Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kiss and Mötley Crüe at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre: Review and Photos

Posted By on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 8:03 AM

  • Todd Owyoung

When you open for Kiss you have to put on a hell of a show, and Mötley Crüe delivered. From the displays camaraderie to the set list full of hair metal hits, Crüe brings brotherhood onstage and encourages it amongst the audience. With four-way fist bumps and sly "we got this" smiles, Crüe really does seem to be in it together and working as a unit to get you pumped.

If you've been hurting for some '80s glam rock, "Shout at the Devil," "Dr. Feelgood," "Kickstart My Heart" and "Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)" bring you the party that you've been missing for the last twenty years. "Girls, Girls, Girls" was a particularly misogynistic good time, with the huge screen behind the band flashing photographs of scantily-clad ladies that looked like they were ganked straight from the Nude Photo Hunt bar video game. (Spliced in that sequence was a photo of Justin Bieber--nice one!) "Home Sweet Home" brought a little feeling back in the game, with low lights, a lovely full-audience sing-along and dudes holding their ladies tight.

The band members are exactly as you might remember them. Tommy Lee is still skinny and surfer-dumb goofy. His solo strapped-in upside down rollercoaster drum performance is impressive, but the medley of terrible strip club music in the background is distracting. (And I hate Rush, but Neil Peart totally did it better.) Nikki Sixx still has Joan Jett hair and wears the makeup under his eyes. Vince Neil is still smarmy in his shiny cargo camouflage bell-bottoms. (For some reason he reminded me of the "young girls in white cotton panties" scene in Wayne's World.) And, yes, Mick Mars still looks like a goth catfish.

Is it weird that I hope for a Guns 'n' Roses-style riot every time that I'm at Riverport? (And I'm from St. Louis so I'll be calling it Riverport forever, thankyouverymuch.) I had high hopes that Kiss would incite the crowd to such a degree that the barely bolted down rows of chairs would go flying in a colossal mess of a fight that would leave me terrified and with a great story to tell my grandchildren.

I was not blessed (or cursed, really) with this scenario, but I did see something else of note: my very first Kiss show. The band members have been cultural icons for nearly 40 years, so I really have no excuse. And their face-painting styles are so iconic that it doesn't even really matter who is behind the makeup anymore, if you wear the star or the kitty whiskers, you're a proper member. More than a few people in the crowd rocked the Kiss gear, including some possibly coerced children.

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