by guest writer, Aimee Woodward
So we travelled down from Scotland to Manchester (over 7 hours on the train due to lightning causing signal problems at Penrith) and prepared to see the Crue. The theatre doors opened at 7pm and we arrived just afterwards. We did the obligatory “15 minutes in the ladies toilet queue” to be greeted by lots of other Scots, people dressed up as band members, and a LOT of leather and thick eyeliner. As we entered the auditorium, I was actually surprised because wherever we stood we seemed to get a great view. This was because the floor is on a slant so it is quite easy to get a good spot. We got in just in time to catch support act Papa Roach take to the stage to warm the crowd up – we managed to get quite near the front right in the middle of the crowd. I was never really that keen on Papa Roach, although I admit I hadn’t listened to much of their music. Well we were blown away. Those guys were amazing. Great vocals, great riffs, overall a very entertaining band. The crowd were rocking away before the main band even came on stage. Lead singer Jacoby Shaddix jumped into the crowd during one of the songs and the infamous Last Resort at the end of their set had the whole arena jumping around.
Around about 9pm the lights went down again. By this time we had moved back a bit because of the sweltering heat in the theatre, I actually felt quite faint and so had to get out before the crowd pushed forward. We still had a relatively good view although my phone battery died and my disposable camera was not good enough so I didn’t really get any decent pictures. Smoke filled the stage and spilled out onto the standing area. Suddenly the drums kicked in and as the smoke cleared, the excitement turned to confusion – that’s not Tommy Lee!!! Then within a flash Nikki, Mick and Vince are on stage and the intro to Dr Feelgood begins with flashes of pyro and flamethrowers from all over the stage. The guys are all on top form as Dr Feelgood finishes and they lead into Shout at the Devil. The drummer is introduced as Will Hunt from Evanescence who is standing in for Tommy. Tommy comes onto the stage and apologises to the crowd, he has hurt his arm and is unable to play. He leads the crowd in a rap and goes offstage. Tommy appeared later on to play keyboards during Home Sweet Home and to hand out a bottle of Jagermeister to the crowd and insisted everyone took a shot and passed it back. Vince is very animated as he runs around the stage, as is Nikki who is full of attitude and grins at the crowd, seeming constantly immersed in a beam of red light. Now I must admit I am slightly biased because I have a bit of a thing for Nikki, but I have to say the man was amazing. During Primal Scream he really came alive, running across the stage whilst flamethrowers and pyros exploded around him. Mick was understandably more demure due to his condition but played a blinder, his solos were perfect and near the end we were treated to a burst of Voodoo Chile before Kickstart My Heart. The crowd really seemed to enjoy themselves despite the sweltering heat and ended up singing the whole of Home Sweet Home back to Vince who seemed genuinely thrilled. Nikki promised the band would be back soon, but were taking time off to write and record a brand new album before touring again.
Tommy came out and played drums on Kickstart my Heart, afterwards proclaiming that it really hurt but he really enjoyed it. As the band went off stage Tommy thanked the crowd, and the show ended with the phrase “I love you fuckers!”
I think the highlights were definitely Vince and Nikki who were both on top form and really engaged the crowd throughout the show. From where I was standing the crowd seemed to really enjoy the interactions all the way through and I am sure I scared the living daylights out of the tall burly men standing near us with my screaming and jumping around. Whilst there were no dancing midgets, semi-clothed girls (except dancer Jozie who appeared to give Vince his guitar before Don’t Go Away Mad) or Harleys it was still a highly enjoyable show and the band did a great job entertaining the crowd. My only disappointments were that they didnt play Too Fast For Love, Sick Love Song, If I Die Tomorrow, Too Young to Fall In Love, or Hell on High Heels.
Overall I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
My pictures didn’t come out too great since I just used a disposable camera but I found some bits and pieces from the gig.
Shout at the Devil
Looks that Kill
Same Ol’ Situation
Home Sweet Home
Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Louder than Hell
Girls Girls Girls
Anarchy in the UK
Kickstart My Heart