The antics of drummer and all-around lunatic Tommy Lee were always the spectacular highlight of any Motley Crue concert back when he was in the band, so it was a big surprise at the El Rey when he turned out to be such a dud as frontman for his new group Methods of Mayhem.
A packed house was pumped and ready to party when Lee and his band — which very loudly combines metal and hip-hop a la Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock — hit the stage to the strains of “Spun,” from MoM’s self-named MCA debut. But the charged mood and positive energy of the crowd slowly seeped away as the (thankfully) brief and unorganized production played itself out.
While Lee may be a flashy and talented drummer, he’s not a very good singer or rapper, and he’s not much of a guitar player, despite his feeble attempts to prove otherwise on Wednesday, the first of two El Rey dates. “This is my hometown — I can’t believe you people aren’t naked yet,” he repeatedly remarked. Naked? They were barely cheering.
Lee was as enthusiastic as ever, but the colorless music, which sounded as if it had been quickly pasted together in an attempt to sound fresh and cutting-edge, came off as little more than mindless rock star indulgence.
A few of Lee’s friends did what they could to help the situation, to little avail. Talented drummer Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction, Porno for Pyros, Banyan) was a mesmerizing presence behind his big kit, while rapper TiLo showed flair and originality with his lyrical flow, despite having to trade lines with the clumsy Lee.
Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit joined the fray for a take of MoM’s single “Get Naked,” which also featured a pair of girls on stage dancing in their underwear. Later, Pakelika of Orange County stoner band Kottonmouth Kings blew smoke and did his unique stagger-dance during “Narcotic” while Lee and Perkins engaged in a jungle drum duel.
The underwhelming 50-minute show, Methods of Mayhem’s fourth live perf, closed with a surprise cover of “I Fail Truth” by L.A. band 16 Volt.