Cruefest – Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati, OH 8/19/08

Attended the first annual Cruefest yesterday – the Motley Crue headed tour that also features Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Sixx AM (Nikki Sixx’s side project) & Trapt.   First off, this is the first time I’ve been to Riverbend in over 10 years & I really hate the layout now.  Who in their right mind puts EIGHT very large, steel beamed supports partitioning the more expensive pavilion seats & the lawn?  People smack middle to the stage, but in the lawn, had to sneak a peak between these huge girdered columns – which didn’t allow nearly enough viewing space for an entire crowd.  Easily 40% of the lawn seats were forced to watch the show in this manner.  Fortunately, on the far sides of the lawn there were no supports so you could sit in that small area & still see the show (which is what my group was forced to do).  I would really hesitate to go to this venue again unless I was willing to pay pavilion prices.

Trapt was first up and was incredibly average.  It’s always tough to go first & the crowd just wasn’t into them all that much.  It didn’t help that the band has only one real hit (‘Headstrong’, which is really annoying to me) and didn’t have much presence on stage.

Next up was the much ballyhooed Sixx:A.M., who pulled in a much larger portion from the beer lines – and deservedly so.  Aside from Sixx, vocalist James Michael & Guitarist DJ Ashba are both Sunset Strip vets & their expertise is evident from the moment they hit the stage.  Songs included opener ‘Xmas in Hell’, ‘Tomorrow’, ‘Accidents Can Happen’, ‘Pray for Me’ & video phenom ‘Life is Beautiful’.

Then came Papa Roach, probably the most energetic band all night.  To me, they don’t have as many recognizable songs but I did love hearing ‘Forever’ & ‘Last Resort’.    The rest was unfamiliar but ‘almost’ moshpit heavy.  They were all dressed predominantly in black, with spikey hair, tats and thrashing about the stage like jet-fueled hooligans.  Pretty fun, even if I didn’t know what I was listening to.

Buckcherry was a disappointment & I know many will disagree with me.  They’re a perfect opener for Crue, don’t get me wrong, as their subject matter & delivery is very remniscent of old Aerosmith.  But y’know, two good songs won’t carry a set – especially when you drag ‘Crazy Bitch’ out to 18 minutes because of a pointless dialogue by singer Josh Todd where, among other things, he describes various sexual positions he enjoys etc. etc.  Look Josh, I’m sure the chicks will help you out AFTER the show but for now, can you just play!?  Really expected them to keep pace with Papa Roach but nope, too busy strutting & trying to urge enthusiasm out of an unimpressed crowd.  Like I said, I was expecting better.

After a brief shadow play on the stage curtains showing an angel walking over & then going down on a devil, the mighty Crue took the stage.  Easily one of the top 5 live acts in rock n’ roll, and out to prove it, the self-proclaimed ‘Saints of Los Angeles’ took CinciNASTY (as they called it) by storm.  There was pyro, fireworks, smoke, enough flashing lights to fritz out 100 epileptics, 4 video screens (which often showed blurry porn & S&M scenes) and a set with the words ‘Los Angeles’ (spelled backwards) sprawling like Stonehenge from end to end.  No strippers this time out, but we still got Tommy’s Tittycam, a smokin’ guitar solo by Mick Mars and just about every hit you would hope for (although no ‘Smokin’ in the Boys Room’, surprisingly).  Here’s the setlist;

  • Kickstart My Heart
  • Wildside
  • Shout at the Devil
  • Saints of Los Angeles (where they were joined by all four singers from the other bands)
  • Guitar Solo (including Voodoo Chile)
  • Live Wire
  • Sick Love Song
  • Motherfucker of the Year
  • Don’t Go Away Mad, Just Go Away
  • Same Ole’ Situation
  • Primal Scream
  • Looks That Kill
  • Girls, Girls, Girls
  • Doctor Feelgood
  • Home Sweet Home [ENCORE]

I don’t believe there was anything else, but I did have to leave to make the 2 hour drive home at that point – so feel free to correct me if I missed anything.

It was a very strong performance, even this late into their two month tour – and I would heartily recommend catching the show if you get a chance.  I will definitely try to see Cruefest 2.

In fact, & to be honest, I spent most of the night thinking the Crue would’ve been an equally good first concert for my twins (instead of Iron Maiden), but after watching the smokin’ hot girls next to me dirty dance each other all night, and then the porn started on the big screens, and then Tommy’s Tittycam (he later handed a full bottle of jager into the crowd for his “homies in the lawn”) etc etc.   well, let’s just say it might be better to keep some things to yourself after all.

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4 Responses to “Cruefest – Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati, OH 8/19/08”

  1. Laureen says:

    I just saw the Crue tonight in Mass. & you hit every nail on the head. I read this after seeing the show so it is funny how you stated about the drawn out rambling before Crazy Bitch. I have taken my daughter to see the Crue before & normally she enjoys it. I did think the all the lesbian porn was unnecessary! I’m just glad I didn’t have a teen son at this show. I really do feel sorry for the younger kids at the show because I didn’t find it blurry at all and it was right there on giant screens. I can only imagine wht those parents were doing to cover their eyes. I have being seeing the CRue live since I was in high school 1987. I still love there music & they put on a great show BUT COME ON! If you they think they have to show some big breasted women going down on each other to sell a ticket THEY DON’T !! Please love the CRUE & just want to see the & hear the best rock n roll band of the last 25yrs

  2. RevMortis says:

    Good comments, thanks! I also thought there was more satanic imagery than usual – a LOT of inverted crosses etc.

    Now, I’m certainly no fundamentaljob, but since when did the Crue become Slayer? Or Deicide?? Admittedly, they’ve always been borderline, what with those pentagrams in the video to “Looks that Kill” which catapulted them to fame and all, but forgive me – aren’t they more or less a PARTY band!? What’s with the blasphemy all the sudden? Does it sell better??

    And yeah, I would’ve been really uncomfortable if I’d brought my kids. When all is said and done, I think Maiden was the better choice. They’ve stayed a lot truer to their fanbase.

  3. papa roach says:

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  4. trapt says:

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