I’m still recovering from and processing the events I witnessed on a recent Friday night when the Gypsies attended the Final Tour of Mötley Crüe. Alice Cooper as an opening act?? Sign. Me. Up.
I really, really enjoy shows at Oak Mountain Amphitheater. It’s a great outdoor venue just outside of Birmingham, Alabama, with a great setup. We had second tier seats, close to an aisle, and really enjoyed our spot.
We actually had 3 seats for this show. Gypsy 2’s brother Paul was supposed to be at this show with us. Paul loved Mötley Crüe, and was in fact the one who introduced my fellow Road Trip Gypsy to them by taking her to her very first concert during the Dr. Feelgood Tour. A guitarist himself, Paul dragged his sister to all sorts of shows, and he was always the first to know when a new “must-hear” album was coming out. Heartbreakingly, Paul’s health the last several years had prevented him from making long trips for major tours, so when he decided that he wanted to attend a show, we collaborated to make it happen for him. This being the Last Ever Crüe Tour… well, naturally we were all going. Paul’s health, however, conspired against us. After a few weeks of sickness landed him in the hospital with non-functioning kidneys, Paul passed away suddenly after returning home. It’s still a punch in the gut when I realize he’s not here with a smart comment or snarky joke. We kept his seat unoccupied at the show.
The Raskins out of New York warmed up the stage for the night, and did a pretty good job. Wish I’d known a few of their songs, and will be looking them up for sure. Very East Coast-flavored rock n roll.
And then…. Oh boy… the MAN, the NIGHTMARE himself… Mr. Alice Cooper took the stage. I’d never seen Alice’s stage show, but of course had heard all the stories and knew all about the theatrical performance. It was amazing. From “Welcome to my Nightmare” to “Feed My Frankenstein”, Alice still puts on one heck of a show. Closing with “School’s Out” was just perfect.
Alice Cooper stage setup…Backdrop, Alice as Dr Fankenstein, Alice with snake, and the legend playing the crowd.
Now. I’ve seen the Crüe before. I’ve been 6th row for one of their shows. I’ve seen Tommy’s drum coaster and heard Mick’s phenomenal solos. I’ve been three feet from Nikki at a VIP event when the other Gypsy got to meet him. I say all this to tell you… I was not prepared to say goodbye. I’m still not.
The boys played every hit, did every costume change, ran around the stage, and had the sold out crowd eating out of their hands. It was amazing. It was pure, perfect, rock n roll.
Fire! Fire! Fire!
The boys saying goodbye from an elevated stage in the middle of the crowd with ‘Home Sweet Home’.
I freely admit, I’m not ready to say goodbye to these guys. No matter where I see them, they put on the best show of all time. They out-perform bands who are a quarter their age, and they do it like the punk rock legends that they are. (Yes, I said punk!) They pulled out older songs like “On With The Show” that had my Gypsy pal in tears, and “Anarchy in the UK” made my little punk heart overflow with joy. I read a Rolling Stone interview with them yesterday where Mick said he wanted to write a book about the music, and Nikki, Tommy, and Vince plan to continue with their other projects. But until then, they have a North American tour to finish, followed by a worldwide tour, and probably a return to the States for the final shows. Vince said that they hope to play their final show in LA, maybe with a one-off after show at The Whisky in January of 2016, on their 35 anniversary as a band.
I, for one, would love to be there.