Concert Review: Crue Fest 2

Motley Crue was one of the biggest rock bands of the mid and late 1980’s. Not ones to miss out on the nostalgic nature of music fans they are currently back on tour throughout the United States with Crue Fest 2. Crue Fest 2 headlines with Motley Crue and also brings along Godsmack, Theory of a Dead Man, Drowning Pool, Rev Theory, and Charm City Devils.

I recently received a pair of tickets to see Crue Fest on August 8th at the Center in Dallas, Texas. Before I begin my review of the show I think it is only fair to state that I was unable to watch the entire Crue Fest lineup. Because of the three hour drive to Dallas I was only able to catch the final two acts which consist of Godsmack and the headliners Motley Crue. So that is the portion of the show that I will focus on. A fully detailed review from San Francisco should be coming shortly.

One thing that could be said for this festival is that it is prompt. Godsmack was scheduled to begin at 7:45pm and started right on time. As one who was not very familiar with Godsmack and in reality had not listened to them since they released their self-titled album in 1998, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by the performance that was given. The show began with the entire band coming out on stage and beginning with a heavy metal instrumental. This lasted for several minutes and then lead singer Sully Erna went right into singing their hits. Erna gave a very energetic performance if I have ever seen one. There are 5 microphones spread out throughout the stage including two that are on a raised platform at the back of the stage. Erna spent most of the show running to every microphone that was on stage. Amazingly, Erna was able to keep this energy up for the entire performance while maintaining vocals that are still as strong as they were on the album over 10 years ago. He also gave great energy to his interaction with the audience when talking and pumping up the crowd.

The rest of the band gave a solid performance at well. Drummer Shannon Larkin was able to keep up his energy for the entire duration of the concert as well. Guitarist Tony Rombola did an excellent job in his performance as well. He played well the entire night and especially excelled at improvising music when Erna was interacting with the audience. One of the best parts of the concert was a segment towards the end when all of the band members except for the drummer remained on stage. The drummer’s set piece moved to the front and side of the stage and another drum kit moved in from the other side. On this drum set was Sully Erna. Erna and Larkin played an entire drum duet “solo” for 5-10 that was superb. They were both excellent drummers and played a great medley of their own pieces and greats such as Led Zepplin and Rush. After this, an encore of two more songs was performed. The Godsmack concert ended at approximately 8:50pm. Below is the Godsmack set list.

Straight Out Of Line
The Enemy
Whiskey Hangover
Keep Away
“Percussion Duet”
I Stand Alone

Motley Crue was scheduled to begin at 9:20pm and just like with Godsmack, the show started promptly on time. The set opened with a large curtain and some nurses pushing a large wheelchair onto the stage. Out of the wheelchair pops up lead singer Vince Neil in a straight jacket appearing to make a scene and a doctor runs out onto the stage with an oversized hypodermic needle and injects Neil just as the opening riff of Dr. Feelgood begins. The curtain lifts and reveals a set that looks like a sanitarium and the entire Crue is in a small hallway and perform Dr. Feelgood. The effect made the stage look and feel like watching a music video. It was very entertaining.

Neil told the audience that it was the 20 year anniversary of the Dr. Feelgood album and in honor they were going to play the entire album in order. It was a great show and very energetic. Neil did a good job of performing the vocals, but was clearly unable to hit some of the notes he could have in the past and had a little bit of trouble getting winded. But he did do a great job of keeping up his energy and interacting with the crowd. At one point during the evening the band took a brief rest, but it was still quite entertaining at drummer Tommy Lee came out and spoke with the audience (and passed some Jaeger to the front row). After completing the Dr. Feelgood album the band left the stage for about 10 minutes while the stage went dark and crew members were working on the stage.

When the lights came back on lead guitarist Mick Mars was standing alone on the stage with an acoustic guitar. He played a lengthy guitar solo on the acoustic guitar before switching to an electric guitar hidden behind it. This ultimately let into the intro to “Wild Side.” The bad came back out and played some more songs that were not on their Dr. Feelgood album such as “Saints of Los Angeles” and “Shot at the Devil”, which were definitely crowd pleasers. After this the band said good night and left the stage only to return for encore of “Home Sweet Home” and “Girls, Girls, Girls.” It was a great way to end the performance. Following is the Motley Crue set list.

Dr. Feelgood
Slice of Your Pie
Rattlesnake Shake
Kickstart My Heart
Without You
Same Ol’ Situation
Sticky Sweet
She Goes Down
Don’t Go Away Mad
Time for Change
Wild Side
Saints of Los Angeles
Live Wire
Shout at the Devil
Home Sweet Home
Girls Girls Girls

Overall, the show was very enjoyable and definitely worth the ticket price, providing you are interested in either of these bands. Godsmack gave a great performance that actually has me considering purchasing some of their CD’s. The Motley Crue concert was solid. They played a their hits and were definitely a hit with the audience. Any fan of Motley Crue or that genre of music in general would greatly enjoy the show. And fans that are only there to see Motley Crue will be pleasantly surprised with the performance of Godsmack.

The venue itself was great for this type of event. It was an outdoor arena with a seated section near the stage for more expensive tickets and a lawn area behind that for lesser-priced tickets that was standing room (this is where I was). Either seating would have been great. From the lawn area that entire stage could be clearly seen with no obstruction and there were also television monitors that were placed near the back so those in the lawn could see close up details of the stage performance. Parking was also very easy to maneuver and exit in a timely manner.

For those that might be interested in seeing this concert series I would highly recommend it. It has a great range of music and very energetic performances. If you don’t want to spend much money it is easily enjoyable from the lawn area.

For Godsmack I would rate their performance 8 out of 10

For Motley Crue I would rate their performance 7 out of 10

Overall the Crue Fest gets an 8 out of 10

Review By: Jacob C.