Nikki Sixx soars on "Kickstart My Heart"

Nikki Sixx soars on "Kickstart My Heart"

A few thoughts about Motley Crue’s concert Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center:

  1. For its second Twin Cities appearance on its The Final Tour, Motley Crue sure didn’t seem sentimental or make much of a fuss. “Goodnight, goodbye and we’re gonna miss you,” drummer Tommy Lee said after the final song in the main set. Then after the band left the stage after its 1 ¾-hour set, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” was broadcast over the speakers. Oh, the intro music before the band arrived was “So Long, Farewell” from “The Sound of Music.”
  2. The set list was pretty similar to the one the Crue played in November at the X, though three songs were excised and one, “Louder Than Hell,” was added.
  3. Guitarist Mick Mars, who suffers from painful arthritis in his back, not only sounded inspired but he was much more active than in past Crue appearances in the Twin Cities. He’s still far from agile, though.
  4. Vince Neil looks like half the middle-aged dudes in the audience. And when he came out in his floor-length leather coat, he suggested longtime pro wrestler Ric Flair, who overstayed his welcome but always carried himself with bleached-blond pomposity.
  5. I’d bet that Motley Crue, on this tour, is using more pyro than Kiss has ever employed. Of course, if Gene Simmons knew that, he’d rectify that on the next Kiss tour. But there were flames, explosions or fireworks on nearly every other downbeat during the Crue’s set.
  6. As always, the technological gymnastics with Lee’s drum kit were a highlight. His kit traveled on a roller coaster-like track over the crowd, while the kit did somersaults and, anchored to his stool, Lee, of course, continued to drum to such tunes as “Uptown Funk” and “Sabotage.” If that wasn’t enough bells-and-whistles, then Neil and Nikki Sixx stood on the end of separate  long erector-set arms that swung over the crowd during a confetti-and-streaming-and-explosions version of “Kickstart My Heart.”
  7. Motley’s crew has designed an amazing and busy light show but the four band members were enveloped in stage fog and bathed in relatively dim lighting throughout the show, which meant the live video shots were less than compelling. Tommy Lee’s infamous sex tape had better illumination. So I’m told.
  8. Alice Cooper was a fitting opening act but his 50 minutes felt rushed. He brought out all the usual bits – Frankenstein, the guillotine, the whip – but the drama was less effective in this truncated time slot.

Set list for Motley Crue

Girls Girls Girls/ Wildside/ Primal Scream/ Same Old Situation/ Don’t Go Away Mad/ Smokin’ in the Boys Room/ Looks That Kill/ Mother---er of the Year/ Anarchy in the UK/ Shout at the Devil/ Louder Than Hell/ drum solo/ Saints of Los Angeles/ Live Wire/ Dr. Feelgood/ Kickstart My Heart ENCORE Home Sweet Home