August 27th – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater – St. Louis, MO – it started off just like every other concert night……full parking lot, long lines, & excited fans talking about the last time they’d seen “The Band” on tour. But, this is where the similarities stopped. There was a burning anticipation & feel of excitement buzzing around the venue…&, I admit, I was giving it off too. Having never seen Motley Crue perform, & not been to a KISS show in almost seventeen years, I didn’t know quite what to expect.
Getting ready for the huge screen-clock behind the stage to chime, & the band to make their way stealthily out to the stage, we were surprised to see the sporadic parade happening behind us. Led by a flag-toting Vince Neil, a handful of scantily clad women, & Nikki Sixx sporting an oversized fire-extinguisher type canon…the robed procession wound tightly through the crowd & onto the darkened grandstand to kick off one epic party. Everyone couldn’t help but pray to the “Saints of Los Angeles”, as they cranked out the title track from the 2008 album…& the action didn’t miss a beat, as they transitioned rogue-fully into “Wild Side”. As the set moved into even higher gear…the hits kept rolling on. Same Ol’ Situation, Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away), & Dr. Feelgood…it was a flashback of THE BEST 80’s & 90’s MOTLEY CRUE hits, & for having toured more than thirty years, Neil & crew still had the sound & vibrancy of their heyday.
When the crowd’s heartbeats returned to normal, & the last of the stage prep was finished, the lights dimmed & there was a choir of voices mimicking the announcement – “You wanted the best…you got the best…the hottest band in the land…KISS!!!” – & then, the curtain dropped. Gene, Paul, & Tommy greeted the horde of “Kiss Army” comrades by descending to the stage from a raised platform up in the catwalks, while the timeless classic “Detroit Rock City” put everyone in the right state of mind.
SHOWMEN: that is about the only word to describe the members of this iconic band. They may have a new album on the market, but you wouldn’t have known it from the line-up they played. “Shout It Out Loud”, ”Firehouse”, Gene’s bass solo leading into an aerial act of “God of Thunder”, & “Rock & Roll All Night”…the entourage came to show fans that they can still rock as hard as they did in the 70’s & 80’s – & they still have fun doing it! Paul “The Starchild” Stanley showered the front rows with signature Kiss “The Tour” guitar picks, as Gene Simmons played his part as “The Demon” to the evilest of abilities. Lumbering around…platform boots, lickin’ his bass, & flashing his famous tongue…his menacing presence could even be sensed at the back of the arena. Tommy Thayer fit the role as “Spaceman” – by shredding the classic riffs & providing the depth of backing vocals needed. Eric Singer as “The Cat” owned the back of the stage, & the driving rhythm kept the intensity of the evening going until the house lights came back up.
If you are debating seeing a couple of bands from yesteryear, you will not be disappointed with this pairing – HARD ROCK THEATRICS delivered by two LEGENDARY ACTS. It could surely be “THE TOUR” of a lifetime.
Kelly Revelle – September, 2012