Back in the late 1980s I was recommended an early morning rock video show in the UK called The Power Hour. On it came a video by a band called Motley Crue. The video was for "Wild Side" and it had everything – fire, girls, explosions, a spinning drum kit and some dude called Nikki Sixx - that was me hooked.
Last year, with the band heading into the 34th year of their rollercoaster career, they announced their final ever tour under the name Motley Crue. With US dates announced along with numerous European festivals this was about to be the last time the world would get to see the four members of Motley Crue together on stage. With mixed reports coming from the States along with a hugely disappointing set at Download earlier this year, it was time to catch the final tour in person hoping the band would go out with a bang and not a disappointing whimper.
However, this is Motley Crue who not only put on the best performance I’ve seen them play over many years but went out with not just one bang but 375 of the fuckers. Now some would argue that the Motley Crue show is about the circus more than the talent but as they bang, leap and grind through a hit-laden two hours filled with all your favourite Motley numbers, who gives a shit? This is rock music in its simplest form. The Motley Crue live experience is about tearing up the budget sheet in favour of being as over the top as you can. It’s about big songs, a fuck load of pyro, a massive show and, oh, fuck me, that drum solo.
Check out Nikki Sixx on all things MOST EXTREME here.
Yes, having upped his game on every previous tour, drummer Tommy Lee signed off in style with “Cruecify” his latest invention which saw him playing drums while rotating over the crowd on a massive rollercoaster track. It’s completely bonkers and had even security watching on with jaws on the floor.
Back to the set though and from the moment the band hit the stage with the double whammy of “Girls Girls Girls” and “Wild Side” it was clear that they were out to treat the hardcore fans to a hit filled set. Aside from a smattering of recent tracks this was a truly classic Crue set from “Same Ol’ Situation” to “Dr.Feelgood”, “Shout At The Devil” to set closer “Kickstart My Heart”, every moment of the set was on point. Midway through the set the mic was handed over to Nikki Sixx who spent the next ten or so minutes explaining how he started this journey before the band ripped through a raucous version of Sex Pistols classic “Anarchy In The UK”.
When all was done though, it was left for the band to sign off in their own style by appearing on a podium in the back of the arena to get up close with the nosebleed seats for a tearful performance of “Home Sweet Home”. It should have been a sombre moment and there were a few tears around the venue but, in true Crue fashion, the band brought the house down with the final moments of their last ever performance in Manchester before heading off to bring the next city on this 150 date world tour to their knees.
So, how do you sum up 34 years of utter mayhem? You don’t really need to because, as tonight proved, there will never be another band like Motley Crue.