Denim, leather, big hair, bandanas and gyrating girls — what else do you need when the world’s most notorious band, Mötley Crüe, is in Penticton?
How about some downright dirty, extremely loud, rock and roll? Yup, they had lots of that too, and a pretty much sold out South Okanagan Events Centre ate up every second of it.
Drummer Tommy Lee tweeted after the show that even his ears were ringing. After attending many SOEC events, this was the first time I actually had to pop in some earplugs after my bones were rattled from the pounding of the Tommy Lee’s drums and shrill of Mick Mars guitar solos — not that there is anything wrong with that.
The band marched out in procession, with scantily clad girls in tow, around the arena floor dishing out high fives before taking the stage. Frontman Vince Neil waved a giant Mötley Crüe flag and jumped into Saints of Los Angeles. He announced they had a lot of songs to play and he wanted to hear everyone sing. Judging from the straining voices coming off the floor after the show, the crowd obliged.
In a band where each of the personalities are equally giant, they all took turns shining. Neil skipped across the stage with full hair band bravado. His voice, despite reviews from their recent tour in Australia criticizing his performance, sounded good. He did have some back-up help on the finale, Kickstart My Heart, which he performed while wearing a Penticton Vees jersey. That came just over an hour and half after they hit the stage, no encores.
Sixx played to the fans on the side of the stage by strutting up the catwalks, impeccably setting the bass groove and was energetic on stage.
Tommy Lee’s amazing solo on his circular rollercoaster drum kit was killer.
Mars didn’t move quite as much on stage, but his dancing fingers for distinctive riffs on Dr. Feelgood, Live Wire and a little Jimi Hendrix thrown in there for good measure was enough. Those in the front row bowed at his feet praising him with the “We’re-not-worthy” gesture from Wayne’s World.
Just over halfway through their set, Tommy Lee yanked a guy out of the crowd to hop on his drum kit for a 360 degree ride he soon wont forget. He pounded away to club beats, including Skrillex, and then slowed things down by heading to a piano at centre stage for the hit Home Sweet Home.
Warming up the crowd was a very short, but sweet, set by Big Wreck, with Ian Thornley absolutely shredding the guitar playing new songs off Albatross and old favourites like The Oaf and That Song.
While there were no flames or explosions on the Mötley Crüe stage, they did have an elaborate lighting kit. The gimmicks were kept to a minimum from what I have read of their circus themed live performances elsewhere. It seemed as though this crowd didn’t need it, fists were pumping and heads (many with mullet wigs) were banging long before the Crüe arrived. Neil showed his appreciation telling the crowd that they were just in Australia touring and Penticton’s crowd kicked their ass.
“This is one of the best shows we have had,” he screamed.
Set list for Mötley Crüe at the South Okanagan Events Centre:
Saints of Los Angeles
Shout at the Devil
Piece of Your Action
Same Old Situation
Louder Than Hell
Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Home Sweet Home
Tommy Lee drum solo
Too Fast For Love
Girls, Girls, Girls
Kickstart My Heart