I’m really strapped for time at the minute, but I just had to get a review out of this DVD/CD combo. Everyone knows the story: Mötley Crüe sign a contract in blood agreeing to do one final tour, never to appear as said band again, culminating in a huge show at the Staples Centre, Los Angeles – the band’s hometown. The date, December 31st 2015 – a new year’s party to end all new year’s parties.
It seems a little strange that it’s taken almost a whole year for the official release to hit shelves, but on November 4th you’ll be able to pick it up. And you should. This is a great recording of a gig that should be remembered.
The setlist is as good as you’d expect from a band with their history. If you know them then there aren’t any real surprises. It’s the hugeness of the performance that makes this release one for the collection. The pyro, the flamethrowing guitar, the girls, the balloons, the cherry-pickers, the streamers, that drumkit (which breaks down)… Yes, they’ve been honest enough to include the moment where Tommy Lee’s twin-track rollercoaster style drumkit gets stuck.
The whole gig is presented almost like one overblown music video with the occasional brief segment of slow-motion, which really works. It’s not overused and it’s often the bits that you’d want to freeze-frame that are slow-mo’d anyway. Sound is incredible and the editing doesn’t whirl around so fast that you get a headache as with some live recordings.
While the stage show is utterly over-the-top and a fitting end to the band’s life on the road, there are a couple of niggles. Vince Neil does struggle through a couple of the higher-octane numbers, including “Kickstart My Heart” towards the end. He’s still miles better than the horrifically flat/off-key singer I heard at Graspop a decade ago, and at least it proves they’ve recorded the genuine live show and not cheated with any overdubs.
The other problem is the fact that this is an NTSC recording – as are many music DVDs these days. I wasn’t sure at first, but I checked by comparing several recent releases with a couple of PAL recordings on the same setup and the PAL videos are definitely better quality. The live NTSC DVDs look quite low-res at times with the image sometimes looking like it’s been filtered through a set of window blinds. However, chuck it up on a decent screen, kick back and grab a brew while you wallow in a legendary performance and you stop noticing after a while. The Blu-Ray version may be better, but I’m not technologically advanced enough to have one of those so I can’t comment.
In addition to the show, there are interviews and features on the flamethrowing bass and the mad drum rig. All are worth a watch, though it’s the show itself that stands up to repeat viewing.
This is genuinely one of those “wish I was there” performances. If you were there then you’ll want this as a souvenir. If you weren’t then you don’t want to miss out.