Cruefest – Glen Helen Pavilion – 07/31/09
By Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
Cruefest, the biggest touring rock festival of the summer, came through Glen Helen Pavilion on Friday, July 31st. Cruefest2 is even bigger than last year, with five bands on the main stage and a 2nd Monster Energy Drink stage as well. This year’s line-up included Charm City Devils, Theory of a Deadman, Drowning Pool, Godsmack, and of course, MOTLEY CRUE! Also, on this tour, Motley Crue is performing the entire Dr. Feelgood album from start to finish. I remember when the Dr. Feelgood tour came through my town, back in 1990, and I missed out because I was too young. I was really excited to see songs like “She Goes Down,” “Sticky Sweet,” and “Time for Change” performed live for the 1st time!
After a long drive and a minor wrong turn, I arrived at Glen Helen. I made some friends partying in the parking lot, before getting down to the front for Godsmack. There was a huge mosh pit and tons of pyro on stage. Godsmack put on a really good show. I was honestly surprised at how many Godsmack songs I knew and found myself rocking out and singing along to songs like “Whatever,” “I Stand Alone,” “Awake,” and “Keep Away.”
But… what I was really waiting for was Motley Crue. After the T.N.T. intro, the curtain dropped, and all four members of Motley were together in a tiny padded room in the center of the stage. Everything was set up like the Dr. Feelgood CD, with white and green walls, and red medical crosses on Tommy Lee’s drum set and Nikki Sixx’s shirt. After they played “Dr. Feelgood,” the walls came crashing down and Motley exploded to the rest of the stage for “Slice of Your Pie” as their two beautiful and sexy back-up singers/dancers met them onstage.
In addition to the Dr. Feelgood theme, the stage, microphones, and drum set were made of metal gears, gauges and hoses, giving it a junkyard effect. The stage show, smoke, lights and pyrotechnics added to their set. At times, flames would burst from the stage with every beat as sparks would fly from above.
Throughout the Dr. Feelgood portion, Vince made references to the original album, asking fans who actually had it on vinyl back in the day, and noted that “Without You” would have been the last song on side one. Tommy came to the front of the stage after “Kickstart My Heart,” and I was hoping he wouldn’t pull out his “titty cam.” I have seen more than enough of that thing! I was pleasantly surprised that he didn’t. Instead he shared some Jägermeister with fans right in front of him, talked a little bit about tittys, and told us how much he loved us before getting back behind his drum set.
After last track “Time for Change,” fans anxiously waited as sparks flew through the air and all we heard was loud pounding sounds coming through the speakers. Wondering, waiting, watching… Then, beautiful guitar licks filled the air as Mick Mars strummed an acoustic, shining under the only spotlight on stage. He would play heavier, and faster, as our excitement continued to grow, and then he would get melodic and beautiful again. The dancers came to Mick’s side and he soloed like crazy, as red lights crossed all over the stage. Suddenly, we knew what was coming next… “LIVEWIRE!” The crowd went crazy! Every fist was in the air as we screamed along.
Next they played “Wildside,” “Saints of Los Angeles,” and Shout at the Devil.” “Saints,” was amazing. I could really feel the energy and enthusiasm the band has for this newer song, and the fact that they were playing it in their hometown made it that much better. Motley didn’t call it quits yet… After leaving the stage again for a few anxious moments, they wheeled a junkyard style piano on stage, and it was time for “Home Sweet Home.” We all sang and swayed together, before they ended their 2nd encore with “Girls, Girls, Girls.” After some waves, drum stick and guitar pick tossing, and the Motley bow, they were gone.
This was definitely one of the BEST Motley Crue shows I have ever seen! (And I’ve seen at least a dozen.) Between playing Dr. Feelgood in its entirety, two killer encores, the beautiful dancers, and the sex appeal and sleaze of Motley themselves, this was a night to remember. The only thing that could have made Cruefest2 better would be if Nikki Sixx’s band Sixx:AM could have played. There’s always next year though!