Sixx:A.M./Apocalyptica

Starland Ballroom

SAYREVILLE, NJ—Back in October of last year, Sixx:A.M. announced that they would finally be touring for the first time since Cruefest in 2008. Three albums later, this tour was way overdue! For those living under a rock, Sixx:A.M. features Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx, current Guns N’ Roses guitarist DJ Ashba and singer James Michael, whom I interviewed a couple months ago. James, at the time, was super-excited about this tour, and after seeing the success of it, I can see why.

I arrived in the middle of Apocalyptica’s set. I’ve never seen them before, but they were simply outstanding! It was three cellists and a drummer named Mikko Siren, whom I also interviewed about this tour, onstage playing metal music with these classical instruments. It was virtually mind-blowing! The highlights from their impressive set included an instrumental of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” (they used to be a Metallica tribute band on cellos) and their smash-hit song, “I Don’t Care,” which really got the crowd warmed up.

After a short break, this sold-out Starland Ballroom was jam-packed and ready for the legendary Nikki Sixx to hit the stage. The minute he walked into the monitor area on stage right, the place erupted! You would have thought Elvis walked into the building. The stage darkened as “X-Mas In Hell” from Sixx:A.M.’s debut CD, Heroin Diaries, played on the speakers, amping up the crowd. As the intro ended, the lights came on and Sixx:A.M. tore into their opening song, “Let’s Go,” off of their latest CD, Modern Vintage. They would then follow their opener with two more songs from Modern Vintage, “Give Me A Love” and “Relief.”

Sixx:A.M. had this crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. After warming them up with those new songs, they started to play the songs that made every person in this room fall in love with them. They ripped into the title track of their second CD, This Is Gonna Hurt, followed by “Pray For Me,” “Dead Man’s Ballet” and “Accidents Can Happen” off of Heroin Diaries before diving back into the disco-sounding “Miracle” off of Modern. This was a great mix of songs, which was picked by the fans via an online survey.

The amazing mix of songs from the three records continued with “Live Forever,” “Gotta Get It Right,” a cover of The Cars’ hit “Drive,” “Help Is On The Way” and “Goodbye My Friends.”  Obviously, like any professional, you go out swinging, and Sixx:A.M. was no different, as they would end their set with their smash hits “Lies Of The Beautiful People” and “Stars.” There was a quick break for an encore where Nikki and crew would come back out to perform the mellow “Stars” and then close the show out with the monstrous “Life Is Beautiful.”

I walked out of the Starland Ballroom excited and relieved that Sixx:A.M. did not let me down. I did agree with my friend Dave that this is an arena band and they should not be playing small venues, but I also felt that they were testing the waters with this tour to see how much people really wanted to see them. I think they got their answer. My wife and I enjoyed the show so much we ended up going to see it again in Philly a few nights later. Mötley Crüe might be retiring, but Nikki Sixx is far from retirement. If this is his retirement plan, then as he says, “Life is beautiful!”

—by , July 1, 2015


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