Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison, Joan Jett bring tour to town


Motely Crue bassist Nikki Sixx was feeling generous midway through his band’s co-headlining set on Wednesday night (Sept. 7) at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

“You want this towel?” the San Jose native asked a woman standing in front of the stage. “I have a feeling that it’s exactly like the towel I gave your mom in 1987.”

There was certainly a lot of nostalgia and memories in the mix as the hottest rock road show of the year — the accurately named Stadium Tour — rolled into the home of the San Francisco Giants with co-headliner Def Leppard as well as support acts Poison and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.

It was all underscored by the fact that so little has changed for these acts over the decades. Jett is still rock royalty, delivering street-tough numbers with big sing-along hooks and a garage-rock attitude. Poison is still about “Nothin’ But a Good Time,” with vocalist Bret Michaels doing his best to put on a good show for fans and C.C. DeVille deliver plenty of blistering leads. Def Leppard is still like a slightly harder version of Journey, with a focus on clean sounding, expertly performed stadium anthems.

And Motely Crue is still, well, Motley Crue.

The classic (but rarely classy) Sunset Strip act was high on debauchery, low on professionalism, and was massively outshone in the music department by every other act on the bill. Yet, it also arguably delivered the most memorable set of the day — and surely was the band that most people were talking about the next morning.

So, yeah, nothing much has changed for the group.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 7: Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx performs during the Stadium Tour concert at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 7: Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx performs during the Stadium Tour concert at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 

The Crue made its intentions known at the very start of its approximately 90-minute set, kicking off its set with “Wild Side.” Vince Neil, never one of the better front men in hard rock, was short on charisma, stage presence, purpose and, most of all, vocal chops as he continued to limp his way through “Too Fast for Love” and other fan favorites.

“Who likes the old (expletive)?” Neil asked the crowd, before giving them a steady stream of it, with 11 of the 15 songs played hailing from the group’s five ’80s albums.

Interesting, one of the best songs of the set was a relatively new one — “The Dirt (Est. 1981)” — but that might be because it was also the only number to feature a guest (in this case, Machine Gun Kelly shown in a video on the big side screens).

The band was apparently out to set a record in terms of F-bombs uttered, seemingly including at least one in every sentence, and devoted plenty of screen time to its scantily clad Nasty Habits female dance crew. Yet, the debauchery level went to the next level — as it usually does — when Tommy Lee took centerstage.

“Now, what kind of trouble can we get into tonight?” he asked.

Lee — who is known for his leaked ’90s sex tape with then-wife Pamela Anderson as much as for his drumming skills — took the opportunity to bring up his recent nude selfies he posted on Instagram. He then suggested that some reciprocation is in order, saying that since people had already seen his (not so) private parts that they should expose themselves to him.

He called upon both men and the women to do so, with a few taking him up on the offer. That number included one man — according to Lee, a first for the tour — dropping trow and exposing himself to the 30,000-plus fans in attendance at this all-ages show via the big screens in the outfield.

In terms of the decadence displayed by Motley Crue, every other act on the bill pretty much came across like Abba.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 7: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts perform during the Stadium Tour concert at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 7: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts perform during the Stadium Tour concert at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 

Joan Jett took the stage early in the day, as fans were still filling out the stadium and went about showcasing all the reasons she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. The singer sounded terrific as she displayed her patented mix of old-school rock ‘n’ roll and punk edge on such favorites as “Cherry Bomb,” “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)” and “I Hate Myself For Loving You.”



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