Motley Crue/Theory Of A Deadman Live In Ottawa

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Thursday, March 12, 2009 @ 8:27 PM

Scotiabank Place

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It was my fourth time seeing Vince and his buddies Sixx, Mick and Tom on the night of March 10 in which a concert on a Tuesday and a last-minute seat near the pyrotechnics display would surely be the death of us all. Luckily all that was gained was a loud show, a bizarre encounter with the drummer of an obscure 80’s British glam band and a newfound ability to run across a highway in 10 seconds.

It all started with a last-minute decision to catch the show after putting in a bit of overtime at work and while making my way to the show out to Kanata I miscalculated the actual bus stop and ended up having to walk a considerable distance across a field to the venue – which was on the other side of the 417. I was too busy thinking of clever anecdotes to use on the opening bands to use them in time to worry about being probable roadkill as I high-tailed it across the highway (luckily with no vehicles in sight, surprisingly) to the other side….and arrived promptly to catch barely 5 minutes of Hinder ending their set with “Take It To The Limit” with Mick Mars guesting on lead guitar to the delight of several hardcore Motley fans who exited as newfound converts of one of the *gulp* likely successors to the next wave of glam metal. And yet while I am jubilant over escaping the thought of having to hear that horrid abomination of 2007 known as “Lips Of An Angel” live I’ll have to swallow my pride and grudgingly admit that some of their post-“Lips” material such as “Use Me” and “Up All Night” isn’t half bad. If Hinder are good enough for the headlining band perhaps giving them a second chance on my end is probably warranted. I still question if those mullets were not wigs worn in ironic fashion though…..


After intermission and a much-needed pizza the CanCon part of the show is fulfilled when co-headliners Theory Of A Deadman took the stage with a rather stripped-down stage set and a decent enough performance, running through their catalogue of radio friendly hits in assembly line-like succession. “Nothing Can Come Between Us”, “No Surprise” (a sentiment we both share), “Santa Monica”, a song called “I Hate My Life” which sounded like they’d just written backstage 10 minutes before showtime and the closing number “Bad Girlfriend” which was only notable because of the hot chick in the black T-shirt and short jean skirt dancing to the song in the aisle near me……the band made the 45 minutes go by pretty quickly and while they didn’t get the crowd nearly as excited as Hinder did despite claiming that Ottawa was their favorite city in Canada to play in although I wouldn’t be surprised if they used that same line in every city they play in, they still generated some hearty cheers regardless. With that said, attempts to shake off the Theory Of A Nickelback tag will still remain elusive for this band who’d be a lot more entertaining to watch if they ditched their second guitarist and played as a trio. Janick Gers never looked like excess musical baggage onstage and even Mick Mars can still move more than 30 feet when he plays and look excited to be there and he’s got to be at least twice that guy’s age. Plus the frontman pretty much played most of the rhythm parts and the solos anyway. In comparison, the second axeman looked like he could barely handle Guitar Hero let alone an actual guitar the way he was clumsily straddling all over the stage half the time.


5 minutes before the headliners are to take the stage and the vocalist is nowhere to be found, the bass player and the drummer are whipping each other with towels and the guitarist is waving to a couple of fans while wandering aimlessly backstage and poses for photos. Suddenly they reconverge on the stage after a deep voice comes on the PA talking about the post-apocalyptic city of Los Angeles (or something to that effect).

Then, cue the down-tuned opening riff to “Kickstart My Heart”. And the pyrotechnic explosion I was standing too close to during the song and for the rest of the concert.

Motley Crue now have the stage and your unbridled attention for the next 2 hours. And they make the best of it by alternating between playing as many of the classic stadium-filling pyro-friendly metal classics like “Wild Side”, “Shout At The Devil”, “Girls Girls Girls”, “Looks That Kill” and “Dr. Feelgood” as possible alongside the Saints Of Los Angeles catalogue including “White Trash Circus”, “Motherfucker Of The Year” and the title track. The stage was adorned by 2 giant teleprompters flashing all sorts of images at rapid speed sometimes it was hard to tell where the actual concert stopped and the video to Queensryche’s “Eyes Of A Stranger” began. In fact, what was the point of showing the video for “White Trash Circus” on the big screen when the band was playing it live anyway? But the montage still worked well with the songs, particularly with “Wild Side” and “Primal Scream” when there was flashy bright footage of crime scene photos and gratuitous sex scenes to run concurrently with the songs’ subject matter.

Music-wise, this was probably the tightest version of Motley Crue I’ve ever seen. Mick Mars’ virtuoso guitar work still remained perhaps the strongest feature of the band as he deviated away from some of the more conventional riffs and solos that were a trademark of many of Motley Crue’s classics and redid them in a different fashion that still retained the spark and danger of what their songs were about. The ad-libbing of Jimi Hendrix’ “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” that led into “Live Wire” was also awesome. The tried-and-true rhythm section of Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee often exemplified on-stage showboating in the past but not once did either of them miss a beat. Even when Tommy was chucking drumsticks at one of the sound crew in frustration for not giving his bass drum monitor enough volume for him to hear his cue he still put on a kickass performance.

And the proverbial icing on the cake, you ask? Vince Neil finally singing the lyrics to the songs for a change, even though the audience sang along with him anyway! He still looked a bit silly doing the chicken dance during “Looks That Kill” and “Dr. Feelgood” though but all in all this was ten times better than their performance at Heavy Mtl from last summer. Motley Crue have redeemed themselves even if their supporting bands still are occasionally questionable although they do make anticipating for the headliner a lot more enticing.


  • “Kickstart My Heart”
  • “Wild Side”
  • “Shout At The Devil”
  • “Saints Of Los Angeles”
  • “Live Wire”
  • “Too Fast For Love”
  • “On With The Show”
  • “Jailhouse Rock” (which was the first time in 25 years the band had played it live)
  • “Motherfucker Of The Year”
  • “White Trash Circus”
  • “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)”
  • “Same Ol’ Situation”
  • “Primal Scream”
  • “Looks That Kill”
  • “Girls Girls Girls”
  • “Dr. Feelgood”
  • “Home Sweet Home”

On the way home from the show I ended up sharing a bus seat with this mysterious British guy who was checking out my review notes and we got to talking about the show in detail. It later emerged that he used to be the drummer of a relatively second-tier glam band called Slam in the late 80’s who used to tour with a variety of bands like Tigertailz, the Dogs D’Amour, Shy and Kiss Of The Gypsy before Nirvana pretty much made them musically irrelevant. Why he ended up emigrating to Ottawa in particular is anyone’s guess but he did help cap off an awesome night of music and gave me a tip on his son’s band called Dirty Trixx who are – according to him – a cross between the Sex Pistols and Too Fast For Love era Crue. And according to me, following an extensive search on MySpace due to the commonality of this band name, his story checks out. Fast, abrasive, raw and punk rock in parts and guaranteed to eventually become a regular staple on WildSide in the coming months once they get a full-length album recorded and out on the CD racks in the next few months.


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