On With the Show

When we started this band
All we needed, needed was a laugh
Years gone by…
I’d say we’ve kicked some ass
When I’m enraged
Or hittin’ the stage
Adrenaline rushing
Through my veins
And I’d say we’re still kickin’ ass

~ Kickstart My Heart, Motley Crue

Do you know what I mean? Do you remember? Well, I remember.  Tonight, 25 years after I attended my first Motley Crue show, I bid farewell to the first band I loved.

For weeks I had been debating whether or not to see Motley Crue for the fifth and final time. Because lawn seats started at $32, I felt bad asking a non-fan to come along and pay for tickets. As luck would have it, I found out Friday morning that a family friend’s nephew was playing drums for the opening band and I was welcome to tag along to the show with their group. All in.

The Raskins and Alice Cooper opened the show. The Raskins were great and their tour manager took excellent care of us. Alice Cooper kicked off his set with No More Mr. Nice Guy. While holding true to his theatrical brand of shock rock, Cooper was joined on stage by a naughty nurse, Frankenstein and one very large, very alive snake. At 66, Cooper showed no signs of slowing down.

Taking the stage just after 9pm, Motley Crue played their biggest hits and fan favorites to a near capacity crowd of 28,000. A little less than half way through the two hour set, Nikki Sixx asked the crowd to sit as he told the story of the band’s beginnings. Sixx and frontman Vince Neil commanded the audience like guys who have been doing this together for 33 years. As usual, guitarist Mick Mars faded into the background. The only drum solo ever worth sitting through happened late in the set. This time, Tommy Lee was upside-down while traveling on a roller coaster track above the audience. Fittingly, Motley Crue ended their set on a small riser near the back of the house with an encore of Home Sweet Home.

Fun Facts

I’m in Motley Crue’s Same Ol’ Situation video which was filmed at Alpine Valley in 1989. While waiting for the show to begin I met Meredith, who was at that Alpine Valley show and also is in the Same Ol’ Situation video. She’s the red head in the picture below.

The girl next to me for the majority of the night was born in 1996, a full 7 years after I attended my first Motley Crüe show. Her favorite song was Live Wire which was released in 1982. She also thought I “was like 20” years old & couldn’t believe that Meredith & I were at the same show in 1989.


Nikki Sixx’s Age 55
Alice Cooper’s Age 66
My age the first time I saw Motley Crue live 14
Live snakes 1
Broken cymbals 1
Half full water bottles Nikki Sixx Hurled into the audience 3
Strippers 2

Also pyro, so much pyro. In addition the standard fireworks and flash pots, Nikki Sixx had a flame thrower attached to his bass. I’m pretty sure Tommy Lee was engulfed in flames several times.


Set List

Saints Of Los Angeles
Wild Side
Primal Scream
Same Ol’ Situation
Looks That Kill
On WIth The Show
Too Fast For Love
Smokin’ In The Boys Room
Without You
Anarchy In The UK
Dr Feelgood
Shout At The Devil
Don’t Go Away Mad
Live Wire
Too Young To Fall In Love
Girls Girls Girls
Kickstart My Heart
Home Sweet Home

* Special thanks to Troy of The Raskins and the University of Illinois Alumni Club. Somehow we ended up on the University of Illinois Fan Deck where I became friends with the Alumni Host and a guest lanyard ended up in my possession. So THANKS! 

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