Photo Credit: Adrian Hextall
At any rock concert, the probability of walking through piss puddles, getting kicked by a stranger or being vomited on is pretty high, but at a Mötley Crüe concert, these events are expected. The legendary rock band’s final show on New Year’s Eve at Los Angeles’ Staples Center was no exception.
Openers The Struts brought their U.K. swagger to the stage to warm up the crowd. With a heavy Queen-influence and strictly Brit-rock appearance, the band knew no one in the audience was really there for them, but was lucky to receive a warm response anyway.
“I know practically all of you didn’t come here to see us, but thank you for being so welcoming,” lead singer Luke Spiller told the crowd.
Despite the usual thrill of a Mötley Crüe concert, a creeping sadness filled the arena as everyone knew this was the last time Hollywood’s original bad boys would take the stage together.
Just as with every other date on this tour, Thursday’s (Dec. 31) show began when the lights dimmed and The Sound of Music’s “So Long, Farewell” was piped through the speakers. Shortly into the set, lead singer Vince Neil stopped to thank everyone who helped put the show together, mentioning that drummer Tommy Lee’s drum kit roller coaster took two crews alone to assemble.
Neil, visibly choked up, paused and turned away from the microphone. He finished by saying, “Most of all, I want to thank you motherf—ers for coming out and spending New Year’s Eve with us. Now let’s get to the music.”
The set included longtime hits like “Wild Side” and “Kickstart My Heart,” as well as a cover of The Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the UK.”
During Lee’s solo, his infamous drum kit roller coaster malfunctioned, leaving the rock star suspended upside down halfway through his performance. As road crew members scrambled up the structure, Lee said, “It looks like the roller coaster is broken, well f— the roller coaster! Come on guys, help. Come get me. I can’t believe this is happening on the last night. I knew something wasn’t right when I took off.”
The drum kit was set right and as Lee climbed down the roller coaster guitarist Mick Mars launched into his solo. The drum kit was rolled back to the stage without it’s passenger, so Lee could finish playing the show.
While the drum roller coaster mishap set the New Year’s toast back by three minutes, the Crüe rang in 2016 with the title track from 1989’s Dr. Feelgood. The quartet ended their 34-year-long career with the ballad “Home Sweet Home,” a fitting choice as all four wanted to end their life as a band in the same place where everything began.
Bassist Nikki Sixx said, “Maybe a year from now, somebody’s gonna look at you and say, ‘Remember that band Mötley Crüe? They were pretty cool.’ And you know what you’re gonna say? ‘Well f— you because I was at their last concert ever!’”