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Motley Crue

Last year's announcement that the original lineup of Motley Crue would be hitting the road once more drew a somewhat skeptical reaction from touring industry pundits, who questioned whether the band -- which had become better known for individual tabloid exploits than their music -- would be able to fill arenas as they had through the late 1980s and early '90s.

With:
Band: Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, Tommy Lee. Reviewed March 23, 2005.

Last year’s announcement that the original lineup of Motley Crue would be hitting the road once more drew a somewhat skeptical reaction from touring industry pundits, who questioned whether the band — which had become better known for individual tabloid exploits than their music — would be able to fill arenas as they had through the late 1980s and early ’90s. With sellout performances from coast to coast, this “Better Live Than Dead” outing has quickly become one of the band’s most successful tours, and one of the year’s biggest box-office surprises.

At this homecoming Forum show, the band produced an electrifying two-part show with fan-friendly emphasis on its best songs.

Following a Crue-themed animated short film, band members were escorted onstage by a couple of barely dressed women, and they launched into a run of great older songs, including opener “Shout at the Devil,” “Ten Seconds to Love” and the sleazy crowd fave “Looks That Kill.” First set closed with an explosive version of “Live Wire,” from the band’s 1981 debut, “Too Fast for Love.”

Second set focused on the band’s late-’80s commercial peak, with such hits as “Girls Girls Girls” (featuring strippers riding motorcycles onstage), “Wild Side” and the smash ballad “Home Sweet Home,” featuring Tommy Lee playing a small keyboard mounted on his drum kit.

“Dr. Feelgood” followed and included the best guitar solo of the night from Mick Mars, who staggered around the stage in super-tall boots. Then, as has become Crue tradition, Lee took over the show for a few moments, starting with a drum solo and ending with himself suspended in midair and “flying” between two platforms high above the stage, where he made use of numerous percussion pieces.

Motley Crue

Forum; 12,500 capacity; $75 top

Production: Presented by VH1, Nederlander and Goldenvoice.

Cast: Band: Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, Tommy Lee. Reviewed March 23, 2005.

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