Friday Night: Motley Crue & Poison At Toyota Center

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Photos by Jay Lee
Motley Crue, Poison, New York Dolls
Toyota Center
June 10, 2011

See mucho pyro, "Titty-cam" requests to Tommy Lee and lots more in our slideshow.

"This drink tastes like rank hooker ass," says the man in the club-level bar, clad in an oversized Motley Crue shirt from one of the last Crue Fest jaunts in Houston. It must be a bad batch of Bud Light coming from the taps, because he ends up replacing the prostitutey brew with a Shiner and a rum.

Welcome to Friday night at the Toyota Center, starring thousands of folks yearning for a piece of ass, a good buzz, and a taste of old-school metal mania, and three bands offering three versions of the latter.

Motley Crue, the burly and freaky metal band with a penchant for controversy; Poison, buoyed by good times (nothin' but) and the pop-idol good looks of the everlasting Bret Michaels; and the New York Dolls, a band that arguably kicked down the door for glam, punk, metal and androgyny in 1971.

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New York Dolls
The Dolls, all two of the original living members plus former David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick, opened up the proceedings at the strike of 7 p.m., with "Personality Crisis" to a sparse crowd of just a few thousand.

As a vintage Dolls fan, it's always hard to recognize this version of the band, without the departed (read: dead) Johnny Thunders, Arthur Kane and Jerry Nolan in tow, as something other than a David Johansen rock project that happens to carry the Dolls' name. It doesn't diminish the remaining power of seeing lead singer Johansen and guitarist Sylvain Sylvain onstage together, but it is a defanged model of the band.

The newer material, from their last three Dolls 2.0 albums, doesn't quite mix with the older stuff like "Pills" or "Trash," as much as they let you breathe in between the proto-glam hits. As for the band converting kids over to the golden age of glam on Friday night, they are better off sticking with the first two albums and the bootlegs.

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Poison
We don't want to say that Poison played louder and faster than headliners Motley Crue, but we honestly have to. Their middle set would be the most spirited and fist-pumping of the night, and that is coming from a longtime Crue fan. Fire shot from the riser behind drummer Rikki Rockett every 30 seconds, and Bret Michaels didn't act or sing like a guy who has been cheating death recently.

What was funny about this part of the night was realizing that Michaels' VH1 show Rock of Love was the best thing to happen to Poison, besides any MTV video they could have ever made in the '80s, with fans from the show making up a good section of the crowd. Wives dragged their husbands to the show to ogle Poison, while the men got to see some Crue in return. The moms rushing the stage with iPhones to capture C.C. DeVille's guitar solos were precious.

Some cougars seemed to still figure that tanned tits and tall hair still equal a backstage pass, but almost 25 years since the explosion of hair metal, that's not true anymore. A licensed acupuncturist has a better chance of getting pre- or post-show action on a tour like this - money and profits are on the line now, as the band members now seeing themselves as businessmen than roving, vagina-crazed pirates bathing in whiskey and delousing themselves with cocaine.


Location Info

Map

Toyota Center

1510 Polk, Houston, TX

Category: Music


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11 comments
Motleyhood
Motleyhood

You're an idiot for saying the Crue played slower.  Every single song they play (except for MAYBE Live Wire) is tracked.  What that means is Tommy Lee is playing to a click track and a few goodies are played back during the song to make it sound bigger.  Each song is tracked to the EXACT tempo of the original tunes.  I have no doubt that there were a few technical glitches because I was at the Dallas show and they had a few issues.  But to call out the tempo's like you know what you're talking about makes you look like a moron.   

SIN life time member
SIN life time member

Dude your writing is great but your opinion isn't consistent with the show I experienced. I have seen the crue so many times I can't remember starting when I was 17 and I am now 42. Comparitively, this show sounded great. Vince sounded sober and was actually able to carry a note, I never thought I would hear him sound like he did on the original and I was stoked! Slow? Marrs was tight and on key, his riffs gave me chills. Reminiscent of the days of old. Slow? I have become an old man or you were on crack. I guess you will have to answer that one. Tommy was the God that he has always been.

Chris G
Chris G

LOL @ same tired set list by Poison. You hit the nail on the head, Brett is about nothing but Business by playing to the "Rock of Love" newcomer and not the hardcore Poison fans who want a different set list. This is why they have to tour now with better drawing acts i.e. Crue, Def Leppard and can't headline thier own tour. People stopped coming after 2005 and on thier "Poison'd" tour in 07 they had to play smaller venues. QUIT PLAYING COVERS LIKE "YOUR MOMMA DON'T DANCE" FFS

Chris D
Chris D

What is "Shazam-ing"?

Jeremy
Jeremy

The Shazam-er is extra-special stupid, considering the app *only* works for prerecorded music that's got the digital tag Shazam looks for.  Genius, right there...

Jarod Frank
Jarod Frank

This was probably my 10th Crüe show, and they did not disappoint. It's about as close to a traditional 80s show as you're going to get these days with the pyro and theatrics. Someone needs to bring the lasers back though. It's also refreshing to see one of these retro package tours in an arena instead of the fucking Woodlands. I'm hoping the promoter made enough money (despite not being able to sell enough tickets to open the upper level) to keep bringing shows like this to the Toyota Center.  Sure there were technical problems, but only those really looking for them (like a hair metal nitpicker like myself) would really notice.

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

Sorry, I should have linked to a page for it. Jeremy is on point. 

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

He kept doing it during "Smokin' In The Boys Room" and was getting frustrated.  

Motleyhood
Motleyhood

Whatever the case... Sorry to be harsh.  Huge Crue fan and they usually take a beating for their live performances.  Personally, I think Vince Neil is a joke.  (And if you look back over the past 30 years he's always sucked!) So when the bagging has to do with him... Well, I can't argue that.  But the Crue are one of the few bands who actually still put on a show and make it a spectacle.  So maybe I get offended about things that don't really matter too much!  :)  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  But the tempos are spot on. ;)

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