Mötley Crüe / Alice Cooper

LA’s rock legends go out with a bang

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Whether you regard Mötley Crüe’s decision to call it quits as a tragedy for rock’n’roll or a blessed relief, there is no denying that they have orchestrated a spectacular exit that reaffirms the LA legends’ status as one of our world’s most uncomplicated pleasures.

Bringing ALICE COOPER [9] along for this final ride makes perfect sense too, although in light of the gloriously preposterous and anthem-packed display the old ghoul puts on tonight, it’s a decision that leaves the headliners with very little room for fuck-ups. Alice is a master of these occasions, with as many timeless classics up his sleeve as there are schlock rock props and goofy bit-part players littering the stage. Whether having his head cut off, gibbering in a straitjacket or simply prowling the boards like the creepy uncle of your worst nightmares, Coop is so dizzyingly entertaining that the final, riotous School’s Out feels like the last roar of a headline set, rather than just a world-class hors d’oeuvre.

(Image credit: John McMurtrie)

Realistically, MÖTLEY CRÜE [8] were always going to bring their A-game to Wembley. Despite the fact that they haven’t made an album worth a damn since 1990, there is such affection for the men that best encapsulated the Sunset Strip hair metal ethos that they could probably have been a pitiful shambles and the crowd would still have gone berserk. As it is, this is as slick and fiery as the quartet have ever been, guitarist Mick Mars defying his shuffling gait with a surprisingly visceral display of riffing and wild solos and Nikki Sixx marshalling the stage with the haughty charisma of a man with nothing to prove. Vince Neil is still a shambles, of course, and he chucks lyrics away like condom wrappers, dodging high notes and visibly flagging towards the end of the set.

But none of that matters, not least because most people’s main memory of this gig will be Tommy Lee’s utterly ridiculous, all-drumming’n’whooping rollercoaster ride from stage to sound desk: a sight so gloriously daft and extravagant that it even blots out the memory of Nikki’s earnest but oddly meaningless mid-set anecdote about his grandfather’s pocketknife. Erm, whatever. But as farewell parties go, this is still brilliant. From Girls, Girls, Girls to Kickstart My Heart, the Crüe go out with a bang and we may never see their like again.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.