The Rock Show: Review of Motley Crue E-mail
by Jeff Barrett

You never hear the term "Rock Show" anymore. For good or bad, rock music has become less about bravado, less about the show, less about the over-the-top antics and lifestyle that now exist in rap.

There will always be room for entertainers, a show. Stars sell music. Plain and simple. This genre of music created transcendent stars that pack arenas 25 years later. I didn't grow up during this time but I can appreciate it. In fact, I would be willing to hop in a DeLorean and go Back To The Future.

The crowd was slow to arrive and New York Dolls opened with an arena and their glass half full. The energetic and upbeat act featured "Trash" and other popular songs but what was engaging about them was that after 40 years as a band they came out with an an undeniable energy and ability to work the crowd. Singer David Johansen was excellent and mixed humor and banter in with solid vocals to work the crowd.

Poison still has it. Despite time apart for various solo projects and the much documented life of Bret Michaels, they still can pick up where they left off and give the crowd "Nothing But A Good Time". The most impressive part of their act is, was and always will be C.C. Deville. An amazing guitar player that at times can rival Slash for best of an era. Their songs aren't nearly as challenging but when C.C. took the stage by himself to play a four minute solo, every note was captivating.

Motley Crue cannot be stopped. Tommy Lee impressed with his diverse talent and skill set and the production value was epic. They didn't hold back and gave the crowd exactly what they wanted and left them wanting more.

The crowd was a sea of black cut-off t-shirts and as you can expect there was a fair share of flashers. Perhaps the most surprising were the volume of guys who just gave up on wearing shirts shortly in to or before Poison came on stage. The atmosphere felt like an outdoor carnival rather than an arena show. People were showing off new tattoos and reminiscing about past shows.

For some in attendance, including my friend Jeff seated in front of me, Motley Crue was their first show. He saw them in '86. It brought out that 15 year old that still exists in all of us. We may get caught up in every day life. We may lose touch sometimes with our younger self but it's always there. We never forget our heroes. We never forget whose poster was on our wall, what song we played to get excited (Girls, Girls, Girls), what was playing at a first dance (Home Sweet Home) or what we played during a break-up (Every Rose Has Its Thorn).

We never give up on our heroes and, thankfully, 25 years later they haven't given up on us.

Jeff Barrett is owner/partner of Status Creative, a brand awareness firm that specializes in social media. Photos by Paul Jendrasiak

Published: August 4, 2011

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