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REVIEW : Energized Motley Crue Still Ready for Big Venues

These are days of rebuilding for Motley Crue. Not only is the band re-emerging with a new singer, but it’s also facing a time when its brand of screeching party rock has faded in favor of newer voices and styles.

Which explains why this pioneering Los Angeles metal act found itself headlining the relatively cozy Hollywood Palladium on Sunday, after spending much of the ‘80s stretching out in epic sports arenas. None of this seemed to affect the band’s energy on stage, suggesting that the Crue is here for the long haul, just waiting for this era of grunge and gangsta to pass.

New singer John Corabi’s gravelly roar replaces the shrill whine of Vince Neil (ejected from the band in 1992), though little else has changed in the Crue’s sound. On Sunday, there remained the same pounding guitar roar from Mick Mars, and the harsh, frantic rhythm from drummer Tommy Lee.

Bassist-songwriter Nikki Sixx railed obscenely against the music industry and other villains between songs. Corabi also sneered at attempts to make certain recordings (e.g., Motley Crue albums) legally off-limits to minors, though the band should rethink its clumsy use of swastikas to illustrate that point during “Power to the Music.”

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Motley Crue occasionally revealed more finesse than that. During a semi-acoustic first encore, the quartet actually sat down to pick through its 1985 country-flavored ballad “Home Sweet Home.” And the group was joined for the Beatles’ “Revolution” by Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke (who opened the night with his new band). Proof enough that the Crue is still ready for the big rooms.


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