FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Nikki Sixx, left, and Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe worked the crowd Wednesday night at the Blaisdell.
Mötley Crüe still has plenty in the tank to please fans
It was a reunion of sorts for Mötley Crüe on Wednesday, as the '80s rock heavyweights brought their "Red, White and Crüe: Better Live than Dead" tour to Honolulu.
After blazing through "Shout at the Devil" and "Too Fast for Love," lead singer Vince Neil paused long enough to ask the Blaisdell Arena crowd, "Who was here the last time we were here?"
Judging by the enthusiastic response, a majority had returned after 15 years for one more night with Neil and bandmates Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx. Only this time they brought their kids, and the show wasn't sold out.
The generation gap was most evident before "Home Sweet Home," when Neil instructed the crowd to "light this place up" and "make it look beautiful."
A punk-rock kid with a pink mohawk and a preppy 20-something who looked more as though he were dressed for the Ocean Club both whipped out their trusty cell phones, but four middle-aged girlfriends a few rows over all had lighters. So did the biker-types and die-hard fans sporting Crüe T-shirts.
Regardless of age, everyone in the audience fed off the band's energy. Honolulu might have been their last stop before taking a break for the holidays, but the guys appeared to truly enjoy themselves.
"I can't think of a better place to take a f-ing break after 11 months," Lee told the crowd at one point during the nearly two-hour concert. "I want to thank you guys for making me feel at home."
Mars and Sixx took turns sauntering across the stage as Neil wailed his way through classics including "Looks that Kill," "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)" and "Same Ol' Situation." Mars, despite having undergone hip-replacement surgery, thrashed out extended solos during "Live Wire," "Girls, Girls, Girls" and "Dr. Feelgood."
A few things were missing from the show, compared to the Crüe's "Carnival of Sins" DVD released earlier this year. Gone was the animated video that introduced the band, Lee's use of a female flesh-friendly "TommyCam," and a giant big-top curtain used as a backdrop on stage.
Luckily, Honolulu still received the full pyrotechnic treatment. Besides walls of flame that lined speaker cases on opposite sides of the stage, giant plumes of fire pulsated in time with each song, and a full-blown fireworks show capped off "Kickstart My Heart." We also got Mighty Mike, the "amazing midget," and three scantily-clad ladies who alternated between shaking it for fans and rubbing up on Neil as he sang.
The Crüe managed to keep up its bad-boy image, with a liberal dose of profanity after each song, Lee chucking an almost-empty bottle of Jagermeister at one lucky person in an attempt to share, and Sixx alternating between grinning like a maniac and spitting into the crowd.
But judging by the faces afterward and the euphoric screams that came from cars lined up at parking-lot exits, Honolulu got what it was promised -- an entertaining trip down memory lane with a band that had no problems proving it still has enough left in the tank.