Alice Cooper / Motley Crüe – Auburn WA: July 27 2014

Night two this weekend of a classic rock double header, tonight with Alice Cooper and Motley Crüe at the White River Amphitheater in Auburn.

This was one of the most absolutely incredible, balls to the wall, over the top shows that I have seen in a long time. I think with this being purported as Motley Crüe’s final show, both bands pulled out all the stops and had an energy level not seen on previous tours. Alice Cooper seemed much more dramatic during his psycho theatrics and Motley Crüe’s show had more pyrotechnics (both flames and fireworks) than any other time we had seen them in the past. Tommy Lee’s drum contrivance (the cobra) just went beyond insane with full 360 degree rotations along a rollercoaster rail at 60 feet out above the stage…I mean, who does this!

I was a little concerned about the Alice Cooper show as the way the venue is set-up, the late afternoon sun shines directly onto the stage, and as I recall from the last time I saw his show, the darkness of an enclosed arena really added to the dramatics of the show. But even in the sun, he put on a great show with all the standard sword wielding, snake kissing and head-chopping guillotine shenanigans as ever, but last night with what seemed to be a heightened level of anger (in a good way). His band played incredibly. Having three lead guitarist absolutely gives his band that heavy, melodic structured vide that is so iconic. I was a little bummed that Orianthi was no longer with his band, but she was replaced by an equally powerful female guitarist (Nita Strauss) who jammed out many of the stinging solos last night. The set-list was pretty standard, with Hello Hooray starting off the show followed by No More Mr. Nice Guy and Under My Wheels. They closed out with everyone’s favorite School’s Out…it is amazing to think that since the early seventies, high school seniors all over the world have been cranking out this song and making it a defining memory of a pivotal point in their lives – Keep it up Alice!

What can I say about Motley Crüe other than HOLY CRAP! As I mentioned above, they went way over the top on this show, from the flames and fireworks, the dancing girls, Tommy’s drum kit and volume so loud that our clothing vibrated and teeth shook. This exceeded everything I had ever experienced in any previous Motley Crüe show. The show started about 9:30 with Rodger’s & Hammerstein’s So Long, Farewell playing over the house speakers, then crashing into their opening song Saints of Los Angeles. The show was packed full of their hits spanning their 33 year history and even included some influential covers such as the Sex Pistols Anarchy in the U.K. and Brownsville Station’s Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room. Tommy’s incredible drum solo on the full rotation, rollercoaster drum kit to a downright funky, dance infused rock composition was nothing short of awe inspiring. Mick Mars continues to amaze me on what he can do with a guitar and all of the crazy sounds he can get out of it – simply mesmerizing. Nikki Sixx had a flame throwing bass guitar that shot flames 30 feet into the air, totally shaming every other firework or smoke emitting guitar ever done in the history of pyrotechnic instruments. They closed the show with Home Sweet Home played on a small, stage set up in the center of the theater…throughout the show from the beginning through Nikki Sixx’s detailed spoken history on how the band met and into their final song, they continued to genuinely thank the fans and talked about how important the fans were to their history. I think they will miss playing these live shows as much as their fans will miss seeing them.

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