Mötley Crüe Air Canada Centre, Toronto ON — February 23, 2005

Mötley Crüe Air Canada Centre, Toronto ON — February 23, 2005
For a band that has survived a handful of arrests and break-ups, a hateful warts'n'all biography and their lead singer appearing on The Surreal Life (a true death rattle), Mötley Crüe have held up rather nicely over the past 24 years. With rumours circulating that Vince Neil and Tommy Lee do not speak and each member travels in a separate bus to keep them from killing each other, the thought of an actual appearance onstage was truly doubtful. Appearing within a giant carnival tent, the 40-something rockers were psyched about their fastest-selling gig on the "Better Live Than Dead" tour and the energy held up throughout the two-hour-plus performance. Beginning with a handful of classics from their first two records, the Crüe opened things with "Shout At the Devil" and followed with "Too Fast For Love," "Red Hot" and "Looks That Kill." Amidst some very messed-up looking clowns, random scantily clad women and a series of fiery explosions, the band began the show in fine form (minus a few off backing vocals), especially with their elating rip through "Live Wire." However, from out of nowhere came a ten-minute intermission, most likely for the aging and ailing Mick Mars to catch his breath. When the band reappeared on low-riders (minus Mars, who sat by the side and waited out the fun), they tore into the next phase of their career. "Girls, Girls, Girls" recommenced the show, with girls hanging from chains and a soft porn film. As the songs went by (including a wise medley of ballads), the magic slowly died with the band's overwhelming indulgence. Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee each interrupted the show with extremely poor and nonsensical experimental solo projects — Sixx punched away at synths while sparks flew in his face and Lee battered some electronic drums and Coke bottle percussion for an industrial rock mess. Immediately killing the mood, the band made another poor decision when Lee (now in a Leafs jersey) grabbed a camcorder and demanded to see some "titties." Needless to say, he struggled with his "Titty Cam," but managed to free a few breasts with some grovelling. Announcing that their new compilation album had gone platinum in Canada, the band launched into their new material, but by then there was no room for redemption, as the band found themselves sinking down to what they were in the '90s: a washed up, sexist joke that just isn't funny anymore.