Concert Review: Motley Crue at the Hollywood Bowl

Motley Crue Live 2011
Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images

SAN BERNARDINO, CA - JULY 31:  Motley Crue performs at Crue Fest 2 at the San Manuel Ampitheater on July 31, 2009 in San Bernardino, California.

Balancing eighties nostalgia (bodacious video vixens) with modern touches (Tommy Lee's 360-degree drums roller coaster), the band does not disappoint a hometown crowd.

Motley Crue’s rock spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl had some decidedly modern touches, like the much hyped 360-degree drum roller coaster that stick man Tommy Lee rides during one segment, even playing upside down as he’s strapped in to the coaster, before then bringing a fan up from the audience to take a ride on his “abusement park,” as Lee dubbed it. And then there was the surprise appearance of the current leader for the title of 2011’s most ubiquitous pop star, Cee-Lo, who rocked with the Crue, throwing in the refrain of “F**k You” with some additional cheerleading during the Crue’s “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away).”

But those were the only reminders that fans were in 2011, because for the rest of the night Motley Crue, with the help of some pyrotechnics, girls, and a lot of arena rock staples, took ecstatic fans back to the 1980s when rock was spelled R-A-W-K! “What’s up Los mother f**king Angeles,” Lee said at one point before going into the crowd. “I can’t believe we’re in Los Angeles. I haven’t seen one titty yet.” Oh yeah.

Ask and you shall receive, during “Shout At The Devil,” a pentagram whirled around on the video screen, before “Don’t Go Away Mad” frontman Vince Neil had a mike stand and guitar brought out to him by two scantily clad women straight out of an an early MTV video.

And without a new album to draw from, Crue, who will be back in L.A. in August to be honored and headline the Sunset Strip Music Festival, were able to deliver a greatest hits fest, from the thunder of “Dr. Feelgood” and ‘Too Young To Fall In Love” to the power ballad “Home Sweet Home,” from the early Crue frenetic energy of “Live Wire” to the hookier side of Crue on songs like “Girls, Girls, Girls” and the more recent “Saints Of Los Angeles.”

Of course the fans ate it up, throwing their devil horns in the air, yelling hell yeah and f**k yeah right back to the hometown heroes. And for Crue, who told those the capacity crowd, “We’re your band, 30 years and we haven’t killed each other,” fully embracing their past glories was triumphant precisely because it was done in full. While personally they’ve evolved from the infamous characters described in The Dirt, when it comes to their music and onstage personas, they remain unapologetically debaucherous, fun-loving rock stars -- an act they perform as well as anybody.


Wild Side

Saints of Los Angeles

Live Wire

Shout At The Devil

Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)

Primal Scream

Home Sweet Home

Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)

Looks That Kill

Dr .Feelgood

Too Young To Fall In Love

Girls, Girls, Girls

Smokin’ In The Boys Room

Kickstart My Heart