Live Review: Mötley Crüe - The Palladium, Hollywood
Mon, 17 Nov 2008 21:11:42
Los Angeles will never be the same as it was in the '80s—especially Hollywood. It's become so touristy and gentrified that the danger inherent in the city has all but disappeared completely. It's as if Rudy Giuliani came in and cleaned it up with a vengeance, like he did The Big Apple. Hollywood Blvd, a street that was once unequivocally owned by hookers and drug dealers, now plays host to The Jimmy Kimmel Show, The Gap and numerous "hot" clubs. Does Hollywood even have a wild side anymore? According to Mötley Crüe, it does, and they took everyone at their Palladium show on Friday for a "ride on the wild side."
Mötley Crüe are synonymous with the classic decadence and depravity of the Sunset Strip. Though the town may not be as dirty as it once was, the Crue still has their fair share of grit. In fact, they sounded rawer than ever at this one-off, tearing up The Palladium stage like never before, as they simply destroyed the sold out crowd's senses. Classic cuts like "Shout at the Devil," "Kickstart My Heart" and "Livewire" bled rock 'n' roll excess. Vince Neil danced around possessed, belting out each chorus with pride and power. Meanwhile, Mick Mars tore through each one of his wah-pedal solos with soul and bluesy bombast. He even dropped an homage to Jimi Hendrix, churning out an impeccable rendition of "Voodoo Chile." His playing remains deft and diligent, and he's never gotten the credit he deserves as an axeman. He may not move much, but his fingers commanded the fret board on each and every lead.
During "Sick Love Song," Tommy Lee took over. He bashed each rhythm with a primal vibrancy that couldn't be contained. From behind his massive drum kit, he drove the propulsive motion of the show. Lee's got some big arms that windmilled around with each hit, and he's always entertaining.
Nikki Sixx oozed rockstar attitude. He bolted down heavy new cuts like "Motherfucker of the Year" and "Saints of Los Angeles." The songs had just as much gusto as the classics, and Nikki added a solid low end to them. He also had the best in-between-song quote. He proclaimed, "We started a band here. We got a record deal here. We got divorced, drunk and fucked up on drugs here. We crashed some cars here. Most of all, we wrote some great fuckin' songs here. It warms my heart to see you fuckers singing them." Mötley Crüe still holds up, and that's a beautiful thing. They truly are the motherfuckers of the year.
From "Girls, Girls, Girls" and "Dr. Feel Good" to closer "Home Sweet Home," the Crue were on fire. Openers Street Drum Corps infused an epic punk jazz stomp into the film. They literally beat the crowd into submission with a combination of percussive prowess and soaring melodies. It was the perfect opening for the show, and a great preview of what's to come from the band's forthcoming Interscope record. From Sixx's quote to the old school set, one thing was for sure. Even though the streets may have been cleaned up, the Crue are as dirty as ever. As the strains of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" played after the band left the stage, it was clear that, when it comes to hard rock, it's Mötley Crüe's way or the highway.