On Saturday, August 1, Crue Fest 2 rolled into Las Vegas and the new Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Charm City Devils, Drowning Pool, Theory of a Deadman, Godsmack and Motley Crue performed for the big crowd.
Before the show, I interviewed Charm City Devils and Drowning Pool. Those conversations will appear on my extended coverage over at Noisecreep.
Charm City Devils sounded great. It's always hard for the first band on any show, but there was a decent crowd in Vegas for CCD. Security at The Joint was militant about getting in line and then actually filing into the venue. Guards were taking in small grounds at a time through a security check, so it took forever to get inside before the show. Still, I think everyone that saw CCD enjoyed the show. I think the band is getting stronger each time they perform.
The biggest surprise of the night for me was Drowning Pool. The band just literally left it all on the stage. The set was nice and heavy and the crowd was definitely into the band. I left a major fan - I think seeing Drowning Pool live made me appreciate their songs more.
Theory of a Deadman sounded bad. The mix was rough, the vocals were off - and the set seemed to take forever. Even "Bad Girlfriend" and "I Hate My Life" seemed to drag. This was the point in the show where I noticed just how bad my feet were killing me. I was on the GA floor - and The Joint is all concrete. I'm pretty sure there were spikes around the little area I was occupying. Oh, the agony!
Godsmack put on an awesome show. I've been a fan for years but just never saw the band live. Sully Erna was very energetic and the band sounded tight. The best part was the dueling drum solos on two rotating risers. The two drums risers spun and moved in and out and there was pyro, too. I forgot my sore feet during the drum solo - but remembered the pain quick enough after Godsmack finished and roadies switched the stage for Motley.
The set change seemed to take forever.
I was not in the middle of the pit - that's not my scene - but I'm told it was brutal. I do know that I watched as security continually pulled out drunkards left and right. Believe me when I say drinks at The Joint are not cheap. We're talking $25 for two margaritas...so I'm assuming anyone that got drunk during the show is independently wealthy.
After I rubbed my feet and watched the drunk people stumble, it was finally Motley time. The band is doing all of Dr. Feelgood on this tour and that was the first part of the set. The stage set-up is cool: a demented hospital ward, with a padded room, wheelchairs and mic stands that are really IV drips. The two female back-up singers dressed as sexy nurses (of course) and Vince Neil even came out in a cool lab jacket of sorts.
I'll admit it was very cool hearing the Feelgood B-sides, especially "She Goes Down" and "Time for Change." Tommy Lee injected his odd banter after each song, which seemed way more often than normal. Perhaps he was just chatty. Vince acted like he was trying hard to put on a show - after all, Vegas is his home and I'm sure he had a long guest list for the gig.
After Motley finished Dr. Feelgood, there was a lengthy break for a set change. This seemed to be a giant waste of time, but Motley might be getting to the point where they need a break in the middle of the show. After the set change, Mick Mars did his solo and then it was time for the greatest hits.
By this time, the blood was pooling in my shoes. Ok, not really, but it was bad. Really bad. I'm not sure why my feet hurt so bad, but it was unreal and by the mid-point of Motley, I was near tears and couldn't even focus on the second half of the show.
I wanted to post some videos with this review, but no clips are on YouTube. I did see a few people smuggle cameras...I'm sure decent clips will surface soon enough.