HOLMDEL, NJ—“It has been written, ‘Those who have the youth have the future,’ so come now, children of the Beast, be strong and Shout at the Devil!” These are the famous words that lead into one of the greatest Mötley Crüe songs of all-time, and on this day, the ‘children of the Beast’ did gather—on an extremely hot day that felt like hell at times—we were strong, and we definitely shouted at the Devil! But before we could, we had to endure a cool 45-minute set from the legendary New York Dolls, led by David “Buster Pointdexter” Johansen, which included songs like “Dance Like A Monkey,” “Pills,” Trash” and “Personality Crisis.” The Dolls, who were celebrating their 40th Anniversary, performed to their loyal followers and anyone else who came early, scratching their heads, wondering who these old cats were.
Up next was ‘the other band’ that everyone came to the PNC Bank Arts Center to see. Poison, who were celebrating 25 years together, opened with my favorite song, “Look What The Cat Dragged In,” the title track of their 1986 debut. Bret Michaels, C.C. DeVille, Bobby Dall and Rikki Rockett definitely seemed to be having fun again up on that stage, despite the rumors of them not getting along. Not to mention, they all still seemed somewhat young. I guess all of that make-up will have that effect. Poison ripped through all of their classics like “Ride The Wind,” “Fallen Angel,” “Unskinny Bop,” “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn;” the song that put them on the map, “Talk Dirty to Me,” and “Nothin’ But A Good Time,” but they also added a couple cover songs like “Your Mama Don’t Dance” and “We’re An American Band.” Going into it, I didn’t think that I would, but I fully enjoyed Poison’s set. Did we really need a Rikki Rockett drum solo or an unaccompanied C.C. DeVille guitar solo though? I would’ve rather had another song.
And then it was time for the real reason why we were all gathered at PNC: The now 30-year-old Mötley Crüe, who wasted no time and literally kicked off their set with a bang! An explosion, a curtain fall, and there was Mick Mars and Tommy Lee leading the charge into “Wild Side,” Vince Neil and my hero, Nikki Sixx, who seemed to be in his Shout At The Devil make-up, led The Crüe into their next song, “Saints Of Los Angeles,” the title track off of their most recent studio CD and the only ‘new’ song the Bad Boys of Rock played on this night.
Otherwise, it was a night full of the usual classics like “Live Wire,” “Shout at the Devil,” “Same Ol’ Situation,” “Primal Scream;” my favorite Motley song of all-time, “Home Sweet Home,” “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away),” “Looks That Kill,” “Dr. Feelgood,” “Too Young To Fall In Love,” “Ten Seconds To Love,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” and “Kickstart My Heart” with no encore at the end of the show.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the highlight of the night wasn’t Tommy Lee’s super-awesome rollercoaster drum solo, in which he picked somebody out of the crowd to ride with him. Though Lee later tweeted that the Jersey crowd was ‘high or something,’ I thought the crowd was just as loud and energetic as I’ve ever seen it, and I’ve seen many a Crüe show over their 30 years. Oh well, I guess us Jerseyans just have no place in Tommyland.