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Motley Crue Live in Ottawa

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Correspondent
Saturday, April 23, 2005 @ 7:02 PM

Motley Crue Live at the Corel

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In a complete contrast to the Suffocation show from 5 days ago, I also went to this show purely as an afterthought. Turns out that when you look past the predictable jokes about Mick Mars' ailing hip, Tommy Lee being convinced that he makes a better rapper than a drummer, Vince Neil's pectoral girth and Brides of Destruction ever being anything more than musically average, Motley Crue can still draw crowds and their tickets are scarce due to high demand. I should know having tried pretty much all of the available hard rock radio stations here in town that had free giveaways to get tickets as a last resort after entering the KNAC contest for tickets to no success. Not completely bitter since it's a luck of the draw sort of contest I guess, but meeting a local KNACer at the show would've been cool. At the very least I could've gotten a ride home what with the bus ride out to suburban Kanata being a good 2 hours away from where I live. But more on that later...

Luckily when I arrived at the show it had not only not sold out with some good enough seats to spare for latecomers, but it also hadn't even started. I ended up having to share a cab ride over to the venue with a complete stranger named Todd as we were both going by bus at the last minute to the show what with the special concert charter bus having stopped running and I convinced him that there was no opening act for this particular Motley Crue tour although I wouldn't of minded having, say, Supagroup like on the Alice Cooper show I missed or Nightwish like on the Crue's Scandinavian tour as openers myself. Even Killing Joke landed some shows as openers for the better part of the European tour and I could recall some of their earlier songs rallying against everything Motley Crue stood for back in the 80s. Basically, what must've prompted Motley Crue not to have an opener on this one leg of the tour was probably a lack of any potential opener. But I digress...

Anyway, I'm going with the same method of a descriptive setlist like I used on the Poison show I saw in 2003:

Running 45 minutes behind schedule and with the crowd getting restless thanks to the security confiscating the 7 or 8 yellow lifesize balloons that classic rock radio station CHEZ 106 (which was sponsoring the show) shot into the audience to pass the time while the stage was being set up, we first got to see the Crue's 20 minute claymation cartoon Team Crue And DJ Will Make Up For When Space Lord Had To Sit Through Noise Therapy At His Last Motley Crue Show 6 Years Ago. Obviously it's not the real title as it would've had to be shortened due to length on the marquee or something but it may as well have been because it did make up for those 30 minutes I lost forever back then.

"We will call that asteroid Sean Connery because it will slap us like a bitch!"

Cue the midget emcee who pops out of a jack-in-the-box and tells us all to get ready for some freaky shit.

"Shout At The Devil": The show's opener, which, although played well note for note, was not sung completely as well in places. I still refuse to believe that Vince's voice is completely finished but still, this being the first song of the evening not to mention one of their well-known songs and hearing Vince hitting at 80% in some parts of the song when he could easily give it 100% has me concerned at first. Luckily the audience knows the words. For that matter, luckily Motley Crue's always had the ability to a degree for writing catchy hair metal songs with a signature riff that the audience can easily remember in the first place...

"Too Fast For Love": Also played to perfection. Vince is starting to get his composure back and puts a bit more effort into it.

"Ten Seconds To Love": By this time Vince is hitting at maybe 97% vocal capacity. My faith in humanity is restored until they go into the next song....

"Looks That Kill": Shit, Mick Mars' guitar sound goes out at the worst possible time: during the intro. Nikki Sixx's bass was so loud he probably could've played the solo instead. Damage control is averted when Mick finally gets his sound back at the quarter end of the solo and one of the sound engineers is likely updating his resume at Monster.com as this review is being written.

"On With the Show": I've honestly never heard this song before actually. Not bad but other overlooked Crue songs like "Danger" or "City Boy Blues" would've been a better substitute for my tastes. Vince's vocals are now really coming alive at this point.

"Louder Than Hell": Another Motley Crue song I've never really heard in its entirety until that night. Needless to say, explosions and pyrotechnics open up the performance and half of Tommy's drumset take the brunt of the explosive force. "Shit, man, my drums are blowing up again!" Good song but I miss the revolving lifesize hamster wheel from 1987.

"Too Young To Fall In Love": Flawless performance. And for someone with limited movement due to a bad hip Mick Mars is pretty agile at this point walking all over the place.

"Red Hot": Refer to "Too Young To Fall In Love." Then add a few pyrotechincal explosions near where Tommy Lee is again at the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Live Wire": Refer to "Red Hot" then add Nikki Sixx emceeing the song prior to the performance telling everyone that he got a lot of e-mails telling the band to play the older material on this tour. A nice gesture and all but I was curious as to why he mentioned it 7 songs into the show. Easily one of my favorite Crue songs alongside "Too Fast For Love," "Dr. Feelgood" and "Red Hot." Sixx didn't set his legs on fire like he did in the video though. Which was a good thing, although when I saw the video for the first time, that was what attracted me to the band in the first place.

"Girls Girls Girls": Thanks to an unusually long beer line (or at least an unusually longer beer line than normally is to be expected if there were an NHL semi-final for the Ottawa Senators to be in let alone an actual season this year) I manage to miss most of the opening performance for the second set. Replete with two screens showing pretty much most of the actual video and strippers and Vince Neil driving a customized Harley-Davidson up on the stage, this performance also owns -- although to this day I still don't know why Vince pronounces "motorcycle" as "motorcicle" in the song like the bike is a frozen desert on a stick rather than a two-wheeled vehicle designed for show and occasionally for transport. Listen to the lyrics again someday and tell me I'm not wrong. I thought I had to mention it somewhere.

"Wild Side": Performance-wise this was like watching Queensryche's "Jet City Woman" video except in color (again, I miss the revolving hamster wheel in the video that Tommy Lee's drums were in). But still just as awesome to watch. I think there's a show on Saturday evenings on KNAC that got inspired by this song. It's got something to do with the severe consequences of making redheads angry and 4 hours of 80s glam metal. I think it's called 4 Hours of Severe Consequences of Making Redheads Angry and 80s Glam Metal. A good show but the title needs to be condensed into something more easily to remember.

"Primal Scream": Decent performance and nice freaky background artwork. Just like the video itself.

"Dr. Feelgood": More pyro goes off midway during the song and for a change the impact doesn't blow up Tommy's drumset. Mick Mars practically doubles the original solo here and takes the song to another level.

"Home Sweet Home": The band does a brief medley of "Glitter" and "Without You" before the silver disco ball comes down, the lights go out and the piano-laden intro sounds out. The more I think about it, this was always a better song than "Without You."

Strangely enough, this is when the Titty Cam comes out. Nikki Sixx said that initially the band risked arrest if they did use the cam during their performance but threatened to pull the show if the cam was gone causing the Corel Center staff to back down on their threat. By the end of the night, the cam caught 7 women going topless in the audience, but only after Nikki said that the crowd in Toronto weren't that eager to strip for the cam and urged the Ottawa crowd to prove him wrong that it was like Toronto. Nikki promptly declared Ottawa's female audience as being fucking wild afterwards. Nice. I had to answer a trivia question in chat about the movie Point Break the last time I wanted to see full frontal nudity. Even knowing which bands were on the soundtrack wasn't apparently enough.

"Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)": No theatrics, no special backdrops, just an honest performance of another favorite Motley Crue song.

Tommy Lee's drum solo/DJ show: In a nutshell, lots of 'splosions, pyro and one part where both of Tommy's DJ consoles is suspended about 80 feet from the ground and he's swung from one booth to the other. The music was good for what it was I guess. Messy Stench would likely be its only fanbase though.

"If I Die Tomorrow": The first of the 2 new songs the band played that night. Good performance but the song's always been so-so at best. I can't even pretend to like it much anymore after hearing it so many times on the radio. Next!

"Sick Love Song": This song is way better than "If I Die Tomorrow" in pretty much every aspect. Great performance and cool backdrop with the insane and mesmerizing eyeball graphics. Vince is giving his all on this song.

"Kickstart My Heart": More explosions and pyro and some shots of car crashes just like in the video. This song always sounded better live than on Dr. Feelgood although I could go the rest of my life never hearing it again. But the finale was so over the top I couldn't help but not hate it. Funny how it's pretty much the most typical-sounding Motley Crue song but at the same time it's the most weakest.

"Helter Skelter": One of the first two encores/covers of the night. Most Beatles fans insist that this was the first heavy metal song ever. I think they may be on to something on that one. The band came out in gray boiler suits, which must mean that the Killer Planetoid met its match.

"Anarchy in the U.K.": The closing number and probably the fastest version of this song I've ever heard. Also better live than on record.

And like Philthy Phil said: what happened at the show did stay at the show, although he probably wasn't assuming that it applied to anyone coming back from the show who still relied on public transport in Kanata at midnight running on a Sunday schedule. But it was all good and the show essentially had something for everyone which is amazing considering how there was little faith in this tour being successful. Whether I can do a follow-up on a summer show if Motley Crue actually do make good on their claim to come back is still up in the air.

Either way, for a band that's supposedly irrelevant to music according to many, Motley Crue sure left a lasting impression on a lot of people that night...

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