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Motley Crue bid a loud farewell to Saint Louis Wednesday

Motley Crue and Alice Cooper played killer sets in St. Louis Wednesday
Motley Crue and Alice Cooper played killer sets in St. Louis Wednesday
Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography

Motley Crue final St. Louis performance

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The self-proclaimed bad boys of rock, Motley Crue brought their “Final Tour” for a stop in St. Louis Wednesday at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Along for the ride was a 20 song Best-Of setlist that also included a couple of old gems.

Vince Neil performing during Motley Crue's performance in Saint Louis
Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography

Still very early in their tour (This was the 6th stop on a tour that will take them through the end of 2015) they seem to have fixed the glitches that plagued their first few shows. They signed a “Cessation of Touring Agreement” earlier this year to great fanfare and decided to throw one last (two year long) party. And what a party it was.

They came blasting out to “Saints of Los Angeles” followed by “Wild Side” and “Primal Scream” with so much pyro and large flame bursts during the latter that didn't just go up, but also came out towards the audience. One surely could not be blamed if they thought the amphitheater would catch fire.

With a full-on bombastic assault of the senses Motley Crue aimed to make their last stop a memorable one. On top of the usual Crue classics they dug deep and performed two songs from their debut LP “Too Fast For Love”: The title track and “On With the Show”, which Neil acknowledged if the fans knew that they were old (expletives).

Musically the band was tight with bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee and guitarist Mick Mars sounding in mid-tour form. Vocalist Vince Neil’s voice sounded fine, what lyrics he did sing, however as he skipped over what seemed to be half the lyrics to most of the songs (this was especially true during “Looks that Kill”), and letting the crowd sing other parts. What he lacked in actual performance was made up for in his onstage persona and demeanor. He was a true showman in the fact that he got the crowd fired up and rocking.

Guitarist Mick Mars’ chops sounded as fresh any time this reviewer has seen them perform, and his 5 minute guitar solo had an onerous and creepy tone to it, perfect for Mick Mars who was basked in an eerie red glow throughout.

Drummer Tommy Lee did not perform a drum solo, primarily because the rigging for his newest theatrics, labeled affectionately “Cruecifly” rises out and takes him and his drum kit out over the audience. Unfortunately, the amphitheater’s structure wouldn’t hold the tracking adequately over the audience and for safety’s sake had to be abandoned.

Throughout the set, however, Lee was dead on and kept himself draped in a white smoky backlight, which provided for a cool effect, but terrible pictures (especially when we were only given one song from the soundboard to nail a shot).

Sixx laid down heavy bass lines and ramped up the game with his bass that shot out a 20 foot flame during “Shout at the Devil”, and worked the crowd up and down the stage and the side ramps. He even had a sit down “chat” with the audience to give a history of the bands’ beginnings.

Time certainly did not drag by as the show was very entertaining. Was it perfect? No, but to many in the packed crowd it sure felt like it was. The loud and in your face style is what is lacking in many of today’s rock shows, and after this tour is over there will be one less band to carry on that tradition.

Barring any surprise announcement that they will return to the Gateway City during next year’s run this was the last time they will ever play here as a group. And they certainly saved the best for last as this was the most entertaining show they have played in years. This is definitely not a tour to be missed.

Alice Cooper was on the bill in a support slot, and the originator of shock rock had a macabre dream set that included blood, pyro, a large singing zombie, an ominous looking boa constrictor, a guillotine and … bubbles. But before you get all worried no, Cooper didn’t go all Don Ho it was just another one of his many props he used. The theatrics were phenomenal, so much so that one dare not look away for fear of missing something. Costume changes were abundant and the performances were sharp, both musically and visually.

Performing live now for over 50 years Alice Cooper is a cultural Icon and during Wednesday’s hour long set he showed no signs of slowing down.

The newest addition to his band, Nita Strauss (Guitarist for The Iron Maidens – an all-female Iron Maiden tribute band) is a steal. She just joined as a touring member last month and looks like she fits right in with the rest of the band (guitarists Ryan Roxie and Tommy Henrikson, bassist Chuck Garric and drummer Glen Sobel).

Motley Crue Setlist:
Saints of Los Angeles
Wild Side
Primal Scream
Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)
Looks That Kill
On With the Show
Too Fast for Love
Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room (Brownsville Station cover)
Without You
Motherf***er of the Year
Anarchy in the U.K. (Sex Pistols cover)
Dr. Feelgood
Shout at the Devil
Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Guitar Solo
Live Wire
Too Young to Fall in Love
Girls, Girls, Girls
Kickstart My Heart
Encore:
Home Sweet Home (B-Stage)

Alice Cooper Setlist:
Hello Hooray (Judy Collins cover)
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Under My Wheels
I’m Eighteen
Billion Dollar Babies
Poison
Dirty Diamonds
Welcome to My Nightmare
Feed My Frankenstein
Ballad of Dwight Fry
Killer
I Love the Dead
School’s Out