I have a healthy respect for hair metal. It’s big, it’s bright (though, if we’re talking about Tommy Lee, stupid at the same time) and as musically healthful as cotton candy – sticky and enjoyable in small doses. Not to mention the people at the shows are HEEEELARIOUS. Love, love, love ‘em, each and every last one of their bad tattoos, mullets and leopard-skin onesies. No, seriously, I love them. People-watching at metal shows is phenomenal.
I also have a healthier respect for really good classic metal (Sabbath, Slayer, Judas Priest), but I never buy it. (Unless you count buying Brütal Legend on PS3, which is chocca with metal both hair and excellent).
So once and a while, when I feel the urge to shout at the devil or bark at the moon, I sort of randomly end up at metal shows, kinda accidentally. There was the Tattoo the Planet fest in 2001 in London with Cradle of Filth, Slayer and my mates, Therapy? (a show where I picked up this drummer called Simon Gonk from an insane UK band called Anti-Product), Alice Cooper at Wembley Arena the following year (“Put your hands in the air if you’re…POISON!”), which was utterly awesome, and a smattering of others.
Between these few and far betweenies, I have nurtered an obsession with rock bios: naturally, my bookshelf is lined with Hammer of the Gods, Slash, Heroin Diaries and Heavier than Heaven. But leaving them all in softback dust, is the king trashmeister: Mötley Crüe’s The Dirt.
The Crüe’s Dead of Winter tour (what winter?) arrived in Vancouver, and if you could see your way clear past the unusual fashion choices, visitors from Vancouver’s outer suburbs and beer-swilling bellies, then you’d realize that the Crüe are kinda cheesetacular. Okay, so Vince Neil is a hideous hobgoblin, Tommy Lee is still Animal from the Muppets, Mick Mars looks like he could slip down a bicycle grate were it not for his enormous Slash-hat and Nikki Sixx, well, Nikki Sixx deserves a medal for both dating Kat Von D and, yunno, just still being alive. All this blended together and wrapped in acid wash makes Mötley rather quite good.
And the songs? Oh them. “Kickstart My Heart” opened, “Dr Feelgood” closed and in between there was a bit of “Same Old Situation”, “Girls Girls Girls”, “Home Sweet Home”, the new one “Mutherfucker of the Year” (woah….risque!) and a bunch more that involved air punching, “Yeeeeeeeeeahhhhhs” and “wooos”.
In all, a delightful way to spend a Sunday night – throwing the devil’s horns at a bunch of guys who’ve been doing some fairly okay hair metal for three decades.
You can keep your Rock of Love, Brett Michaels. Poison always sucked. \m/
And if you wanna see what kind of awesome pyro we’re talking about, check out this fuzzy-sound beauty that I took, and placed on YouTube