Mar 14, 2009

Motley Crue / Hinder - First Mariner Arena

By Bob Suehs

www.rocknrollexperience.com

MOTLEY CRUE / HINDER

3/14/09

Baltimore, Maryland

Motley Crue's "Saints of Los Angeles" 2009 tour rolled into Baltimore, Maryland on a decent Saturday evening...it wasn't particularly cold outside, it was slightly raining but overall it was a rather decent evening & the Motley show had 4 bands on the bill counting The Crue...doors opened at 5:30 PM, the opening band, The Last Vegas took about an hour later & the entire show rolled on from there.

One interesting tidbit about each & every town is, wherever you live in this world, you know the area well enough to know the good areas, the bad areas, & as far as "the city" goes, you know where to find free parking! Free parking is a rarity in every huge city across the USA, BUT, it does exist & you just have to be familiar with the area to know where it's at! As far as downtown Baltimore goes, I know where the free parking spots are, so I have my "secret" spots to go to that assure decent parking & therefore I can avoid the pay-as-you-go parking garages that always equal hell when you're trying to leave, due to the face that all the people who went to the concert also paid to park in the nearest garages, therefore, you're subject to long lines getting in & out of the pay parking spots.

So I arrived at the venue when Theory of a Deadman had started their set, which meant I wasn't going to be able to review their set or take pictures...from what I heard in the backstage area, they sounded good, identical to the record & the crowd seemed to enjoy their set!

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While we waited for Hinder to take the stage, this random "free" time allowed us an opportunity to check out the crowd a bit....it doesn't take a genius to understand this logic, BUT, when you see an older band that's been around over 20+ years, the crowd will naturally grow older with the band...when you have a 40+ year old woman dressing like a 20 year old whore, no matter what you do, time & gravity WILL catch up to you!

There's a local groupie who I refer to as "Princess Sophia", who, surprisingly, was actually dressed conservatively & not bad at all, whereas some of the other "aging" women in the crowd were sporting attire that I referred to as "underwear" because I kid you not, there was one woman there who had next to nothing on from the waste down & I'm not trying to be mean here, but come on, do we need to see older women dressed like that? The thing is, she was NOT built to wear that sorta stuff in public, & to top it all off, when she walked she had a weird "popping" thing going on where her body went from side to side, so the very last thing she needed to do was draw any more attention to herself! There was another woman who looked like she'd had far too many drinks, her boobs were bigger than my head, she was wearing a short dress & her top was so low cut that you couldn't help but see her huge sagging boobs flopping everywhere....this particular woman tried her best to get backstage, but the security wouldn't let her even breathe too close to the barricade that blocked the general public from the backstage area....There's nothing sadder than an aging groupie!

Hinder finally took the stage a little after 8 PM & they opened with "Use Me" which seemed to be a crowd pleaser! When a band opens for Motley Crue it's always hard to tell if the crowd is excited to see the openers or if they are one step away from tossing "things" at the openers so the headliner will come out faster! Hinder's bevy of hits definitely got the crowd singing & "Lips of an Angel" & "Get Stoned" were the clear highlights of the Hinder set.

I will give it to Austin, Blower & the boys...they had an up-hill battle trying to play for the Motley Crue crowd & they did a good job of it! Hinder's music works well on a large stage, they might be a young band, but they definitely possess that "arena rock" presence & I think the overall billing of this show was quite odd in general, because Motley Crue seems more suited to have a hair band open rather than a newer, modern rock band, but I give Hinder alot of credit, they brought their "A game" & gave it their all!

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MOTLEY CRUE - Set List:

Kickstart My Heart, Wild Side, Shout At The Devil, Saints of Los Angeles, Live Wire, Too Fast For Love/ On With The Show, Jailhouse Rock, Tommy's Speach, Motherfucker of the Year, White Trash Circus, Don't Go Away Mad, Same Ol' Situation, Nikki's Speech, Primal Scream, Looks That Kill, Girls Girls Girls, Dr. Feelgood, Home Sweet Home

Before Motley Crue came on, a large dark curtain was dropped which hid the stage set up from the overall audience...when the house lights dropped & the bands intro tape started playing, the curtain fell to reveal a stage set up that was kinda like the "Hollywood" experience from hell....very similar to how you have the famous "HOLLYWOOD" logo/sign/thingy in California that's a landmark for the area, Motley's stage had the words "LOS ANGELES" written backwards in huge block letters..it was kinda post apocalyptic & very cool to look at! The band used a bevy of pyro, explosives & in general, they exploded alot o' stuff on that stage as the night went on! "Kickstart My Heart" was a great opening song too...I could see Mick Mars walking to the front of the stage before the house lights dropped & I'll admit it, I'd peaked at the set list, so I knew all the songs being played, but regardless, it was a strong set from start to finish!

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When I heard the band play material from the "Shout" & "Too Fast For Love" era's, I'll admit it, that's the stuff I grew up on, the stuff that took me back in time, & what you really get when you see a Motley Crue show is an overall rock n roll party vibe! Forget about the past, forget about the present, enjoy life for the moment, loosen up & rock n f**k'n roll..that's the overall vibe of a Motley Crue concert in a nut shell!

When I watched the band go through hit after hit, a few things occurred to me...for one thing, Motley Crue have ALOT o' hits & seriously, the band has written some amazing songs over the years! Another fact that often times is over looked is that Motley Crue IS Mick Mars & Nikki Sixx! Both Tommy Lee & Vince Neil have been replaced at various points in the bands career & the ONLY 2 members who maintained the bands "brand" are Mick Mars & Nikki Sixx...both of whom are the primary song writers of EVERY Motley Crue song! Nikki is the principal lyricist while Mick is the main music writer & when you see the band live, it's more than apparent that Mick IS the music when you see & hear Motley Crue...Mick Mars guitar riffs are what holds that band together...infact, I'd go as far as to say it's what makes Motley Crue a band! I won't overlook Tommy's drumming because he's an animal behind the drum kit, but when he starts to talk to the crowd, he loses some points in my book, simply because he comes off kinda dopey & what he winds up doing is bringing a "ghetto/hip hop" kinda flavor to the mix & there's no denying that the ENTIRE crowd & vibe of a Motley Crue show is pure rock n roll!

I was quite surprised to see Mick Mars do a nice little guitar solo very early in the show & part of his guitar solo included pieces of "Little Wing" & "Voodoo Chile" by Jimi Hendrix! The choppy rendition of "On With The Show" was interesting as well, but the strongest song of the night was probably "Dr. Feelgood" which is just a heavy tune to start with, but when they play it live it's got 200 times more energy & attitude than the recorded version!

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The encore was "Home Sweet Home" & the song started with Tommy Lee coming out & playing the songs intro on a piano that looked kinda rock-a-billy in design, because it was painted with tattoo styled artwork & Mick Mars came out followed by Nikki Sixx to jam with Tommy while he played on piano, then Vince Neil strolled out & the song started.

I was actually surprised how fast the arena cleared out...Motley finished a little before 11 PM & the venue emptied out fast...there was a nice crowd of fans waiting near the band bus area, but the Motley men all boarded one bus & left shortly after the show....in all honesty, I didn't expect then to come out & sign autographs & meet the fans...members of The Last Vegas did that, but when you hit the point that Motley has, you don't do that anymore, it's kinda sad that situation happens, but it's to be expected. So, the night ended at a rather early hour on a Saturday night in downtown Baltimore.