Archive and Search
« Too Drunk... | Main | I Wish My Camera Phone... »

Concert Week: Crue Fest Live

After reading all the negative reviews for Crue Fest, I have to admit I was a little nervous before Tuesday's show at Riverbend Music Center near Cincinnati. I cannot attest to the other reviews, but I know from experience that every performance Tuesday night was excellent. 

In case you're new here (or you've been living under a rock) Crue Fest 2008 features Motley Crue, Buckcherry, Papa Roach, SIXX: AM and Trapt.  Now I will be the first to admit that I am not a  Trapt fan but  the band did their best to come out and give a high energy show. Running just five minutes behind schedule, Trapt played for less than 40 minutes. Trapt played  a track off their new album  Only Through the Pain. It was decent and I actually did receive that disc two weeks ago. Perhaps I should give it a shot? The crowd wasn't very big by this point, but people were starting to file-in nicely by the end of the set and yes, "Headstrong" got a nice reception.

As you can imagine, the crowd was getting dense for SIXX: AM. After all, Crue Fest is just about the only opportunity to see the band perform live. Nikki Sixx stayed off to the side and didn't steal much of the lime light. The 45 minute set was basically about singer James Michael and guitarist DJ Ashba. I was *very* excited about seeing SIXX: AM and I still stand by my statement that the Heroin Diaries soundtrack is perhaps one of the best rock albums of this decade. The band played "Tomorrow," "Accidents Can Happen," "Life is Beautiful" and "Pray for Me." I also got a lovely shower from DJ Ashba. He took a big swig of something and the spewed it all over the front two rows. Ah, Glam.

Biggest surprise of the night? Papa Roach. I need to give this band another chance. Ok, so I know a lot of their songs but I wasn't expecting such a good performance. Despite the fact that Jacoby Shaddix's eyes look like they were bugging out, I was pretty much mesmerized. Talk about putting 100% into a performance. As with nearly every other stop on the Crue Fest tour, Jacoby sang a song in the crowd. I had more fun watching Jerry Horton play his guitar (ladies: meow). For whatever reason, it seemed like Papa Roach got a longer time slot than Buckcherry. I can't say enough good things about Papa Roach - I loved the entire performance!  The band played a decent mix of songs from across their albums.

Obviously there were a ton of Motley Crue shirts in the crowd - but Buckcherry sure gave them a run for their money. By the time Buckcherry took the stage around 8 p.m., the amphitheater was packed. I think Papa Roach put on a better show, but Buckcherry were still very good. I can't get over how Josh Todd just sort of floats across the stage, kicking his legs to the side like a cartoon character. He's really very wiry, isn't he? While taking a photo of the floating Josh, a guitar pick hit my shoulder - and I handed it to Heather. Buckcherry are, after all, her band and she screamed along all the lyrics. Hearing "Too Drunk..." was fun to be sure. As a note, I don't recall ever hearing Riverbend more loud than when Buckcherry started the beginning of "Crazy Bitch." Insanity.

So, now it was time for me and Motley Crue. Being second row, center meant that I was thisclose to Nikki Sixx. There's no point in me posting the set list here because you already know the band played "Saints of Los Angeles" and "Motherfucker of the Year" from the new album and then all the Motley hits. Being so close to Vince Neil, it was easy to judge his mood: he was jolly. Jolly usually equals a good show and for the most part, Vince really did try to sing the words. He sang more lyrics than I expected and I swear he can still sing when he tries. As expected, Mick Mars was the highlight. So sick and quiet, just playing his guitar solos and owning the stage. I suppose that really says something when such a diminutive man with talent can outshine  glitz and bravado. I really wanted a guitar pick but it wasn't meant to be I guess. I was too far from Mick's side and he only ventured center two or three times.

I didn't understand why - of all bands - Motley Crue would choose to end their show with a ballad. "Home Sweet Home" as an encore actually worked and made a lot of sense. It really was quite touching, with the band ditching the pyro and coming together in one small spot on the stage to have a nice moment with fans. This song choice actually made the show feel more intimate - even though there were about 15,000 people behind me. I wish I had more time (and money) to see the show again. Truly excellent.

**Concert week continues tonight. I'll be seeing Def Leppard and Billy Idol right here in Dayton.

Reader Comments (17)

Great review, they were really good last night, and i touched Jacoby Shaddix! Lol, he was pretty electrifying. Hey Allyson, could you post more of the pictures you took? 'Cause I was all the way in section 600, so I couldn't get any good pictures, so I was thinking of stealing yours from the website and posting them on Facebook. My friends do need to know what they missed, right?
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichael H.
Im rather jealous - i do hope they bring the fest to the UK.
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterred6ixx
I had a much different (and more negative) reaction to Papa Roach and Buckcherry. I was not impressed with either band, but especially Papa Roach. I just didn't think they performed well at all.

Unfortunately I missed Sixx:A.M. because of a friend's schedule, but I'm sure they were good. I agree with you that the disc is one of the best of the decade so far.
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJT
Thanks for the concert review Allyson! So great to hear you had a good time. I'm especially happy that you liked Papa Roach. Jackoby is a real force of nature, isn't he? I stood in second row when I saw them live last year opening for Mötley Crüe and they left a HUGE impression on me. Hopefully I can see them as headliner one day.
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterXandra73

I wish they would come to Georgia!
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMotleyCrue666
I saw them last night in Cleveland, Papa Roach was great, so was Buckcherry, it did seem their set was over fairly fast. I thought they had time for an extra song or two. I totally agree on the Vince (can still sing if he wants to) comment. He came out and sang (all of the words) and (clearly) to SOLA and a few others, but was still slipping into his bad habits from time to time. I don't know if he gets lazy, or what, but they did seem to be having a great time. Vince and Nikki seemed to be getting along great.
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNate
I was at this show as well. I went in not caring about too many of the bands on the bill, and left liking the majority of them.

Sixx A.M. was awesome. Papa Roach's set was quite electric. Bucherry was pretty good, and Motley Crue was great. I agree with Allyson's assessment on Vince. With the Crue's sound system, I think they mask a lot of the imperfections in Vince's voice.

Bottomline, Cruefest Cincinnati rocked! I loved it.
Im with you on the "Vince can sing when he wants" deal. Me and my wife saw him solo in March and the dude was spot on. Not one of those half assed out of breath shows you hear about..I was shocked. I mean high notes and all. It put goosebumps on the back of my neck. But like you said maybe he was in a good mood. Whatever the reason I'm glad, it was a super small venue and it was PACKED....and my wifes 1st real rock show.
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
I'd say Papa Roach was the best band when I saw them (VA Beach), followed by Sixx:A.M., Motley, Buckcherry, and then Trapt.

Papa Roach is an awesome live band, and studio band if given the chance.

I'm guessing you were second row center, behind the pit? If so, how'd a guitar pic manage to fly all the way back there? lol. I was first row center behind the pit, and nothing came our way!
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMakel
Cool review Allyson, sounds like it was a great experience! I think the Crue still sound good live too....
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
I wasn't behind the pit - I was in the pit. Riverbend's pit has seats.

- Allyson
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAllyson
Great review. Its almost exactly like mine!
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
great review, couldn't have said it better Allyson!
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlajustice77
Hey there red6ixx - Vince Neil is meant to be in the UK in December. Not Cruefest, but it's something.
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercinnamon
Oh really??
That's awesome. Dang...I wish VA Beach's pit had seats. Lol!
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMakel
I don't know how I could sit during a concert like ....
August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
I had my chance to go to the show at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA the other night but I skipped it. I've seen every Motley tour that has come to my area since the Girls Tour in '87/'88 so I've seen them enough to know what to expect. I'm sorry I missed out on Buckcherry, I saw them tour for their debut and for Time Bomb opening for AC/DC, they are smokin' live.

I'm still not impressed with SIXX AM after a friend making me a tape of the CD.....yes, I said a tape! I saw Trapt & Papa Roach on Ozzfest years ago and they blew. Overall, the undercard didn't impress. Now if the Crue brought out a better opener and lengthened their set & Buckcherry's, I might have gone.

Heavy Metal Addiction
August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRhodeislandrock

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.