Words by: Ziggy Steiner | Images by: Andrew Bruss
Kiss with Motley Crue :: 09.16.12 :: Comcast Center :: Mansfield, MA
Full review below photo gallery!
Thirty years after they first toured together, the hot ticket of a Kiss and Motley Crue double billing beckoned parents to pack up the minivan and drive down to Mansfield’s Comcast Center for a family-friendly night of pyro, tongue thrusting and the modern medical marvel that is Paul Stanley’s voice. An unexpected family affair, throngs of face-painted moms and dads – confused, make-upped Kisslets in hand - wiggled their bulging bodies back into once-forgotten pairs of pleather pants, teased whatever remaining hair they had and staggered their 15+ beer pounds overweight bodies around in glittery platform boots to rock the fuck out last Sunday.
In true rock n’ roll fashion, all four original members of Motley Crue took the stage 30 minutes after their scheduled performance time. But, in even truer rock n’ roll fashion, the band compensated for their tardiness with a creepily cloaked, Satanic parade led by bassist Nikki Sixx from the back of the house to the stage. While Tommy Lee and Mick Mars quietly shuffled behind their respective instruments, a tan and tight-faced Vince Neil merrily skipped onto a stage that was riddled with all the fixings of a cheesy 80’s music video: multiple fog machines, gel-sheeted lights, an unnecessarily large clock and barely legal, barely dressed backup dancers who were probably conceived around the same time Crue’s debut album was.
A cheeky Tommy Lee trotted out front, shot a snot rocket into the crowd and took to the piano to play the intro to crowd-pleasing power ballad, “Home Sweet Home”. In this drawn-out, solo-packed version, Crue’s rhythm section maintained the explosiveness present in the band’s heyday. No, literally. Sixx’s rigged bass literally shot fireballs as he yanked at the strings. As Sixx’s solo closed, comparatively low key bandmate, guitarist Mick Mars, who was either wearing a V For Vendetta mask or has aged absolutely tragically, sharply wailed on his Fender Stratocaster from the shadows while Neil issued a call and response screaming match with the pyro machines.
Lee then pounded to the tune of techno beats as he took a ride in his signature drum rollercoaster apparatus. The older folks took this as an opportunity for a smoke break.
The Crue culminated their smut rock set with “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Doctor Feelgood” and “Kickstart My Heart”.
Glittery demigods Kiss took the stage to the deafening tune of pyrotechnic blasts. Singer Paul Stanley, whose vocal chords have miraculously managed to stay intact through the years, trotted onstage in a showy, feathery shawl (it should be mentioned I have that exact same shawl) covering a leather-wrapped half shirt, half bondage-inspired body leash. The band opened with “Detroit Rock City,” “Shout It Out Loud” and “I Love It Loud.”
Their set had all the noise, explosions and wagging tongues that crowds have come to expect from one of the biggest, most celebrated 70’s arena rock band. Always the crowd pleaser, Gene Simmons, lit by red gels, thrilled fans as he spat fire and blood while being elevated into the air. “Shock Me” was aptly accompanied by onscreen visuals of lightning, electric shock therapy and some overt sexual innuendos tossed in for good measure.
Aceless, surrogate spaceman Tommy Thayer proved to be a proper replacement as he powered through his solo on “War Machine.” Drummer Eric Singer pounded away like a madman for “Black Diamond.”
Kiss finished their set with a “God of Thunder,” “Love Gun,” “Lick it Up,” and their longtime set closer,“Rock and Roll All Night”
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