February 14th, 2012, 1:09 pm · · posted by GUEST
Mötley Crüe‘s Las Vegas residency, halfway through its nearly month-long run at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, may be one of the most satisfying spectacles I’ve ever seen. It delivers on all the fronts you’d expect from the most garishly over-the-top band this side of Kiss — who, come to think of it, should consider taking the reins here when the Crüe packs up shop.
It doesn’t hurt that they’re a band tailor-made for Vegas, with songs about girls and alcohol, a guitarist who looks like walking death, an infamously well-endowed drummer who, like the lead vocalist, is known for his partying as much as his playing, and a bassist who somehow looks as young as he did in their heyday (his bass has aged more than he has).
But what they bring to the table in Vegas that they didn’t quite nail when they headlined last year’s Sunset Strip Music Festival in West Hollywood is an unapologetic amount of pomp. To them, it’s still 1989, they’re still the biggest band in the world, and they can get away with whatever they want.
Case in point: on this Grammy night, neither that overblown spectacle nor the death of music icon Whitney Houston were mentioned, by the band or (seemingly) the audience. Instead, the crowd — many of whom were dolled up as Crüe themselves, long blonde wigs for some, gigantic heels for others, often both on the same person — were treated to …
- A Mötley Crüe tribute band made up of midgets
- A cross-dressing host with bulbous, gigantic breasts
- Women somehow doing aeronautic stunts on chain-links
- A faux wedding (during “Same Old Situation,” natch) that ended with the bride running off with her maid of honor, presumably to some Hard Rock suite with a heart-shaped bed
- A UFO-shaped stage that rises and spins above the crowd during an acoustic suite of songs
- Plenty of audience-drenching confetti, of course
- Vince Neil wailing his face off
- Tommy Lee picking out a comely audience member to ride his drum-kit roller-coaster
- And a Mick Mars solo in which he plays WITH HOLOGRAPHIC VERSIONS OF HIMSELF.
I feel like I’ve left something out. Wait: did I mention the pyro? Yup. In almost every song.
Sure, it all sounds exactly as it did in the late ’80s (as their fans expect) and, yes, this amount of self-confident struttery went out of style a long, long time ago.
But in a town where the singer’s “I Love Single Moms” jacket would be far from the most offensive thing you’d see walking down the street, where strip-shows seem mandatory and a pair of magicians became famous for brawling with endangered species, Mötley Crüe are a perfect fit.
Jeff Miller is L.A. Editor of Thrillist.com. Photo by Chelsea Lauren, Getty Images.
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- Grammys 2012: Jennifer Hudson, Glen Campbell and more performances
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- Remembering Whitney Houston, 1963-2012
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