This night started early. About 3 and a half hours before show time. My partner in Crue crime, Kate and I, wanted to submerse ourselves in all things Motley Crue and if you want to do that you’d better get there early.
Of course the best place to start at the Hard Rock is the Circle Bar and that’s what we did. While sipping a few Captain and Cokes you could see, feel, and hear the iconic hotel start to fill up and the energy build as time passed and show time drew nearer. With the immersion fully under way I insisted that we visit Rock, Paper, Photo, the Hard Rocks fairly new art gallery which features professional Rock Band photographs that are available to purchase as well as to peruse gallery style.
A few days prior artist David Banegas and photographer Mark Weiss unveiled their Salute to Motley Crue: Theatre of Paint. This display does not disappoint. When I had my daughter at the show last Sunday we spent some time in the gallery and there was one photograph in particular I really wanted to see again. I loved it the moment I laid eyes on it and honestly I really want it for my house. Oddly enough this is not a photo of Motley Crue or any member of the band. Strange right? It’s actually a photo taken of the protesters at the PMRC (parents Music Resource Center) Senate hearings in 1985. Thsese were the hearings that Dee Snyder (Twisted Sister) “spoke on behalf of musicians Freedom of Speech and artistic expression.” It’s just a very moving photograph that really captures what was going on in regards to rock music at that time. I love it. I want it. When back in the gallery though it was gone. I was crushed as I was certain that someone must have already bought it. And I really wanted to show it to Kate. But, alas! It was just moved further down in the display. When I saw it I was a bit boisterous in my find and the man standing at the table next to it proceeded to ask me what I liked about the photo. I tried to explain, but I had a minor alcohol haze happening, so not sure if my explanation came out exactly right? But I digress. I ended up asking him if he was the photographer and he was. How very cool is that?! We talked: He liked my pants and said they were very Kevin Dubrow. I said “Thanks, but I was going for more of a Nikki Sixx circa Theatre of Pain look”. Kate jumped in stating I was originally planning to put the Nikki black stripes under my eyes, but I couldn’t commit. Then it gets even weirder. Weiss suggests I have the Mohawked man at the counter put the stripes on me while he takes pictures. And what did you know I just happened to have a super sized, jet black, body crayon in my purse. It was on. How and why would I ever say no? So that happened. Then he had me stand in front of one of the killer new paintings of Nikki Sixx, while holding a photograph of Nikki on the Theatre of Pain tour when he was wearing very similar clothes to what I had on. It was surreal. It was crazy fun. But, I am most certainly not a model. The “make this growly face” and “pout like Nikki” directives were lost on me I think? Won’t really know until the pics are ever seen…so we “bid them a sweet farewell” and cruised on to our next destination unknown.
Except that we had somewhat of an idea. The talented and beautiful Kerri Kasem had tweeted that she would be outside MR Luckys around 8 if anyone wanted to stop by and say hello. Um, yes! Kerri is a former VJ and current radio co-host with Nikki Sixx on Sirius XM radio show Sixx Sense. She’s super sweet, very funny, and an honest rock loving music fan. And although she is talented in her own right, she is also the daughter of legendary DJ Kasey Kasem. I grew up listening to his voice on the radio and find it intriguing and inspiring that his children followed in his footsteps as well. We had to meet her!
This meeting did not disappoint. Kerri is gracious and genuinely nice. Had a moment to chat, let her know how much we enjoyed Sixx Sense, and took one of my new favorite photos. She’s a girl you can totally envision hanging out with. After a quick nod to her favorite band, Guns and Roses, we were once again off on our quest for total Motley Crue absorption. And also, it was time to get to the actual show!
About 18 min past posted start time, to let everyone get in, the show blasts off again with “Red Hot”. It’s awesome. The set list is the same every night of the residency. I don’t care. It’s Motley Crue. Vince can scream the phone book (haha, who’s seen a phone book lately?) and Nikki, Mick, and Tommy can play along and I’ll still go. As long as they light everything in the room on fire of course. So they rocked. No major changes from day one except a short guitar solo by Mick Mars was added (this was in the Sunday show as well, so thinking it just didn’t make it into opening night only).
But the crowd at this show was the best so far! I was mildly disappointed at crowd participation and excitement levels on 9/18 and 9/22. Not this time! People were giving their heart and souls right back to the band and it made the entire experience that much better. The Crue even pointed out a group of about 6 guys, dressed as Nuns, hanging off the middle balcony. Awesome. Love the foresight and dedication from these guys! These are the little nuggets of inspiration that make a residency more than just a stop in any random city on any random tour. Those times are fun, but they can never measure up to an experience like this. Cue piano on fire, confetti, and the most pyro you’ve ever seen and the show is over.
We are dead. I feel like I just worked out for 2 hours. I’m silently contemplating opening a Motley Crue themed, arena rock style gym as I shuffle through the crowd and into the casino.
We blindly walk to the circle bar for drinks because our throats are burning with butane and hoarse from Shouting at the Devil. It’s very loud and crowded and it hit’s me that I’m starving. Like I had a piece of French Toast at 11 am and now its 11 pm type starving. Bolt to MR Luckys, devour said cheeseburger while waited on by server extraordinaire Bradley Sean Kennelley, and we’re out. Oh, but wait! While we were waiting for the food to arrive I dug out of my purse the card that Weiss had given me in the gallery. When he originally handed it to me I just put it in my purse without looking. I had time now, so when I took it out I read the short bio and flipped it over. Guess what was on the other side? The PMRC protester photograph! Score! Now I have the photo. I still want the framed, beautiful, full sized one of course…but, this should hold me over.
Next we head to Vinyl to try and sneak a peak at Street Drum Corps. We were fortunate enough to see Tommy Lee perform with them while standing at the front door, run into the most talented Mark Weiss again, grab a quick photo with him cuz I forgot to earlier and then couldn’t find him later…and he conveniently shows up there…sweet.
And we really are fading fast at this point. I joke that the way things are going we might run into Nikki in the hallway on the way out. We actually run into his dog. Not sure who was walking him, but I recognized that well groomed, shimmering, golden retriever from a mile away. Or from up the hallway in front of the tattoo shop if you want to get technical. I bend down, ask if this is Leica (which I of course knew that it was) gave him a quick pet and scratch behind the ears and that was that.
Another epic night spent at the Hard Rock immersed in Motley Crue. I love that they do this. If you haven’t gone to a show yet hurry! Only one week left and it’s so worth it.
***On a side note: At this point I have met every member of both Nikkis’ bands (Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, DJ Ashba, and James Michael) his radio co-host Kerri Kasem, his long time band photographer Mark Weiss, and his dog Leica. Will I EVER meet the elusive Mr Sixx? Stay tuned.***
Please see all corresponding photos on my instagram: Kellycrue