especially for closing track ‘Home Sweet Home’. Frontman Vince Neil asked the crowd how long they had been fans and there were definitely more proud shouts of appreciation from those who had grown up with the band.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
They open with ‘Girls Girls Girls’ from their 1987 album of the same name, one of their signature songs and one that exemplifies their sleazy take on hard rock that we've all come to know so well. The track is about as far removed as possible from the sugar coated pop hooks of Poison, one of their key rivals at the time of release. If bands can have a mission statement song, this is definitely theirs. They continued in no particular order playing an array of Crüe classics including ‘Dr Feelgood’, ‘Live Wire’, ‘Same Ol’ Situation’, ‘Kickstart My Heart’ and ‘Smokin’ In The Boys Room’. They occasionally lost their momentum due to Vince’s patchy vocals. Luckily the crowd were happy to carry the tune for him singing along to every song.
Any good between song banter?
“Ello Lan-dan!” was the first we heard from Tommy Lee aside from gleeful yelps during his drum solo. Vince kept between song chatter to a minimum but Nikki told the crowd an uplifting story about pursuing his dreams.
Did they put on much of a show?
The show had very high production values throughout, with the amazing spectacle of Tommy drumming on a rollercoaster across the audience and Vince and Nikki Sixx riding across the audience on giant metal limbs dangling perilously close to fans’ heads.
What was the highlight of the set?
The rollercoaster and effects were impressive but the best part of the show was the most stripped back. For their encore the band unexpectedly appeared on a small stage in the centre of the arena where they performed their big ballad ‘Home Sweet Home’ to a montage of images from Mötley Crüe history. They walked through the crowd to leave the stage, a juxtaposition to the distant theatrics from the rest of the show.
Where can I catch them next?
That was there last ever UK appearance. They’ll soon be returning to North America where they will play their final show on New Year’s Eve at Staples Centre, Los Angeles.