Live Review: Crüe Fest - Glen Helen Pavilion, San Bernardino
Tue, 05 Aug 2008 15:01:40
Midway through his band's Crüe Fest set, Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix screamed, "I'm the hardest motherfucker that breathes!" That's quite a statement when you're playing before Mötley Crüe and Buckcherry. In fact, given all three of the bands' reputations for raucous live shows, there probably should've been a contest going backstage to decide who is, in fact, "The hardest motherfucker that breathes."
Shaddix more than backed up his statement, exhibiting all the bark and bite of a junkyard dog. The wiley, unpredictable singer spent half his band's electrifying set in the crowd lighting off, the powder keg of energy that was an insane audience at the Glen Helen Pavilion in San Bernardino. One thing stood out even more than the band's uncontainable energy: Shaddix and his bad weathered the demise of the nü metal scene that propelled them to platinum status, and now they're here to rock like it's 1985.
The band's set was largely culled from their two most recent offerings, Getting Away with Murder and The Paramour Sessions. "…to be loved" was a pure firestarter, sparking the night's biggest mosh pit. Meanwhile "Getting Away with Murder" saw the frontman stretch his voice to arena rock heights on the infections chorus. "Time is Running Out" brandished a huge '80s chorus with a raw modern-day violence. The band even debuted one new song "I Almost Told You I Loved You," that sees them stretching their sound even further back to that classic L.A. glam rock sound.
During one of Papa Roach's biggest hits, "Scars," Shaddix caught wind of some white supremacists in attendence down front. He quickly exposed their ignorance by ranting, "Wow, you don't cease to fucking amaze me. You're throwing 'white power' signs to a band with a Mexican." Beyond calling out the act, he sang the chorus to "Scars" in Spanish, and that got one of the biggest crowd roars of the entire show. Then the band ripped through "Between Angels and Insects" and "Last Resort" with speed and emotion. Papa Roach certainly proved to be as "hard" as they come, even on this stacked bill.
Buckcherry's direct support slot was equally explosive. The band blazed through hits like "Lit Up" and "Crazy Bitch," to huge cheers. New single "Too Drunk" also got the corwd moving and grooving. The show's early openers Trapt and Sixx A.M. also played worthy sets that combined radio-ready melodies and sleaze rock edge.
Tour namesakes Mötley Crüe were as raw as they've ever been. The band hit the stage to an ominous intro proclaiming, "We are all sinners…" before tearing through a 90-minute set of classics, with a couple new tracks thrown in for good measure. Moving beyond the circus theme that characterized their last big jaunt, Mötley 's production was relatively minimalistic, but it worked extremely well. A disjointed, chain link fence-style "Los Angeles" sign took the focal point of the stage with each letter lighting up intermittently. Cuts like "Kickstart My Heart," "Wild Side" and "Shout at the Devil" hit just as hard as they always have, and from the nonstop stage antics to Tommy Lee's mid-set video camera "work," it was clear that Mötley still remain the scourge of religious fanatics and feminists everywhere. "Saints of Los Angeles" saw all of the tour's vocalists on stage for the title track from the band's new album. Mick Mars busted out a Hendrix-ian solo afterwards that proved amazing, and new track "MF of the Year" proved just as catchy and fun as the older, more familiar material.
At one point, Nikki Sixx made sure to shout out to the longtime diehard L.A. crowd. "Send the message all over the world Los Angeles fucking rocks." Motley rocks too, and the band ripped through "Dr. Feelgood," "Girls, Girls, Girls" and closer "Home Sweet Home," which culminated in the night's biggest sing-a-long before the four walked off the stage victorious.
Regardless of who wins the "hardest motherfucker that breathes" contest, Crüe Fest is a rockin' good time.