Live Review: Crüe Fest - PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel
Mon, 25 Aug 2008 10:32:48
With OZZfest immobilized by Rockstar Enegy's Mayhem Fest this summer, CrüeFest filled "the summer tour with 'fest' in its name" gap for all those OZZfest fans! New Jersey gets a lot of guff from the media and non-Jerseysites for being stuck languishing in the '80s, when Mötely Crüe, hair metal and Aqua Net reigned supreme, and cock rock's glitz and glam was poured into a cocktail glass that many drank from. On this muggy Saturday night at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, about a 40-minute haul from Manhattan and nestled along the infamous Jersey shore, there were plenty of grownup ladies in the audience that are now moms. However, there's always that slim chance one or two may have had a one nighter with Tommy Lee during the Girls, Girls, Girls-era. Despite the presence of longtime fans, there was a healthy mix of young turks that traipsed the seats and lawn of this fest. Mötley Crüe are more in vogue now than ever, even twenty years after their hottest hot streak, with both diehards and neophytes shouting their praises at the devil.
The night was all about the Crüe. "Kickstart My Heart" opened their set, with Vince Neil achieving a note perfect pitch. "Wild Side" followed and got the crowd to its feet. Throughout the entirety of the set, the Jumbotron blasted images of scantily clad girls engaging in lesbian activity and other assorted images that celebrated sex, drugs and rock n' roll. The Crüe is no joke and never denies its love for the vices of life and these images showed that. With The Crüe, it's all about the danger. Always has been. Always will be.
The fact that the band can continue to pack houses this deep into its existence cements its status as a career band. "Shout at the Devil" rocks as much now as it did when spandex and jams were fashionable. The set was a parade of hits that didn't waste anyone's time or money. Mick Mars was cloaked in a black blazer and top hat with an Emily the Strange-style skull. He cut a haunting figure on the stage, and he can still crank those riffs. Lee didn't spend the night sitting behind the kit. He grabbed a "Tit E Cam," and proceeded to coerce ladies in the front row to flash their, um, twins! He even had the cajones to try and egg on a senior citizen to do the same, but she politely declined. It was a riot and reminds us that Lee is a big kid trapped in a man's body!
The other bands that populated the bill were updated versions of the Crüe aesthetic, and that's why they were perfect for this lineup: the hedonistic, girls 'n boozy loving Buckcherry and the neo-metallic Papa Roach fit as easily here as they could have on OZZfest, if there was one. Surprisingly, the new song "Saints of Los Angeles" got a huge sing-along reaction, as well. Papa Roach's Jacoby Shaddix and Buckcherry's Josh Todd joined the Crüe on stage, pitching in on vocals. There was lots of spiked hair, eyeliner and tattoos on stage during this moment, reflecting the fact that the glam rock image has been updated and lives on!
All in all, Crüe Fest was a worthwhile summer shed tour that closed in on the Garden State, which always opens its arms to favorite sons like these, during the time when summer was giving up her fight and fading into fall. It was a super sweet way to cap off the summer of '08 and to reminisce on days gone by, when glam rock was all the rage.
— Amy Sciarretto