The Tour 2012 – KISS & Motley Crue

Written by on August 23, 2012 in August 23, 2012, Cover Story, Live Reviews - Comments Off on The Tour 2012 – KISS & Motley Crue

July 20, 2012
Bristow, VA

KISS & Motley CrueI’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice, so I’m gonna say it again.  KISS is one of the best bands to see live, but you put them together with Motley Crue?  You get “The Tour”.  Couldn’t have been more aptly named if you ask me. This tour has been one of the most talked about concerts ever since it was announced and it was wanted so badly by so many people even before it was announced.  I can’t tell you how stoked I was to hear that Bristow (miraculously) got chosen as the first date of the tour.  Just a heads up, this may be longer than my normal reviews, there was just so much that went on.  It was an amazing, amazing show so here goes:

The night started with a band from the UK called “The Treatment”.  Now needless to say, I was pretty much anxiously waiting for the other parts of the show and was sitting there kinda getting myself situated and people watching. I was pleasantly surprised by this young group of guys.  They came out to start their set and the first thing I thought was “holy hell we’re back in the 80’s”, and I wondered how much Aqua Net these guys used.  Once they got to playing though their songs were really good, I was impressed and by the end of what was an 8 song set from their debut album “This Might Hurt”, including, “Drink, Fu**, Fight”, “World on Fire”, and “Going on at the Party” among others.  They did a great job of starting off the night.  I’m gonna be on Itunes downloading this one for sure.

Motley CrueAfter a break for the next set up, the lights lowered and this HUGE clock shows up on the screen on stage and before you know it, the audience is counting down with the second hand, “5, 4, 3, 2,1” and they go wild only to realize the second hand reset to 4 seconds left and of course the boos began, it was here that I realized my butt wouldn’t see my seat again this evening.  The stage took on a ominous blue hue and giant hooded figures were announcing “Here Ye, Here Ye”, they said a few other things but I couldn’t understand it and the crowd was so enthralled with what was going on up on the stage that little did they know that the band was entering from the middle of the stadium, in the crowd, with a procession of leather clad girls (gasp of surprise), medieval looking banners carrying the initials “MC” and a few guys known as Motley Crue (sans Mick Mars).  When they took the stage, they had a guy climb up the loop/drum set and bang a hammer like he was fixing the clock and counting the seconds down.  When the alarm sounded at zero, the place went ape shit and “The Tour” had officially begun.

Beginning the night was “Saints of Los Angeles” and already the crowd was singing, head banging, and pounding their fists (I admit I was too).  There is so much happening on the stage, first you got the band of course, then the tons of lights everywhere, the ladies doing aerial acrobatics, you kinda don’t know where to look.  Vince Neil sounds a little rough but you would too if you’ve been doing this since 1981.  Next up was “Wild Side” & “Shout at the Devil” (Pentagram and all), after which Vince tell’s the crowd “Welcome to the crazy fuckin’ world of Motley Crue, we’re honored to be here with KISS”.  They continue to take us back with, “Same Ole’ Situation”, “Looks That Kill”, and “Don’t Go Away Mad”.  Vince asked the audience “who likes sex?”, “I know I do” and they play their new single “Sex” which I must say I haven’t heard much on mainstream radio, but they play the crap out of it on satellite radio (thank you Sirius).  During this song, for the second time in the show, they had these guys on the crew, go and shoot off these huge water cannons.  Now I got a little taste of this earlier in the show (being in the 4th row) but this time I got soaked and I mean, hair dripping, had to change my shirt soaking wet, I even had to hide my notebook and phone fast kind of soaked but I was loving every single minute of it.

Motley CrueNow it’s time for Tommy Lee’s drum solo and granted he is using a previous drum set, I was still amazed when the techno music started and this huge digital hand grabbed Tommy and his Pearl drum set for a spin and hung him upside down, where he started slaying the near sold out crowd watching on.  He was playing to Techno music that was matching his beat which was kind of weird but hell this is Tommy Lee, who cares.

He went round and round some more and then played upside down for a few then he came back down, slayed the crowd even more upright at the bottom and then moved back and forth like a pirate ship ride at the fair.  One more time he went upside down and blasted a little pyro and came down once again.  At this time he addressed the audience, “You like that shit?”, “Well, I fuckin’ love it man”, “Can I get a fuck yeah?, and the crowd gives Tommy what he asks for .  He goes on to tell us that he has “an extra seat up in this bitch” and lets us in on a little known secret (at that time) that the night before they had an impromptu concert for members of the armed forces and their families ONLY, which I think was awesome of them, and from what I heard it was over 3,000 people.  Evidently the band got to choose one service member to ride on the drum set opening night with Tommy and the soldier that was chosen actually told them he wanted his wife to do it, so out she came on stage and got strapped in, Tommy had everyone “Say Hi to Whitney” and she was greeted by the huge crowd.  When she was strapped up and ready he asked her “You got poop in your pants? No? Well, you’re going to”, then he told her to “Strap in  those titties mama, cause we’re about to go for a god damn ride” and they went up and around to “Roller Coaster Of Love”, they settled once again at the bottom then he said “Backwards” and off they went.  When they came back down the last time and she left, he said “Holy shit, she did it”, and told the crew “Hey someone check that lady for poo poo in her pants”.

Tommy got off the drum set and came center stage to a grand piano that had been put there during his solo and of course everyone knows what that’s for, Tommy said “This next song is gonna be appropriate as hell man, thanks for making us feel right at home, let’s go home.  He began tickling the ivories and in came Mick Mars and with a fist pound and Tommy telling him “Come On Mick Doggie” they began the opening notes to “Home Sweet Home” and soon were joined next by Nikki Sixx and a few moments later, Vince Neil.  The audience drowns them out a few times singing so loudly but it’s all good.  After this, Nikki Sixx addresses the crowd “How the fuck are you doin?”  and goes on to say that they haven’t toured with KISS since 1982 and then flames come flying out of his guitar and they play “Primal Scream”.  After that Vince tells the audience that “there’s nothing like a sweaty fucking summer concert”, “nothing like getting on your bike, with your girl behind you, and the wind in your hair”, which led into, you guessed it, “Girls, Girls, Girls”.  They ended the night with “Kickstart My Heart” and asking the audience “Did you have a good time tonight?”, “Are you ready for KISS?”, “Remember one thing, we are Motley Fuckin’ Crue”.  With that they exited the stage.

Motley CrueMotley CrueMotley CrueMotley CrueMotley CrueMotley CrueMotley CrueMotley CrueMotley CrueCrue was a fan-freaking-tastic show, in my opinion.  These guys have been around for 31 years, they’ve beat the path and back numerous times and lived the rock star life for a long, long time.  Admittedly, I hadn’t seen them since the “Girls, Girls, Girls” tour and I was so wasted I don’t remember much of it but this time I remember everything.  They put on a HELL of a show, the light show was amazing, of course Tommy’s drum set was sick, Mick can still play the shit out of a guitar and Nikki too and no matter you or anyone else says, Vince may have had his moments but he still sings his ass off IMO.  I felt transformed back to the 80’s, it was like being taken back in time, head banging, fist pumping, screaming, singing at the top of your lungs no matter if you are in tune or not.  The crowd enhanced the experience cause they were all doing the same.  I was like I said, soaking wet, lost my voice the day after, hoarse for a week (no lie) and I loved every minute of it.

After withstanding the long lines at the bathroom, beer vendors, and merch tents, the audience returned to their seats, some of us still soaked from Crue, awaiting the next band, which was KISS.

KISSLowering the big black curtain with the bands’ name on it, the crowd knows the show is just about to begin.  Next you hear “You want the best, you got the best, the greatest band in the world” and Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer descend from the rafters and immediately play “Detroit Rock City” followed by “Shout It Out Loud”.

Paul asks the crowd “How ya’ doin?”, “We know why you’re here”, “We’re here to rock and roll, kick some ass, and blow shit up”.  The crowd reacts to that statement with a resounding shout.

Next was “I Love it Loud” after which appeared a sound meter on the screen on stage and Paul tells the audience that if they don’t peg the meter, he’s not gonna come out in the crowd.  On the second try, the meter pegs and he flies above the audience out to the sound board and they perform “Love Gun”.  After that, Paul announces that “We got a feelin’ people”, “someone’s gonna have to call the fire department” and they go into “Firehouse” and after that song, Gene spits fire from his sword, which looked completely awesome.

The next song was “War Machine” and they were showing this army of robots that look kinda like a Gene Simmons army.  Paul asks “Everybody having a good time?”, “Are you getting what you came for?”  “HELL YEAH”, the crowd responds.

KISSTommy asks, “Are you ready for some old school?” and they play “Shock Me, and he plays his solo and shoots pyro out of his guitar as he raises to the ceiling slaying the crowd on his Gibson, Eric Singer comes from the belly of the stage and one up’s him with a solo of his own and when he completes his solo he stands up with a grenade launcher and that gets shot well.

Paul takes the mike take and tells the crowd that they have a new album out titled “Monster” and that he went on itunes today and bought it.  The next song is a single from that album titled “Hell or Hallelujah”.

Next up the bass solo and Gene transforms into “The Demon” with blood from his mouth and all as he flies up to the rafters and they perform “God of Thunder” and “Lick it Up”.  They ended with “Black Diamond” and say “Virginia, Bristow, we love ya’”.  But we all know it doesn’t end there, the screen flashes “KISS” on and off and the crowd starts chanting “KISS, KISS, KISS” and they come back on stage and Paul tells the crowd that they are threatening to cut the power off.  Most people know about the whole Bruce Springsteen/Paul McCartney thing but Bristow has a noise ordinance and the show was supposed to be over by 11 to comply.  OOPS!  Evidently it was after 11 already but I bet you the fact that KISS gave $250,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project the night before allowed them to play just a little bit longer.  Paul said “I don’t know about you but I wanna rock and roll all night”.  They finish up with, of course, “Rock and Roll All Night” with the cannons of confetti going off showering the venue so much you thought you were in Alaska it was so white.

That was then end of the show.

KISSI have to say, KISS puts on a great set as well, yes, there are things that are standard for them, like the flying over the crowd and Gene spitting blood but what would you think if you went to a KISS concert and this didn’t happen?  It’s sort of a trademark thing and it has to happen.  I hated the fact that the show was shortened due to the noise ordinance, you would think for something like that there would be an exception although I did hear that the bands may have been fined for going past time.  KISS is the kind of band that when you go to their show you expect to be treated to an awesome show and for the 3 times I have been to them, I have gotten that each time.  First off, you have to, and I mean have to be in awe of the fact that these guys are doing what they are doing at their ages and I don’t care who you are, Paul Stanley looks damn good even now (nah, he’s not my favorite).  He still shakes his ass with the best of ‘em.  Gene Simmons, well what can you say, he’s “The Demon”.  He’s Gene Simmons for Christ sake.  KISS wouldn’t be KISS without these two guys.  A lot of people say well, if you’ve seen them once, you’ve seen them every time.  Not true.  There are things that stay the same, yes.  So What?  They aren’t the only ones.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  The new album is gonna be great, if “Hell or Hallelujah” is any indication of that.  They still rock.

KISSKISSKISSKISSKISSKISSKISSKISSKISSKISSKISSKISSKISSKISSKISSKISSKISSThis show is a must see, it puts you in sensory overload, rocks the shit out of you, and throws you down.  If you get the chance, you must experience this tour.  I know if I get a chance, I’m going back but not to do a review, next time I go it will be me and my husband experiencing the Greatness that is “THE TOUR” as true fans of some of the greatest music that stands the test of time.

KISSI would be remiss if I didn’t mention a couple of fans that I met this evening and had the opportunity to talk to after the show.  Larry Ferguson and Amber Stephenson traveled from Beckley, West Virginia to this show.  He went on to tell me that he had an allergic reaction on the way here and had to stop at the ER and he told the doc that he had to leave by 4:30 no matter what cause he was coming to the show.  This was his 7th time seeing Crue and her 2nd time.  It was actually her first KISS concert.  The only words they had were “fuckin awesome”.  Being huge Motley fans, they thought they were better, but he did say for KISS to be at their age and still have their energy and passion was amazing.  These guys were a row behind me and I know without a doubt that they had a great time, cause I could hear them shouting as loud as me.

I want to extend a HUGE “Thank You” to Jiffy Lube Live & the tour management for allowing us the extreme privilege of being privy to the opening night of the greatest tour of this summer.

Review by: Melissa Gibson
Photography by: Stephen Gibson Photography