The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, NV
February 10, 2012
By Jeb Wright
Photo Credit © Erik Kabik/ erikkabik.com
Electric Set I:
Live Wire | Wild Side | Too Fast For Love | Saints of Los Angeles | Shout at the Devil | Afraid | Same Ol’ Situation
Without You | On With the Show | Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Electric Set II:
Looks That Kill | Piece of Your Action | Primal Scream | Dr. Feelgood | Smokin’ in the Boys Room | Girls Girls Girls
Home Sweet Home
The band of leather wearing bad boys, known as Motley Crue have taken the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas by storm this February. The band has taken up residency at the Casino’s concert venue, The Joint, making them the first hard rock/heavy metal band in Sin City’s illustrious history to do so.
Thrilled to be in Vegas, the band has been putting on legendary shows for the Motley Crue faithful.
On this night, Crue fanatics came from all over the world to rock out to their favorite band. As soon as the lights went down, their deafening roar was silenced as the four members of Motley Crue appeared on video screens, two on each side of the stage, one above the other, leading Nikki Sixx to ask, “What are we? The fucking Brady Bunch?”
Vince Neil and Tommy Lee spoke about how the shows in Vegas had to be extra special while Mick Mars simply uttered an evil laugh while sporting a ghoulish grin.
Once done with their speeches, the show began with a surprise. Instead of Motley Crue, the crowd was face to face with the band Little Crue, a group of little people impersonating the band, playing “Live Wire.” After a laugh, the curtain behind Little Crue was whisked away and the real Motley Crue took over the song.”
The set list was weighted with songs from 1989 and back, with four songs from their debut album being performed. In fact, all but three songs came from Too Fast For Love, Shout at the Devil, Theater of Pain, Girls Girls Girls and Dr. Feelgood. The three songs performed from outside of the bands’ heyday were “Primal Scream” from Decade of Decadence, “Saints of Los Angels” from the band’s latest studio album of the same name and “Afraid” from Generation Swine. The heavy emphasis on the classics went over well as the crowd sang along with every word, half the time singing by themselves as vocalist Vince Neil spent a lot of time with his microphone pointed towards the crowd.
It should be noted that Neil, who has often been berated for off key and sloppy vocal performances earned, on this night, a solid B. He struggled at times, most notably during the acoustic set on the song “Without You” when he sounded like a cat being woken out of a deep slumber by someone stepping on its tail. In all fairness, however, Vince was having issues with his inner ear microphone at the time and could not hear himself. During other tunes, including “Too Fast for Love” and “On with the Show” Neil sounded great.
Vince’s vocals were as acceptable as some of the sloppy guitar and bass playing that muddied the sound in The Joint. It was not a stellar musical performance, yet it was highly entertaining, loud and, all in all, more than good enough to have one hell of a good time.
Let’s be real, this is Motley Crue we’re talking about, not the London Symphony Orchestra. Some slop and mud is expected coming from the sickest and sleaziest band to ever take the stage. People don’t want Motley Crue sounding perfect, they want them raw and powerful and raw and powerful is exactly what they got at the Hard Rock on this night. The band played a set of classic songs that had the audience eating out of their hand.
This was much more than a rock show, however, as the band peppered in dancing girls, midgets, people on stilts and circus performers throughout the show.
The event was hosted by a real life freak named Jenn O. Side. Dressed in a bustier, panty hose and heals, Jenn O. Side also sported huge titties. There were many in attendance convinced that Jenn O. Side was a man with boobs but Jenn O’ Side, for all intensive purposes, is a woman. Whether there is a penis being tucked, or one that has been removed, is her secret!
The wild and crazy emcee introduced the band. Later, during the show, she appeared in a VIP booth and proceeded to make fun of a man in a polka dot shirt, offering to wax his chest hair once she convinced him to show her his tits! She was both entertaining and frightening, making her the perfect choice to host Motley Crue’s residency.
As impressive as Jenn O. Side was, it was another group of woman that stole the show. Talented and beautiful acrobats performed high above the audience throughout the concert. They dangled above the audience without a net, risking their lives as they slung themselves from chains, performed eye-popping moves on a round hoop and even performed on stage twirling from tapestries. The precision and skill they portrayed was truly spectacular.
They were far from the only entertainment on stage, however. After playing the song “Afraid,” Vince Neil got “married” to a background singer, only to have her run off with her Maid of Honor. People on stilts and midgets made up the rest of the wedding party.
Motley Crue promised surprises for the shows during their residency at the Hard Rock and they remained true to their word. After performing “Same Ol’ Situation” with Little Crue dancing around the stage, and background singers slinking around in scantily clad costumes, a round stage lowered from the ceiling as Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, Tommy Lee and Vince Neil climbed aboard for a trio of acoustic songs with “Don’t Go Away Bad” being the highlight.
The acoustic set was a nice change and watching the band perform while spinning in circles over the crowds’ heads made it exciting and unique.
The musical highlight of the evening came directly after the acoustic set as Motley pounded out a fist raising rendition of “Looks That Kill” that featured a nasty distorted guitar solo from the hunched over Mick Mars. The guitarist thrilled audiences with a killer guitar solo in which he was joined by two other Mick Mars; the real Mick and two holographic Micks. The three jammed away making their guitars howl, screech and scream in pain. At the end of the solo the two processed Micks’ blew up leaving only the real one, as the band joined him onstage and blasted out “Piece of Your Action.”
Not to be outdone, Tommy Lee performed a drum solo at the end of “Dr. Feelgood” that saw him spinning 360 degrees around on a rollercoaster track built just for the occasion. He appeared to be finished before picking a girl out of the audience to sit on the contraption with him as he did another solo and took another spin.
After the drum solo the band played “Smoking in the Boys Room” followed by “Girls Girls Girls.” The main set ended with “Kickstart My Heart.” For the encore, Tommy Lee played the opening to “Home Sweet Home” on the piano as the crowd sang as loudly as they possibly could. The band were looking at each other and smiling, obviously enjoying the Vegas crowd.
Once the song was over, the band left the stage and the video screen showed them board a helicopter which whisked them away, high above the Strip, the helicopter’s camera focusing on the Hard Rock as it zoomed towards the heavens.
The combination of Sin City and the Carnival of Sins were a match made in hell. They two entities fit together like a lock and key, a Vegas Strip prostitute and a hundred dollar bill, and a slot machine and a housewife hoping to strike it rich.
Motley Crue enjoyed the setting of The Joint as much as the audience, leaving one to wonder once this residency is over, when they will be back for more.
Just think, next year Vegas could go from Elton John and Celine Dion to Motley Crue and Iron Maiden! You gotta admit… that would freakin’ rock!