Rock and film god Matt Smith saw Motley Crue in Indianapolis a few days back; yes, I know that sounds like a shock. Matt and his girl have seen Motley Crue more times than Pam Anderson has. Matt's seen Motley Crue more times than their manager has. We bet there have been times Vince Neil thought Matt WAS the manager:
Well, the times are a changin’! Last week, I was behind on my “Little
Rocking” blog. Now, Jim Harris is behind! So, let’s get caught up!
We had a good time in INDY last week. But, the entire point of the trip was hitting the Motley Crue and Aerosmith concert at Verizon Music Center in
Noblesville. Man, was it worth the trip! Half of Motley Crue rolled into
Indianapolis on Thursday afternoon. Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx buses pulled into the Conrad Hotel early on Thursday. They checked in on our floor. In fact, Nikki Sixx was staying in the suite next to mine. Mick Mars got off the bus, went in his hotel room, and NEVER emerged. Nikki had brought his kids with him. They stayed in the hotel room playing games and watching TV. Nikki kept coming out in to the hallway to smoke and talk on his cell phone. I don’t smoke. But, I did on this day. I got a lighter and some Marlboros and hung out. I had a smoke with Nikki and was able to talk to him. The night was uneventful, however. Nikki was asleep before me!
Vince Neil and Tommy Lee showed up much later in the afternoon. It was around 4 p.m. But, that has been typical for the past two years of this tour. The Masters of Disaster put all this together in December '04 and got rolling in January '05. The new album, “Red, White & Crue,” dropped in February '05. The “ Carnival of Sins” tour was launched and looked like a crazy porno circus. Strippers, clowns, trapeze acts, dancers, Harley Davidson bikes, and midgets slammed the stage. All of that were fine, and a good thing because the CRUE played alone without an opening act. The ‘Sins’ show ran about three hours. It was “buck wild.” This mayhem ran until April of this year -- 18 months on the road.
I saw the “Carnival” show about 35 times. By April, the stress of the road was showing. Motley needed a break. Except for one show date – at “Rock Fest” in July, the CRUE had four months off. I reported to the Arkansas Times on Rock Fest, and the Crue show. It was bad. The April to September break has been a blessing.
Tommy Lee did the “Supernova” show this summer. (I see them on New Year's).
Mick Mars took time to heal and rest. Nikki Sixx spent time with his family, and Vince Neil must have gotten healthy. Vince had been throwing after parties at clubs, bars and strip joints after concerts. I went to a number of those. It got crazy. The pace really seemed to show back in Wisconsin in July. Not now! Vince looks like he has lost a lot of weight and really gotten in shape. He wasn’t in this great of a condition BEFORE the tour kicked off in ’05, or while they were out on the road.
The boys rolled out toward the venue about 6 p.m. on Friday. They had stayed in their hotel rooms all day. They promptly hit the stage at 7:30! What? Motley right ON TIME? Well, it happened. They cranked it up at the exact moment that is printed on the ticket. I must assume this is in the contract with Aerosmith. I have never seen these guys start on time.
There really isn’t a reason to rehash the songs played. I have written it all before. They are doing the same songs on this tour “ Route Of All Evil” as they did on “Carnival Of Sins”. But, some things have been trimmed down. There isn’t a drum solo from Tommy, Vince doesn’t do the acoustic guitar bit, and Nikki doesn’t do the bass solo. Mick Mars does
get a small guitar solo! Now, this is a nice surprise, since he didn’t have one before this fall. He must not have been up to it. He has been in bad health. The set has changed; the red and white are gone. Everything is black now. Things have changed from colorful, to dark.
Skulls, crossbones, daggers, and crosses dominate the stage. No bikes, and just a couple of girls dancing. But, the boys open now for Aerosmith, so they don’t have to carry the whole gig. They put out 90 minutes of hard and fast music, and call it a night. The blood-splattered encore is gone as well. They hit the stage, charge thru the tunes and get out of the way.
The break has been good for everyone. They all look and sound much better than they did back in the spring. Tommy is the only one that hasn’t had time off, but he doesn’t want it. He is one of the most well-known drummers in history, and arguably one of the best. When anyone thinks drummer – Peter Criss, John Bonham, Ringo Star come to mind immediately.
Increasingly, Tommy’s name is in the conversation. He has definitely captured the masses of popular culture. He has had two successful TV shows, solo albums that have really sold, a best-selling book, and continues to play DJ gigs all over America. On many of these Motley tour dates, Tommy is flying in from a DJ gig the night before. There have been many people attempt to copy his drumming style, but I have only seen Randy Castillo come close to getting it down. Randy was that good.
Aerosmith followed after the Crue set was torn down. Vince Neil and Tommy Lee stayed behind to watch Steven Tyler and Joe Perry at work. Nikki and Mick went back to the Conrad. I’m sure Mick needed the rest, and Nikki wanted to be alone with his kids. I will get to the Aerosmith show in another review. We went back to the hotel and were able to join Vince Neil for drinks. Vince has a new girlfriend; the two girls from the spring leg of the tour are long gone. Surprisingly, Vince has the same bodyguard.
After seeing everything this man went through in the spring, it is really hard to believe. I see a lot of postings on fan sites about Vince. These so-called fans say that he is a jerk. Well, they are telling lies. They just say that. The people who tell those stories are just making it up.
They haven’t met the man. He ALWAYS hangs out and is cool. On this night, he takes pictures, has some drinks, talks and is just super to the small group of people in the hotel room. Vince is just cool with people. Unlike say, David Lee Roth … more on that clown later.
“On With The Show” -- Matt Smith