September 11, 2014 Mötley Crüe Historic Final Tour Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, NY 8-29-14 w/ Alice Cooper
It is never easy to say goodbye, and when the announcement came down January 29th 2014 that legendary metal band Mötley Crüe would be embarking on their final tour together, fans rushed to get their tickets immediately. Kicking off their final tour on July 2nd, the first leg goes all the way through November 22nd with a second leg, yet to be announced, wrapping up sometime at the end of 2015. Adding some more excitement and flare to this grand exit, joining them on the current tour is another legend in rocker Alice Cooper along with newer band The Raskins. Having already completed almost two months of shows on Friday August 29th, the tour buses rolled into Nikon at Jones Beach Theater to rock a sold out crowd of faithful fans anxious to see what was in store for them.
Commencing the stage first was up-coming rock band The Raskins. Consisting of twin brothers Roger and Logan Raskin, the band brings a sound of classic 80’s rock influence with a modern twist. Mixing powerful melodic guitar riffs with unmistakable vocals, The Raskins rocked heavy and raw, catching many’s attention. Playing songs like “Need Another Hero” and new single “We Had It All”, they showed they are a duo loaded with a talent for writing catchy rock-n-roll music. Their debut self-titled album is out now and worth giving a listen for those interested in pure rock music.
Next, “The Godfather of Shock Rock”, Alice Cooper, was scheduled to take the stage. Justifiably inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, Cooper’s five decade spanning career has been laced with pioneering antics, platinum-selling records, and an image no one can duplicate. Always known to surround himself with stellar musicians, Cooper’s current lineup consists of bassist Chuck Garric, drummer Glen Sobel, guitarist Nita Strauss, guitarist Ryan Roxie, and Long Island native, elate to play his home turf, Tommy Henriksen.
As darkness took over the bay side theater, a white curtain dressed with Cooper’s piercing black makeup eyes stared down the packed crowd as they waited. With a bang and fireworks streaming from the top of the stage overhang, the curtain dropped and Cooper and company lifted off with “Hello Hooray”. Wearing a grim smirk, Cooper walked through the explosive opening as the audience screamed as they were awed by his iconic presence. Moving along at a fast and energized pace, Cooper went into classics like “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Under My Wheels” before bringing blood covered crutch for the rendition of “I’m Eighteen”. Keeping the stage as theatrical as ever, the props, special effects, and characters portrayed kept the show extremely interesting. Offering up a good balance of his material, it was a treat to hear songs like 80’s tune “Poison” and newer piece “Dirty Diamonds” which featured killer solos from Sobel and Strauss respectfully.
Changing his costume to include a top hat and a live snake as a scarf around his neck and arms, he played the 1975 tune “Welcome to My Nightmare”. Having everyone cheering and on their feet, Cooper continued his colorful macabre stage show coming out in a blood splattered lab coat for “Feed My Frankenstein” before putting on a gas mask, tying himself to a freestanding electric chair, and becoming enveloped in smoke and fire. When he was tied in a straight jacket during “Ballad of Dwight Fry”, being tortured by a mutilated nurse through “Killer”, only to break free, attempt to attack her, and instead have his head lopped off by a guillotine which had the audience screaming at the top of their lungs. No matter how many times one has or has not seen the act, it still reckons the question how does Cooper pull this off. He ended the show with iconic anthem “Schools Out” featuring bubbles and white balloons bouncing around the stage and crowd to which Cooper playfully popped them. This was no doubt the ultimate Cooper concert experience for long time and new fans alike. For those not fortunate enough to see Cooper live, his new live CD Raise The Dead- Live From Wacken is out October 22nd.
After an unbelievable performance by Alice Cooper, it was time for Mötley Crüe to give Jones Beach what they had been waiting for. Often known for their reckless and raunchy rock-n-roll attitudes since starting thirty-three years ago, Mötley Crüe has become one of the best selling bands of all-time. Having sold over 80 million albums worldwide and building a name that precedes them, this farewell tour no doubt leaves many with mixed emotions; happy for one last hoorah with the band they love, sad to see them go. With many thoughts racing through spectators heads, one resound was they were about to be part of the band’s historical career in mere moments.
As The Sound of Music (1965) composition “So Long, Farewell” poured into the night air, the band flashed onto the stage with a loud explosion and pyrotechnics as Vince Neil sang 2008 song “Saints of Los Angeles”. Moving around in youthful and exuberant fashion, Neil was completely energized as they went into “Wild Side” and “Primal Scream”. Allowing the audience a moment to take everything in, Neil was handed his guitar by the band’s attractive female backing vocalist and they went into a rampage of classics “Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)”, “Looks That Kill”, “On With the Show”, “Too Fast for Love”, and “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room”. Covering songs not heard live in years from the earlier part of their career mixed in set list mainstays, everyone was on their toes with little time standing still.
Neil kept engaging the audience with pointing, smiles, and ample enthusiasm. He smiled and joked around as he went into the beautiful ballad “Without You”, followed by another newer generation tune “Mutherfucker of the Year”. It was at this moment Nikki Sixx took the time to speak with the audience, speaking affectionately about the history of the band. Recollecting the date January 17th 1981, when he, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, and Neil first performed “Live Wire”, knowing that this was no doubt the band of his dreams. Striking a chord with fans, they blasted into The Sex Pistols classic “Anarchy in the UK” as stage hands came out wearing clown masks soaking those in the front row with water right through into the headbanger “Dr. Feelgood”. Keeping the momentum flowing, Lee hammered out the intro to “Shout at the Devil” to which Sixx emerged with a mini flamethrower attached to his bass and he streamed flames across the stage to the beat. This red hot display had everyone shouting aloud and remaining on their feet through “Don’t Go Away Mad (just go away)”. This is when the somewhat subdued Lee erupted into a massive drum solo illuminated by neon colors and laser lights surrounding as he was harnessed into the air over the crowd. Rotating in circles as he rose, Lee was spectacular in his showcase and never missed a beat. Flowing into a respectful spotlight on the great Mars, who dazzled with a great guitar solo only the way he can do, the audience showed appreciation with a ruckus of applause.
Meeting together on stage once again, the show marched on with “Live Wire”, “Too Young to Fall in Love”, “Girls, Girls, Girls”, and set closer “Kickstart My Heart” with lights and fireworks for the ages. Unwilling to said goodbye so soon, the whistling and cheers came in waves as the band was enthralled into their encore. Throwing the audience for another surprise, in the middle of the theater, a riser with a piano, drum kit, and amplifiers emerged and Neil, Lee, Sixx, and Mars all walked through the aisles onto the platform. Thanking the fans for their support and love, the piano struck the first note and “Home Sweet Home” was played to a wild response. As the song concluded, the band gracefully walked through the audience to the backstage and the house lights went on, fittingly Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played.
Mötley Crüe could not have put on a more complete and electrifying farewell concert then what they conjured up. Thoughtful and personally addressing the magnitude of the moment, the band and their fans went through a lifetime retrospective, warming to the heart and soul. A band like Mötley Crüe does not come around too often, do not miss a chance to witness history before it is too late.