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Darius Looks at Crue Fest 2

21 March 2009 10 Comments

By: Darius

Motley Crue recently announced the sequel to last summer’s successful concert tour, aptly titled Crue Fest. This year’s festival will feature all new supporting acts but much of the same hijinks that one would expect from a Motley Crue show. Motley Crue will again headline the festivities with direct support coming from platinum-selling Massachusetts metal band Godsmack. Theory of a Deadman, Drowning Pool and Charm City Devils round out the bill of what is sure to guarantee an evening’s worth of booze, naked flesh, and loud rock music for audiences nationwide.

The summer-long jaunt, which kicks off July 19th in Camden, NJ, traverses the entire country before concluding September 5th in Darien Lake, NY. Crue Fest 2 was announced in typical Motley Crue fashion; the band showed up to FUSE networks in New York City for a press conference in a large limousine made to look like a vintage ambulance accompanied with models in sexy nurse outfits. You gotta love the Crue.

Perhaps the single greatest feature of this summer’s tour is that the band will play the seminal classic, Dr. Feelgood, in its entirety to celebrate its 20th anniversary. I can’t decide which is more unbelievable: the fact that the Crue is alive and out on stage after all these years or that we lucky fans are going to get to hear some pretty classic songs that are rarely, if ever, performed live. Personally, I can’t wait to hear “Sticky Sweet.”

So the press conference goes underway and the very first question asked was, “Why did you choose these particular bands?” Nikki Sixx, the Crue’s bass player and possibly the coolest person on the face of the earth, answered, “The bands on last year’s tour and as well as this tour were chosen based on good songwriting, great live performances, history with large fan base or something that we believed in that was brand new or something exciting for rock fans to discover.”

Save it Mr. Sixx. You’re the man, but you’re not fooling anyone. Besides yourselves, four of the bands that you chose from last year (Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Trapt and your own Sixx:AM), and two more from this year (Drowning Pool and Charm City Devils), share the same management company, Allen Kovac’s Tenth Street Entertainment. It’s fine that Crue Fest is being utilized as a vehicle to showcase the Tenth Street roster, but let’s call a spade a spade. I doubt you were taking Trapt out last summer because Crue audiences go wild for “Head Strong”.

In any case, let’s take a look at this year’s crop of bands:

The Saints of Los Angeles - Motley Crue

The Saints of Los Angeles - Motley Crue

These guys don’t need an introduction. They don’t need a bio. It is simply impossible to see these guys live and have a bad time. They are one of the greatest rock bands of our time, period.

Godsmack

Godsmack

Godsmack is also a great live band. It’s been awhile since I last saw them play back-to-back shows in Worcester, MA and Utica, NY in 2001, but I never forgot how good they were. The problem with Godsmack is that they got really repetitive with their records; many songs were derivative of their prior hits. I mean, “I Stand Alone” and “Straight Out of Line” are essentially the same song. How about “VooDoo” and “Serenity”? Not to mention lead singer Sully Erna, while a great frontman, borrowed heavily from Alice in Chains with his own band, from their very name (the song “God Smack” is off of the classic AIC album Dirt) from his vocal delivery, right down to the band’s sun logo.

But hey, I’m pumped to see them on this tour. They definitely will add a lot to the show and they should bring in some audience members that wouldn’t necessarily be all about seeing the Crue. You can expect to see some more pure metal heads at the show and I think that’s a great thing.

Worse Than Trapt - Theory of a Deaman

Worse Than Trapt - Theory of a Deaman

Theory of a Deadman is enjoying increasing popularity but I don’t get it. Too soft, very unoriginal, kind of annoying. I’ll admit that their single “Santa Monica” is a guilty pleasure but it ends right there.

Drowning Pool

Drowning Pool

I honestly can’t believe Drowning Pool is still around. I mean, they’re on their third singer! Original frontman Dave Williams tragically died of a rare heart condition on their tour bus. The band’s second choice, Jason “Gong” Jones, provided vocals to a lackluster record titled Desensitized (although “Step Up” is a great song), proved to be a much too explosive personality, and was unceremoniously kicked out of the band during the middle of a tour.

Enter former SOiL singer Ryan McCombs. Admittedly, McCombs has the best pure metal voice of the three. But that doesn’t necessarily translate into a cohesive unit that can write and record a good album as well as put on a dynamic performance. I just did not think Drowning Pool would be able to connect with fans anymore with the constant drama and revolving cast of singers. Not to mention, the first single released to the public as the McCombs-led Drowning Pool was “Soldiers”, which was written for our men and women in the armed forces. I admired the guys for trying, but the song is horrendous. After I heard that song, I thought these guys were done.

I was wrong. Little did I know, but they had much more up their sleeve with this album, titled Full Circle. The second single, “Enemy”, kills and would have been a more appropriate choice to re-introduce the band to the world. “Reborn” is a good song. But the album’s secret weapon is “37 Stitches”, a haunting ballad that is a swift departure from the usual hard rockers that we’ve come to expect from these guys. “37 Stitches” was actually the last song recorded for the record and was released due to popular demand. I have heard the song on Sirius satellite radio for months on end and I never get tired of it; it’s as good as any rock song released in the last year.

I’m glad Drowning Pool is on the tour. I’ve never seen them live and I like Full Circle. Some of the Dave Williams era stuff is good too so it’ll be good to hear the old songs.

Charm City Devils

Charm City Devils

I don’t have much to say about this band. Their debut album hasn’t dropped yet and I haven’t heard any of their stuff. My guess is that if any band is going to enjoy the mass exposure and excess that comes with a Motley Crue tour, it’s going to be these guys. The band was signed to Eleven Seven Music by Nikki Sixx, himself, so he obviously sees something in them. That’s enough for me to be excited to see Charm City Devils. That and the lead singer has cool rock guy hair.

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