A Motley Kinda Meet-and-Greet

By on September 16, 2015
Jennifer Devereaux

(Photo-Jennifer Devereaux)

“All Bad Things Must Come To An End” – Motley Crue’s final tour with very special guest Alice Cooper – American Airlines Arena, Miami Florida- September 2nd, 2015 (Images by Frank Colucci & Jennifer Devereaux)

I’d like to start off by saying just how big of a Motley fan that I am. I can remember spotting the Shout at the Devil album in my local record store when I was twelve years old. Soon after that posters filled my walls. Over the years my parents thought I was nuts worshiping four guys who looked very much like women, until my wedding day, when my mom and I danced to “Without You”. I had her read the lyrics before we agreed on the song and she said it was beautiful. This was my 14th time seeing them since the Dr Feelgood tour in 1990. All in Florida with the exception of two years ago when my wife and I flew out to Las Vegas for my 40th birthday at which time Motley Crue was doing their second residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

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(Photo-Jennifer Devereaux)

Miami was the second time for me on this farewell tour as they played in my home town (Tampa) just over a year ago. All Motley Crue fans should know by now, the band is retiring and their last show will be this New Years Eve in Los Angeles; the city where it all started almost 35 years ago. Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, Tommy Lee and Mick Mars all signed a contract in January 2014 stating they will never again tour as Motley Crue. With that being said, I figured last August in Tampa was my final goodbye to one of my most favorite bands of all time…

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(Photo-Jennifer Devereaux)

A few months ago, a very good friend of mine (Noel) called me and said Motley had added more dates to their tour hitting cities they didn’t do on the first run of dates and that they were playing Florida one more time. I was hoping for Orlando since there is an awesome arena downtown and only an hour and a half drive. Noel told me the show was in Miami and that he just purchased two tickets. 3rd row with a meet and greet. I almost lost my mind with excitement just knowing that my pal was going to meet the guys in Motley. A week later, Noel invited me to come along with him.

At first I wasn’t going to include the cost of the above mentioned tickets in my story. Noel took me as a friend and didn’t take a dime from me but I do feel it’s important if you are reading this to know what it cost and what the experience was like. These tickets were $1000.00 each. Now, I could never afford to drop that kind of $$ on a concert but Noel did and for the thousandth time – “THANK YOU MY FRIEND”

1000.00 ticket

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

Noel shot me an email with all the details and what’s included with each ticket – Seat in the first 5 rows, M&G with Vince, Nikki & Mick only. (Tommy does not participate in the M&G. I heard that he feels it’s a rip off to the fans to charge them so he stays out of it) One personal item to get signed (No guitars or large items) A litho autographed by the three guys, a limited edition 7 inch vinyl, a tour program, commemorative lanyard, a behind the scenes tour and a merchandise voucher worth $225.00 in the Motley online store (Not at the show). September couldn’t come any faster!

I wanted to get something out of the norm signed, so I purchased a Motley Crue skateboard deck from the bands official website. It’s shiny and black with “Shout At The Devil” written on it and it’s gonna look bad ass signed in silver, hanging right next to a final tour poster I picked up last year at the Tampa show. Noel went traditional and brought an album; 2008’s Saints of Los Angeles.

Autographed skateboard

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

We arrived at the arena promptly at 345p as instructed; gate 4 for the Motley Crue VIP Package Entrance. There seemed to be around fifty people eagerly waiting to meet the Crue. At 4p, one of our VIP hosts meets and brings us inside the arena where we waited in line to sign our waivers and provide our email address so they can send us our pictures with the band. After signing the waiver, we all headed into a room with enough chairs for everyone to have a seat. There was a huge Motley Crue backdrop in front of the room. Motley music was cranking and there were a few small refrigerators that looked like Marshal amps filled with sodas and water along with bags of chips on top for us to snack on. Noel grabbed a water for himself and a Diet Coke for me. The drinks were warm so after one sip, in the garbage it went. Our VIP hosts, two girls, I cannot remember their names, introduced themselves and gave us the rundown of what’s in store for us. Obviously everyone was fired up and ready to meet Motley F’n Crue!

Autographed litho

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

They called our names, one at a time to come up and collect our freebies that were included in the package. The tour book is something you don’t see too often these days at concerts. I have a few from back in the day and I wish I would have purchased more over the years as they are really nice. This one is no different. It’s big and full of amazing pictures of the Crue from 1981 all the way to the current tour. The limited edition 7-inch vinyl is also really cool as the album itself is red. Side A is “All Bad Things Must End” A song released in January of this year and pertains to Motley’s soon to come retirement. Side B is “Sex” which was originally intended to be included in Motley’s tenth studio album which never ended up happening.

7 inch vinyl and tour book

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

After getting our book, album and lanyard, we were advised that they will be calling us up again to now give them what we wanted signed by the band and that Vince, Nikki & Mick will not be signing in front of us. They will do it while we are doing our backstage tour. WHAAAT? Not going to sign in front of us! I thought that was kind of lame but so be it. No one physically complained but I wasn’t the only one disappointed by this.

Cruecifly2

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

Now it’s time to head into the empty arena and talk to one of the behind the scenes guys and hear about what it takes to set everything up every day on tour including Drummer Tommy Lee’s massive roller coaster which he rides every night suspended up over the audience from the stage all the way to the other side of the arena. If you haven’t seen it, check it out on Youtube. It’s called The Crucifly. Next, in groups of ten or so we got to actually walk around the stage. We started on the right (Mick’s side) and got to see his cabinet full of guitars, rig and the rest of his gear. Next we walked around the back of the stage. It was dark and not too much to see other than some of the equipment that works the pyro. Now, we headed over to Nikki’s side.

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(Photo-Jennifer Devereaux)

Now I love all the guys in Motley. There is something very special about each one of them to me. Mick Mars has this insane tone to his guitar that you can easily pick out of a guitar tone lineup. (If there ever was such a thing) Mick’s sound is sick and dirty rolled together and sounds like no-one else. Tommy Lee is one of the greatest drummers of all time; not only his playing ability but the show he puts on while doing it is like no-one else. Vince Neil is one of the coolest lead singers to ever front a band live. Vince keeps the crowd involved and singing throughout the show.

Nikkis bass cabinet

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

Finally we have Nikki Sixx. Nikki is my favorite member of the group. He is a great bass player and an all around bad ass. Everything about his image and look has always been super cool to me. On Nikki’s side it was similar to what we saw for Mick only outside the bass guitar cabinet was Nikki’s flame thrower bass. This was pretty cool to see up close. If you have never seen Motley Crue live, Nikki uses a bass with a flame thrower attached to it during “Shout at the Devil”. It’s pretty awesome to see live and again there are many videos of it on Youtube. Next we walked down the floor area of the arena straight to the back where they have what is called the Cruesnest. The Cruesnest is a second stage used for the last song of the evening. As part of a another VIP experience, fans can purchase seats on the Cruesnest and sit very close and personal with the guys as it rises up about twenty five feet during the last song.

Frank with flame thrower bass

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

Around 515p we all went back into that first room with the chairs and waited for the next part of the VIP experience. MEETING THE BAND! Our host advised us that the M&G will take place at 6p and they will soon line us up for that. At 545p we all lined up just outside the room we were in and waited until 615p until the line started moving. No phones, cameras, markers were allowed. Actually, nothing at all was allowed in your hands while meeting the guys. Noel and I were about half way back and within a few minutes we were all the way near the front. I’m thinking damn, this sure is going quick. I got up to the door as we were next inside. My heart was racing as I could see Nikki’s red bandana around his head.

Their tour manager asked Noel and I if we wanted our pictures together or separate. Meaning Noel and I in the picture together with Motley or we walk in separately. We had already decided that if we were given only one choice, we would go in together. We went inside and for me it went like this …. “Hey Vince, great to meet you” (handshake) “Nikki, OMG what an absolute honor to meet you” (handshake) “Mick, such a pleasure” (handshake). I stood between Vince and Nikki and Noel between Nikki and Mick. Smile ….Pictures taken and done.

Frank n noel

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

Out the door we went to stand back in line until everyone was finished so we can the collect our things and enjoy the concert. My experience meeting Motley Crue lasted less than 30 seconds. Everyone was in and out in what seemed like less than ten minutes total. We never even heard their voices. At a $1000.00 a ticket (starting for VIP – They had packages up to 5K that included an autographed bass guitar) they could have at least thanked us. I’ve been to a few of these meet and greets, none on the same level as Motley Crue and none of them cost even a quarter of what this one did and they were way more personal and spent time to talk and answer a question or two. Needless to say I was a bit let down but hey that’s Motley. They have been doing this for many years and it must be working for them and at the end of the day it was still one amazing bad ass experience and the concert hasn’t even started yet.

Alice ballad of dwight

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

Instead of going straight to our seats, we decided to skip the first band that we honestly had never heard of and bring all of our stuff to the car and grab a drink. We knew Alice Cooper was on at 745p so we had about an hour.                  Alice took the stage right on time. We were real excited for this since last year in Tampa, the show was outside in an amphitheater. Alice Cooper’s live show should not been seen outside in the daylight. Watching Alice is somewhat like watching a horror movie, and no one goes to the movies and turns on the lights.

Alice2

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

This was my fourth time seeing Alice live but first time close enough to really appreciate what’s all involved in his show. From the opening song “The Black Widow” wrapped in a black robe with costume changes on “No More Mr. Nice Guy” “Feed My Frankenstein” and the highlight for me was of course breaking out of a straight jacket and seeing his head chopped off in a guillotine. For being only a few years shy of 70, Alice really does go way above and beyond what of what you would think for a guy at his age. I mean the songs alone speak for themselves and if he just stood in front of a microphone it would still be awesome, but the theatrical aspect of seeing Alice Cooper live is something creative and very entertaining. Also, I encourage everyone to check out Alice’s guitar player Nita Strauss. Nita was formerly in the Iron Maidens (all female Iron Maiden tribute band). She is an amazing guitarist who’s only 28 and will be around long after Alice decides to retire.

Nita Strauss

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

It’s almost 9p and the arena is full. The lights go out. About a minute later we begin to hear a heart beat type drumming with white lights flashing to the beat. Thousands of South Florida Motley fans screaming in anticipation of what is most likely their last time seeing them (exactly what I thought last August in Tampa – lol) Out walks Mick and lights appear directly behind him as he straps on his guitar. Next to walk out on this very dark stage is Nikki, whose microphone is directly in front of me. Now lights on the left side of the stage. The drums began light up as Tommy takes a seat. The music starts “Girls, Girls, Girls” and Vince runs to the front of the stage and the show has begun. Let’s also not forget the two smoking hot backup singers that graced the stage on and off throughout Motleys entire performance; Two hours of hit songs; one after another spanning through their nine studio albums catalog. The setlist (see below) hasn’t changed much during this farewell tour. I think they may have switched out two or three songs from last year’s show in Tampa.

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(Photo-Jennifer Devereaux)

Seven or eight songs into the concert Vince gave the microphone to Nikki to say a few words to the crowd. “You guys having a good time tonight? Because it seems like some of you are on bath salts. Wake the fuck up, alright, come on! The fucking bimbos in the front row, stop taking selfies, you’re at a fucking rock concert. Jesus Christ! The rest of you guys that came here to see Motley Crue, we have to say that you guys made Motley Crue, you guys called the radio stations, you came to the concerts and you guys made us who we are so thank you very much”. Did he just call two ladies in the front row who paid at least $1000.00 to be there, bimbos? Why, yes he did. Why would you talk to you fans like that? Why? Because he is Nikki Fucking Sixx and this is Motley Fucking Crue!! They didn’t get where they are today by being nice. Motley is rude, crude and in your face and they are the bad boys of rock n roll and back in the day Nikki would have had those girls on the tour bus for an after show snack.

Nikki talks to the crowd

(photo Frank Colucci)

Motley raged on for two hours. Sixteen songs, and solos from both Tommy and Mick. Tommy’s Crucifly drum solo/roller coaster ride came in after “Louder than Hell” off of 1985’s Theater of Pain. For over ten minutes Tommy went from one end of the American Airlines Arena to the other high above the crowd, spinning and playing completely upside down. I honestly can’t think of anything else that could ever top the Crucifly as far as an over the top way to play the drums. Even though he was playing over some of his favorite non-Motley tunes and not like a traditional drum solo, it really was spectacular; and for him to do it night after night is really something else. Earlier in the day while on our backstage tour we learned what it takes to build this massive roller coaster every day. Over a 125 drops from the arena ceiling just to hold it up and the crew rolls in at 8a show day and has everything ready to go usually by 3p goes to show you, how much hard work and creativity goes into putting on a show of this magnitude.

 

Cruecifly high

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

Followed by Tommy were Mick’s sleazy yet heavy guitar riffs. Five minutes of shredding that segued into “Mutherfucker of the Year” off of the bands last studio album, 2008’s Saints of Los Angeles. Did I mention Mick’s tone? SICK! Those who know, know!

Vince high above

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

The last song on the main stage was one of Motley’s biggest songs of all time, both on radio and MTV. “Kick Start My Heart” off of 1989’s Dr. Feelgood. What a way to end a concert. With a song title like that, you know your adrenaline will be pumping. Half way through the song Vince and Nikki each were taken separately high above the audience to finish out the concert on these crane type stage extensions. Confetti was raining down on the floor while the stage was exploding with pyro like the grand finale of fireworks display on the 4th of July, and ending with a flaming pentagram directly behind Tommy as his drums also rose again on the Crucifly. Vince and Nikki returned to the stage and were joined by Tommy and Mick to take their final goodbye bow.

End of concert Tommy pentagram

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

The lights went out and after a few minutes Motley returned for their encore; another huge song for them in the late 80’s, early 90’s Theater of Pains “Home Sweet Home”. This was of course preformed on the Cruesnest stage.

As sad as it is to say that I’ll never get to see Motley Crue again (Providing they stick to their commitment of never touring again) I have to admit, it’s pretty cool how they went about retiring. We all know these guys aren’t done. They are just done with Motley Crue. Nikki has his band SixxAM, Vince has had a solo career for years already, Tommy has dabbled in a few projects over the years and is a proven club DJ and Mick has already said in interviews that he plans on a solo album and tour not long after the Motley machine is shut down. They are closing shop while still looking good, sounding great and staying true to what makes them Motley Crue. Something a few other bands should take notice of.

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(Photo-Jennifer Devereaux)

I’d like to end by saying thank you to Motley Crue. Thank you for eight great studio albums. (I boycotted the band during the one album with John Corabi singing) Thank you for fourteen bad ass concerts over twenty five years for me personally (second most that I have seen one band – Anthrax #16 at the end of September) I can’t wait for each of your next chapters. This guy will be checking it all out for sure. Now, be strong and “Shout at the Devil”!

Nikki flame

(Photo-Frank Colucci)

Alice Cooper set list – 1.”The Black Widow” 2.”No More Mr. Nice Guy” 3.”Under My Wheels” 4.”I’m Eighteen” 5.”Billion Dollar Babies” 6.”Poison” 7.”Dirty Diamonds” 8.”Go to Hell” 9.”Feed My Frankenstein” 10.”Killer” 11.”I Love the Dead” 13.”School’s Out”

Motley Crue set list – 1.”Girls, Girls, Girls” 2.”Wild Side” 3.”Primal Scream” 4.”Same Ol’ Situation” 5.”Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” 6.”Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room” 7.”Looks That Kill” 8.”Mutherfucker of the Year” 9.”Anarchy in the U.K.” 10.”Shout at the Devil” 11.”Louder Than Hell” 12.Drum Solo 13.Drum Solo 14.”Saints of Los Angeles” 15.”Live Wire” 16.”Dr Feelgood” 17.”Kickstart My Heart” 18.”Home Sweet Home”

An Extra Special Thank You to Jennifer Devereaux for providing us with some images for this article. Check out her work at

http://www.jenndphotography.com/

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