Monday, July 4, 2011
Less than 24 hours removed from
U2, I found myself downtown, paying the 20 dollar cover at the Bridgestone Arena for New York Dolls, Poison and Motley Crue. What a difference a day makes. These legendary rockers came to party, and Nashville was happy throw down. There was this one couple, on vacation from Kansas, that asked me what was going on, but everyone else was dressed up right, and in full on party mode.
I finally got in about halfway through New York Dolls' set. This was some of my favorite stuff of the night. The songs were short and mighty, and the band themselves were a riot. These guys seem like they are the real hard rock warriors. They have been at this vocation and lifestyle since the early 70s. Think of what a glam punk band goes through in 40 years. They belong in a smokey club in L.A. with loose women and cheap beer playing songs about how awesome their life is. At least that's what I'd like to think, that they'd kill it in front of 300 people, more so than several thousand. But still, I liked it.
Poison took the stage greeted by a Spinal Tap-type moment when the New York Dolls' banner refused to fall, leaving the glamor shot of Bret Michaels' abs still somewhat covered. While the boys ripped through a couple covers including "Your Momma Don't Dance" and Grand Funk's "American Band", the roadies worked feverishly and finally got that banner out of the way. They ran through a set of what you would expect, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", "Talk Dirty To Me", and "Nothin But A Good Time", stopping only for a killer solo from C.C. DeVille, which was shredded thoroughly with a little Jimmy Page and Eddy Van Halen influence thrown in. Although his energy and showmanship were top notch, Bret's vocals have seen better days, and Rikki Rocket's constant drum stick trickery was ninja-esque.
Motley Crue literally blasted into their set, completely forgoing any dimming of the house lights or music, and suddenly tearing down their black curtain and going right into "Wild Side" along side some startling pyro bursts. Their stage show included scantily clad dancers who doubled as back ground singers. Tommy Lee's drum set was situated on a huge circular metal track, on which the drums would glide during his long electro-techno infused solo. He even got a girl up from the crowd to "strap in" and ride the roller coaster. Vince Neil was his true L.A. self the whole show, with a "F'n this maaaaan" here and an "F'n that maaaaan" there and a whole lot more R rated material throughout the show, but he certainly wasn't the motliest. Nikki Sixx personified debauchery, spitting mouthfuls of water into the faces in the front row, and stopping the the whole show to have an awkward conversation with the audience.
This show was all about having a rollickin', old school good time. The crowd sang along to songs like "Same Ol' Situation", "Smokin' In The Boys' Room", my personal favorite, "Dr. Feelgood", and they all swayed and sang together for "Home Sweet Home." They may be getting older, as they were on their 30th anniversary tour, but they are still just as rowdy as ever. The ending suite of "Girls, Girls, Girls" and "Kickstart My Heart" was the perfect finale for this big party.
From here, I went to the after party at 12th and Porter, to which I had come across a "VIP" ticket. It was some kind of promotional red carpet thing for Vince Neil, and apparently, I everyone had the same ticket as me. It was a surreal scene straight out of early 90s L.A, with plastic boobilicious groupies everywhere and creepy leatherfaced rockers slithering about. When I got there, the worst band ever, Messer, was starting. They were just bad, bad enough to make you know who look like the Crue. The only reason I stuck around was because I knew local punks The Worsties were next and I wanted to check them out. They came with their own punk/party tunes and their chick singer thrashed that stage and put on a helluva show. By this time, I realized that I wasn't going to meet Tommy Lee and got out of there, ending my belated 80s glam night.