Thursday, 22 December 2011

Panther/Crue/Leppard - Actual review

Better than Xmas

For all the glam rockers of Glasgow Christmas came on the 9th of December rather than the 25th – when Steel Panther, Motley Crue and Def Leppard played the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow.   My friends and I queued from 2pm to ensure we got to the barrier – we did! 

The first band on were ‘cock rockers’ ‘Steel Panther’ and boy are they an entertaining band to see live. If you think they are funny on record, you need to see them live. The charade of being a womanising glam band is emphasised under the bright stage lights. An example of this would be the bassist Lexxi Foxxx having a pink sparkly mirror attached to his bass - to enable him to check his hair is still sitting perfectly in between songs - is one of the funniest things I have seen to date. It is even funnier if you are aware that all members of Steel Panther except the lead singer Michael Starr wear wigs.

The crowd played along with the charade though by throwing panties on the stage and by flirting back with the band who were flirting with members of the audience.

Starr's vocal were amazing. His voice is in my opinion better live than on record. This might be a bit controversial but his vocals are maybe of a better quality than Vince Neil's... It would be interesting to hear them sing together side by side. There's a thought for you.

They played classics such as ‘Community Property’ and ‘Death to All But Metal’ but also played tracks off the new album – with titles like “Just Like Tiger Woods” and “Seventeen Girl’s In a Row” I’m sure they will also be classics in no time.

If you enjoyed seeing Steel Panther or missed out on seeing them then they are returning to Glasgow on the 28th of March.

It was funny to hear Starr sing the lyrics “Where are Def Leppard? Where are Motley Crue?” Well, the answer would be backstage.

Motley Crue were the second headliners of the night but for most people there they were the only headline act. Motley Crue are known for being amazing live on arena tours. The DVD of their previous tour 'Carnival of Sins' gave everyone some inclination to as what to expect. The band did not let us down. The sound quality was amazing and the atmosphere palpable. It reminded me of how much music can influence your mood and in turn your life. Everyone was so full of energy and excitement and some were rather emotional.

The Highlight of the Motley Crue set was Tommy Lee's drum solo on his drum roller coaster. Yes, drum roller coaster – Youtube it if you don’t believe me – in fact just Youtube it anyways for it is amazing.  To watch someone still play drums whilst hanging upside down, well he puts Joey Jordison’s rotating drum kit to shame.

Neil and Sixx controlled the atmosphere of the crowd by rotating about the stage so that everyone could see them and through talking to the audience.  Sixx  at various points was spitting water and fake blood on to the audience – well you can’t get much more intimate than that.

The band played an array of songs but the one that sticks out in my mind is ‘Home Sweet Home’ because Tommy Lee plays piano for part of this song you get to see the band standing together on stage and you can sense that it is an important song to all of them. 

They also played crowd pleasers such as ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ and ‘Dr Feelgood’.  Neil’s vocals were on top form and it still astounds me how he can hit those notes.  The band may have matured in appearance and toned their dress sense down slightly but they still sound the same as they did back in the day.

I found a whole new appreciation for the lead guitarist Mick Mars. I noticed more so than before that he doesn't move about the stage very much for a guitarist but this is because he has ankylosing spondylitis - a chronic, inflammatory form of arthritis that affects the spine and pelvis. He was diagnosed when he was seventeen so he has been dealing with it most of his life and it is clear through watching him that he is in a lot of pain but man does he play guitar well! I don't think he gets nearly enough credit because he's overshadowed by the other three members. I'm not saying the other three Vince Neil, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx are not as equally talented, I just think it would be nice if Mick Mars got a little bit more recognition.

They ended their set with ‘KickStart My Heart’ and succeeded in soaking the crowd with their ‘blood cannons’.  I was hid under my jacket but was still soaked.  I’m not going to lie I did not enjoy this part very much but the rest of the crowd appeared to lap to up.  I suppose it is not every day you can say you were soaked by Motley Crue.

We did stick around to see Def Leppard after we had dried off - who were after all the headline act but most people were there to see Motley Crue. Well most people standing. The seating area appeared to be mainly Def Leppard fans. Although the group of guys next to us certainly had a great time dancing about - obviously they had been let out by their wives for the night.

This was the second time I had seen Def Leppard live and although they are good live they just don’t captivate my attention for long.  I find them quite boring to watch but I still wouldn’t give them a bad review.  For a band to still be touring after coming up on thirty year of being together this itself is impressive and to hear classic tracks like Pour some Sugar and Let’s Get Rocked live can never be a bad thing.

When the tickets went on sale a lot of people complained because of the price of £50 but it was worth every penny and great value for money – to see three great bands for £50 when Def Leppard or Motley Crue on their own would be about £40 – well you can’t complain.  Anyone who decided against paying the £50 really missed out on an amazing night.

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