Rock Eyez

Motley Crue
Alliant Energy Center
Madison, WI


Motley Crue

Alliant Energy Center, Madison, WI
April 9th, 2005


In the lives of true rock music fans there are “omens” which occur on concert dates that serve as predictors you are in for one very special evening. For example, an “omen” might be finding out that the band is staying at the same hotel or it could mean buying a ticket at the last minute only to end up in the front row. As we pulled into the Alliant Energy parking lot a few hours before the show, I had to quickly brake and yield the right of way to some guy speeding on a motorcycle coming at us from my left.  The guy was none other than Vince Neil on a very cool chopper with a beautiful blonde on the back. I knew that near collision was one of those “omens.”

However, it would be cheating if I didn’t tell you that I already knew there were going to be good things coming my way since this was the third time I have seen the “Red, White & Crue: Better Live Than Dead Tour” in the past three weeks. I saw my first show of the tour in Moline, Illinois right in front of Vince from the front row with my friend, Jeff. I told him after that show, “That was the best concert I have ever seen. With our seats, this band, set list, stage design, performers, video, pyrotechnics, lights, and all, that was incredible . . . and that’s a bold statement coming from a guy who has seen over 1,600 shows!” Jeff agreed with me and I truly respect his opinion of concerts because he’s the only guy I know who has attended more concerts than I have and has lived to tell about it. By the way, the Madison show was Jeff’s fifth of the tour already just to give you an indication of his concert addiction.

The second time I saw this tour was the very next night in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with another concert veteran known throughout the rock world only as “Dr. Mark.” We ended up right in front of Nikki that night and had such a great time that we could not wait to hit the Madison gig. The Crue’s current tour concludes May 1 st in Fort Collins, CO, before resuming an outdoor shed tour in July with the “ Carnival of Sins” leg, featuring Sum 41, The Exies and Silvertide 

On with the show . . .

After nearly getting T-boned by Vince on his chopper before the show, the three of us, Jeff, Dr. Mark and I, ended up in the only place left in the front row that I had not been to yet on this tour. Right in front of the man who plays the sleaziest sounding guitar ever recorded, Mick Mars. However, once the lights went out under the big top at 8:30 and the Claymation opening video ended on the big screens, someone was still missing. No, it wasn’t the scantily clad female performers who opened the show by appearing out of a wooden crate on the front of the stage. It wasn’t Vince or his “buddies Nikki, Mick and Tom” that were AWOL. It was Mighty Mike, the midget ringmaster of this traveling dirty circus. It seems that as the band and crew crossed the Canadian border after a show in Winnipeg two days earlier, Mighty Mike was detained and then transported back to Edmonton. 

According to the website, Mighty Mike was expected to be detained for up to seven days before being allowed to return to the tour. “This could set U.S.-Canadian relations back a couple of weeks,” said the Crüe’s Vince Neil. Mötley will be returning to Canada for shows in Montreal on April 24 and London, Ontario on April 26.  Added Tommy Lee, “It’s no ‘big’ deal, hopefully Mighty Mike will “grow” from this experience. We hope he’ll be back with us in a ‘little’ while.” Who would have guessed a guy named Mighty Mike would have been the first legal casualty of a tour that includes names like Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, and Tommy Lee?

The show opened with “Shout At The Devil” followed by “Too Fast For Love”, “Ten Seconds To Love”, “Red Hot”, “On With The Show”, “Too Young To Fall In Love”, “Looks That Kill,” “Louder than Hell,” and my personal favorite “Live Wire.” The first half of the show focuses entirely on the first three Crue releases “ Too Fast For Love,” “ Shout At The Devil,” and “Theater Of Pain.” The first set is followed by another short Claymation video and then a ten minute intermission. Most metal bands wouldn’t dare have an intermission in fear they may lose crowd interest and energy, but this was not much of a risk with the Madison crowd, since they were much more quiet and docile than the other two crowds I had witnessed on this tour. Vince and Tommy recognized this as well, in verbal and non-verbal expressions, throughout the show.

As I stated, most metal bands wouldn’t dare have an intermission, but most bands don’t have a song like “Girls, Girls, Girls” to open a second set. Nikki, Tommy, and Vince all entered the stage on custom-built choppers while Mick played the opening chords to the song. Yes, Vince was on the very same chopper inside as he was outside. I also found out that the bike’s custom paint job includes identical designs of the tattoos Vince has on his body. How cool is that? The guys were then joined on stage by a trio of circus performing girls and a video with lots of flesh and smiles. This was definitely the best song of the evening as far as the band and the audience was concerned. 

The longer, second set consisted of songs primarily taken from the releases of “Girls, Girls, Girls,” and “Dr. Feelgood.” Songs included “Wild Side”, “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)”, “Without You”, “Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)”, and “Kick start My Heart”. Before the encore, MC played a couple of new songs from the new “Red, White and Crue” compilation CD called “If I Die Tomorrow” and “Sick Love Song” which have both been receiving generous airplay since their release dates. This set also included extremely cool solos by both Nikki and Tommy. Both solos were very original to say the least, but probably more visual than sustenance. The true sustenance was how great the band played and how tight they sounded together. This was an improvement over the earlier shows I attended. 

The encore concluded at 11:15 with their Beatles cover of “Helter Skelter” and their Sex Pistols cover of “Anarchy in the U.K.” The last song featured the band being joined by the entire cast of performers and techs dressed as clowns partaking in typical Crue havoc. The only thing missing at the end of this outrageous spectacle, called a Motley Crue concert, was a fire-breathing, midget ringmaster. Free Mighty Mike!


Jeff with Mighty Mike
Jeff with Mighty Mike!

Band Lineup:
  • Vince Neil – Vocals
  • Mick Mars – Guitar
  • Nikki Sixx – Bass
  • Tommy Lee – Drums
Track Listing:
  1. Shout At The Devil
  2. Too Fast For Love
  3. Ten Seconds To Love
  4. Red Hot
  5. On With The Show
  6. Too Young To Fall In Love
  7. Looks That Kill
  8. Louder Than Hell
  9. Live Wire

(10 Minute Intermission)

  1. Girls, Girls, Girls
  2. Wild Side
  3. Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
  4. Primal Scream
  5. Without You
  6. Home Sweet Home
  7. Nikki ’s Bass Solo
  8. Dr. Feelgood
  9. Tommy ’s Drum Solo
  10. Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)
  11. If I Die Tomorrow
  12. Sick Love Song
  13. Kick start My Heart


  1. Helter Skelter
  2. Anarchy in the U.K.

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