Motley Crue - Sonisphere UK Knebworth (31/07/2010)
Wayne Madden | Wednesday, 04 August 2010
Motley Crue have been riding a wave of nostalgia. Having released their latest album Saints of Los Angeles in 2008, fans quickly realised that as good as tracks like 'Animal In Me' and 'White Trash Circus' were - the band as a whole had little to no input in the creative development of the album, except for Nikki Sixx. In fact, it's fair to say that Sixx's alternative outfit Sixx AM wrote virtually all the material contained within, and released it under another name.
Tonight, Crue are here to remind you of the 1980's, a time when the band could do no wrong - and they did plenty - and when their albums were placed No 1 on the basis of reputation alone. The music on there was good, of course, which helped immensely.
From the opener 'Kickstart My Heart', it's clear that tonight's performance is on too small a stage, with the Sonisphere Saturn Stage packed to capacity and holding the band, their stage set up, and an absurd amount of fireworks. The opening riff of Mick Mars, who reminds you he plays the tracks as if he just wrote them, gives almost as much energy to the crowd as the screams of encouragement from Vince Neil.
Hidden behind the drums and wearing a British favoured top, Tommy Lee introduces the next track 'Dr Feelgood' to another rapturous ovation. In true style, Motley Crue have just 60 minutes onstage and are taking no chances in picking their set. Technical problems hinder the song, and at one point the sound cuts out completely, with the band obviously infuriated but continuing to perform.
In between tracks, there's little banter, as technicans struggle to solve this mysterious problem before it finishes the show altogether. Vince Neil invites the audience to share in some early material - and 'Too Fast For Love' gets a welcome airing. Extra guitars are brought out and Vince strums away before breaking with 'Don't Go Away Mad' - the third track from the Dr Feelgood album tonight - and something which goes down a treat with fans.
There's a little history lesson when a track like '10 Seconds To Love' is aired. Having originally been released on Shout At the Devil, whose title track provides the perfect follower, the band haven't performed the song since 2006 - and before that, who knows when! Despite this, there's a dedicated following, knowing every word and every beat.
Nikki Sixx takes out his Sixx AM bass and the set winds down. It's obvious 60 minutes is far too short for this band, but with a closing rendition of 'Wild Side' and 'Girls Girls Girls' it's obvious this band is doing nothing by the book. Heading to the US Ozzfest in under a week, the performance is one of Nostalgia, with the the most recent track from 1989 - as much as fans may have wanted to hear 'Bitter Pill' it's not going to happen tonight. When (or if) the Crue ever come back to the UK again is unsure - but tonight they've made history.
As they jostle for position, trying to reach the Apollo Stage for Rammstein, for some lucky fans this concert has already ended - with the performance of a lifetime having just taken 3600 seconds.