Motley Crue, Buckcherry and more at First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre (2008)

First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre (Tinley Park, IL, USA)

Motley Crue, Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Sixx: A.M., Trapt
Greece is a small country and gets even smaller when it comes to live concerts. […]
By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos
July 16, 2008

Greece is a small country and gets even smaller when it comes to live concerts. Ok, the last few years things have changed a little bit and famous bands are actually coming to play but the organization is still light years behind. One of the bands that has never played in Greece is MOTLEY CRUE. So, when the news that the 'Crue Fest' was about to hit Chicago I got my arena ticket the very first pre sale date.

It is a working day and I had to attend a very interesting scientific meeting so I went off my time schedule and eventually missed the first band, TRAPT. I arrived in the excellent venue right one time to catch SIXX: A.M. on-stage. Although the festival was an open air one there was a huge roof that was protecting us from the sun rays and the heat. The organization was perfect with merch stands, plenty of food and drinks and of course proper toilets! (my fellow countrymen know what I am talking about).

I was already impressed by the SIXX: A.M. album so I was anxious to watch them on-stage. The first thing I noticed was James Michael's voice; he sounded just like the album and he did also a very good job as a front man. He was walking up and down the stage 'communicating' with the crowd that was responding enthusiastically singing almost all the lyrics, especially the chorus lines. Nikki was clearly sparing his strength for the 'full strength' appearance leaving more space for the guitarist Dj Ashba who did his part with the audience. PAPA ROACH's Dave Buckner took over the drum duties without doing something more that performing the songs flawlessly. Their show started with the Xmas In Hell that opened for the groovy Van Nuys. In Life Is Beautiful everybody was singing the melodic chorus and I think this song woke the specs on the back that were lying on the grass enjoying the wonderful sunny weather. Pray For Me, my personal favorite Accidents Can Happen and Heart Failure concluded their setlist and made me wishing that Nikki will continue releasing albums under this moniker.

I was never a fan PAPA ROACH even though I have given them several chances with their latest The Paramour Sessions or their earlier albums. So, I did not share the same enthusiasm with the crowd although I did enjoy the company of the female fans. The stage was prepared and the sound check was completed in less than 20 minutes. Jacoby Shaddix was the highlight of their performance; I mean he 'earned' his money by sweating his ass off running and jumping on and off stage. Their music in nothing special since it is based on catchy melodies and almost exclusively on power chords. But the band's flowing energy impressed me and made me move with Getting Away With Murder the slightly heavier Last Resort. Yeah I can admin that I enjoy their show but not in that point that they turned me into their fans!

Another fast change and BUCKCHERRY were on stage. From the reaction of their people around me I realized that this band has a strong fan base and is very popular at the US. During their setlist I found out that I knew a couple of their songs from the radio but I haven't actually dealt with them. Their Rock with touch of sleaze was quite good and everyone seemed to have a nice time but I was in the edge of feeling slightly bored. Fortunately, I enjoyed the company of two nice ladies that were most talkative and had a party feeling! Thanks for that... So, with a renewed interested I enjoyed the famous Crazy Bitch and Porn Star.

Well, enough with the opening acts and it was about time to loose my MOTLEY CRUE virginity! Although I am in my (almost) mid 30s I started feeling extremely anxious to see CRUE on-stage! While everything was getting ready for the Saints of Los Angeles a virtual band came on-stage. No, it wasn't something fancy but a group of kids that were about to play the Guitar Hero video game in front of us! What a stupid idea that was! And became extremely stupid (to the point of annoyance) when I realized that they would perform Detroit Rock City. After this stupid intermission a black curtain fell in front of the stage to hide the rest of the preparations.

So, after 30 minutes the lights went off and AC_DC's Hells Bells preambled MOTLEY CRUE entrance. With the curtain still down the shadow of an angel and the devil appeared on the right and the left side of the stage, respectively. Then the angel (that was a hot and juicy lady) walked towards the devil and started giving a blowjob! That's an excellent intro! The curtain fell and the opening guitar riff of Kickstart My Heart totally blew us away. Among fires and firework explosions MOTLEY CRUE took over the stage and driving everyone crazy. Without stopping the band did Wild Side and I was already in heaven. I had read that Vince Neil has lost his voice and he sounds terrible on-stage but I can assure you this in not true. Ok, his high pitches sometimes sound out of tune but he still is an excellent performer who can drive the ladies totally crazy.

The light show was impressive with moving spotlights that made the stage looking bigger than it was. Despite his well known illness Mick Mars did not make mistakes (at least to my knowledge) while Nikki was dominating the stage besides the relentless Vince. Last but not least was Tommy Lee who left his drum kit a couple of times and to say a few words to the ecstatic crowd.

One of these times he took a camera and invited all the ladies to show some tits! The response was really great and I watched more than a dozen ladies (some of them were sight for sore eyes) satisfying Tommy's request. This event ended with Tommy on his knees saying Thank God for the tities!.

The band did two songs from the new album Motherfucker Of The Year(excellent title) and the homonymous one where the singers of the supporting bands joined Vince on the vocals. The setlist was a dream come true for me comprising songs like Shout At The Devil (with pentagrams on the two video screens), Girls, Girls, Girls, Live Wire, Looks That Kill and even Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.). Tommy said that they were filming a video clip that will not be shown in MTV because MTV Fucking Sucks!. Then he asked the crowd to make some noise and they did! I am sure that if the US audience really likes a band then can be extremely loud!

Just before Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) the angel (extremely hot) came on-stage and gave Vince his guitar and a French kiss to go with. The setlist ended with the massive hit Dr. Feelgood that guided us to the grand finale with more fireworks and some loud explosions that made me loose some additional hearing decibels. Of course, the band did return for an encore that was Home Sweet Home making me actually thinking of my home. Tommy was on the piano while the rest of the guys were standing around him like old friends proving that this can be the beginning of a new era for them.

I think that the 'Cruefest' should be established as a yearly festival and that many countries (why not Greece?) will get the chance to witness this band on stage!

(photos by 'The Motherfucker Of The Year')





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