CRUE FEST – 07/15/08

Crue Fest featuring Motley Crue, Buckcherry, Papa Roach, SIXX:A.M., Trapt (07/15/08, DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan)

Yesterday’s show was a blast. If you’ve never been to DTE, it’s a pavilion that seats 15,000 and some odd change (about 8,000 of that are lawn seats) out in a nice quiet place called Clarkston, Michigan. Despite Detroit being miles away, no music acts ever play Clarkston when they’re at DTE, they play Detroit. It’s more prestigious sounding that way. A pretty nice & clean outdoor place, with tons of shops inside the gates to blow your money on heavily overpriced beer, margarita, snow cones, merchandise, mini-fans, and pizza. Just like Disney World!

Actually, the merchandise (well, t-shirts at least), weren’t too bad. Depending on the style, they were $25-35. That was for Motley though, I didn’t even notice merchandise for other bands, though I’m sure it was there. I’ve seen and heard horror stories of worse! They even had Crue panties, which I initially wanted my old lady, Connie, to pick up. She didn’t seem impressed with the idea, but I guess it worked out for the best. Who wants gothic images of Mick Mars popping in your head when you’re trying to get it on?

So the gates opened at 3:30, which is about when we arrived. It was about an 80 minute trip from Lansing to Clarkston. Parking was plentiful at that point, yet the tailgate parties were already in full bloom. Visions of Heavy Metal Parking Lotfilled my head as every Tom, Dick, and Joe Bob chugged beer, sat in lawn chairs, and blasted music in their pick-up trucks with pride, each and every one obviously fancying themselves parking lot DJs. As we got out of the car, off in the distance, the sight of two ladies (who no doubt were of age to have caught the Crue’s performances at the Starwood in ’81) dressed like Bratz dolls, each holding a can of beer in their hand and grinding on each other gave me a chuckle and I had to point it out to Connie.

After a quick frisking (which I quite liked), we were inside DTEwalking around and we ended up inadvertantly taking the long way to the actual pavilion, where we stood in line for about 30 minutes waiting for DTE to allow everyone to start taking their seats. We had lawn seats, which I was told were still a good view, and that’s true. I just wish I didn’t have the sun beating down on me. Oh why, oh why didn’t I get pavilion seats?! Oh yeah, my bank account wouldn’t allow it. All in all though, it was a pretty good day weather-wise, nice ‘n’ breezy, just the way I like to keep my conversations and relationships.

We were center on the lawn with the stage, only a few rows back from the actual pavilion. Between the annoying drunk guy a few spots over from us and the two comely blond 20-somethings a few spots in front (one of which was exceptional looking in her skintight blue jeans), it was the best of times and it was the worst of times.

There was an intermission after every band.

Trapt:

This was a band I was surprised to hear get a slot on CrueFest because I didn’t even know they were still around. The last time I ever remember them getting much airplay was in ’05. They hit the stage around 5PM or so, playing to a probably 1/4 full DTE Energy Music Theatre. The crowd that was there was pretty into them, though I’ve never cared much for them outside a few of their singles and certainly didn’t care whether they were on this bill or not. But hey, I paid money for ALL of these bands, so I’m going to watch ALL of these bands. I never got why some people only show up for the “big” names after buying a ticket, seems like throwing money away, to me, to show up half-way through the concert. You might actually end up liking something new.

If you like Trapt, you would’ve liked this performance. Like I said, they have a few good songs (“Headstrong”, “Still Frame”), and I enjoyed hearing those live, but there some of the other songs I didn’t know (and wasn’t impressed with) and they played the single, “Who’s Going Home with You Tonight?”, from their upcoming album to be released in August, which I was ok and could grow on me if I actually still listened to anything but XM Radio’s Boneyard station. Still, compared to what you hear on the radio, they sounded very much alike though. Singer has a great voice.

I believe the set list looked something like this:
“Headstrong”, “Still Frame”, “Who’s Going Home with You Tonight?”, “Stand Up”, “Echo”, with possibly another song or two

SIXX:A.M.:

I was looking forward to this band for a few reasons: to see Nikki early, to hear James Michael live, and because the album rocks. James has a great powerful voice and they opened with the equally powerful “Pray for Me”. Band did a great job on this song and DTE was close to half full at this point and the crowd was going crazy during this performance. D.J. Ashba is a great guitarist, but I’m not sure who played drums with’em. Oh wait, Wikipedia says Joshua Stevens. So there you go.

“Accidents Can Happen” and “Tomorrow” (which I think James said would be the next single) also highlighted this 30 minute set. Of course, they ended it with “Life Is Beautiful”, which is one of the greatest rock songs from the last few years and people went insane over this, singing along with James. I’d love to see this band live again, James did an amazing job on the record and just as well live.

Couldn’t find any set list online, but I think it went like this:

“XMas in Hell”, “Pray for Me”, “Heart Failure”, “Intermission”, “Accidents Can Happen”, “Tomorrow”, “Life Is Beautiful”

Some sites say they’ve been playing “Van Nuys” as well, but I don’t remember them playing that.

Papa Roach:

By the time these ex rap-metalheads hit the stage, the placed was pretty packed. Except for a like, 6 full rows at the very end of the pavilion, which didn’t fill up until right before Motley stormed the stage. This was Connie’s big reason for going and while I’ve never bothered with this band past Infest, looking back, they have some great singles and they put on a killer show. As much as the crowd popped for SIXX:A.M., they so even more for Papa Roach. Jacoby even ran through the pavilion singing and for some bizarre reason during the middle of a song, James Michael and Buckcherry guitarist Keith Nelson showed up in the crowd hugging people, waving and shaking hands. Michael/Nelson in ’08 ?! Or maybe they were just trying to score some of that weed we kept smelling.

Set was probably close to 45 minutes and they played all the hits, with the new single (album also coming out in August), “I Almost Told You I Loved You” being the only song I hadn’t heard. And because I copped it from another blog, here’s their set list:

“…To Be Loved”, “Forever”, “Time Is Running Out”, “Getting Away With Murder”, “Scars”, “Broken Home”, “Between Angels and Insects”, “I Almost Told You I Loved You”, “Last Resort”

Energy was way high during this set, from the band and crowd, they did an awesome job and they were obviously the #2 band in terms of popularity at the show.

Buckcherry:

Tons of energy from this band. Josh Todd is a maniac andthey all deliver that old school rock ‘n’ sleaze attitude that makes them perfect touring buddies for Motley. A tremendous throwback to the GNRscene of the 80s, and I mean that in a good way because they make it their own. Weird thing is, at this point in their career, the band really doesn’t have enough hits to do a 45 minute set that’ll keep the crowd hot considering their first album was only a minor hit (and that came out 9 years ago), the second album bombed, and most people only know them from their last album’s hits, “Crazy Bitch” and “Sorry”. Don’t get me wrong, they loved the performance, but they were more into Papa Roach.

I actually thought this was the #2nd best performanceof the night behind Motley, because Buckcherry fits my preferred style of rock. Josh Todd is a great front man and brought back the great tradition of the stage rap as they segued in and out of “Crazy Bitch” giving it a great funk intro and extending the song to about 10 minutes and including parts of Billy Squire’s “The Stroke” (which the crowd totally sung along with) and ranting about procreation and saying that if you wanna get fucked, you wanna get fucked by a crazy bitch (mimicking a girl fixing her hair and having big boobs) and kept saying “crazy bitch, suck my dick, right between your big ol’ tits”. This was a great performance based on that song alone and someone needs to YouTube it from this tour. The crowd, of course, at this song up as did the ladies with “Sorry”.

Promotion time, they have a new album coming out in September and played “Too Drunk” which was pretty good and funky sounding. I was hoping they’d play “Ridin'” (which I’ve read they’ve played already on this tour) and “For the Movies”, but I guess they axed “Ridin'” for the night and “For the Movies” has been replaced by “Sorry” as the essential Buckcherry ballad, so no luck there.

Not sure of the exact order of the set list, but here’s what they played:

“So Far” (I think), “Next 2 You”, “Lit Up”, “Broken Glass”, “Everything”, “Sorry”, “Too Drunk”, “Crazy Bitch”

Motley Crue:

Obviously, the biggest pop of the night. They was some stuff going on with a silhouette of an angel, then the devil and then they came roaring out with “Kickstart My Heart”. Man, I love these guys. They just sound so powerful live! I caught them on 2005’s Carnival of Sin tour (where it was nearly a 3 show with no opener) and they did a great job then and I would say even better job here. Even Mick’s solo was good! The Carnival of Sin solo, not so much.

Not many surprises from the set list, of course they included “Saints of Los Angeles”, which already a classic Crue cut, IMO, and all the singers from the other bands came out andsung the secondhalf of the song with the band.

“Mutherfucker of the Year” is apparently gonna be the next single andthey told us they were shooting footage for the video for it. This, I found odd. First off, for as well as Saints of Los Angelesdebuted on the Billboard charts (#4, if you didn’t know) and as well as their tours do, who’s going to play a Motley music video in 2008? Well, apparently “Fuse or something” because Nikki said MTV can “suck my dick, they don’t play videos anymore” which got a huge pop from the crowd. Secondly, no one can play it anyway because it’s got the word “mutherfucker” in it! They’d have to censor a great portion of the lyrics and the song title itself. I doesn’t make sense. Nikki must have a thing for releasing songs as singles that he knows are gonna be butchered by the censors because he did the same thing when Brides of Destruction released “Shut the Fuck Up” as their first single a few years back. Funny bit, Nikki told us they were going to shoot B-roll for the video the next night in Chicago. “BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” “Well, what do you think they’ll say when we tell them we shot footage in Detroit?” “YAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!” We had to do a little audience participation for the video and sit down and then jump up with our hands in the air and scream. Cool stuff.

Anyway, I think “The Animal In Me” should be the next single as it has that great mix Motley & modern hard rock that “Sick Love Song” and “If I Die Tomorrow” had.

Not sure how much of this was typical stage rap BS, but Nikki, Tommy and Vince all spoke at times and seemed genuinely touched and amazed by the sell out crowd. Vince mentioned he’d been looking forward to playing the Detroit show the most and Nikki said it was the most packed the tour has been yet and went on to speak about how whenever he’s talked to bands like KISS or the Ramones or whoever “back in Los Angeles” it’s always been said Detroit is their favorite place to play. I’ve read that alot in various interviews from bands, actually.

Some shows are getting the world famous Titty Cam, Detroit did not. I’m guessing maybe it was because DTE is a pavilion with huge monitors on top of it and that would violate some anti-boobies showing laws. We got to see’m on the Carnival of Sin tour, but that was in an arena. So “Sick Love Song” and “Anarchy in the U.K.” replaced the Titty Cam in the set list.

“Kickstart My Heart”, “Wild Side”, “Shout at the Devil”, “Saints of Los Angeles”, “Live Wire”, “Mutherfucker of the Year”, “Sick Love Song”, “Anarchy in the U.K.” (I think they were both placed right about here), “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)”, “Same Ol’ Situation”, “Primal Scream”, “Looks that Kill”, “Girls Girls Girls”, “Dr. Feelgood”, “Home Sweet Home”

The video was top notch throughout this show. Only Motley got to use it, but then it only started getting dark when they took over anyway. I was expecting maybe just a hard camera from the mixing board, but they had lots of angles from the drums, from the pit, etc, with some great close ups on Mick’s guitar.

It was a great performance, with so much smoke, pyro, lasers and flames going off. It was an eye candy orgy! THIS was a rock ‘n’ roll show and Motley deserves all the success they have and more. I’m just glad I’ve seen these legends play twice and I hope to do so more in the future and judging by the sell out crowd and high energy all evening, they’ll probably swing by on the next tour.

If you have a chance to see Crue Fest, do so.

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Posted on July 16, 2008, in Concert Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. One of the few bands I’ve never seen that I’d probably enjoy seeing.

    Nice write-up, man.

  2. Yes, very nice write up. It feels i was their too.

  3. Going tonight in Cincinnati…can’t wait!

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