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REVIEW: Crowd crows for the Crüe

Lead singer Vince Neil and bassist Nikki Sixx get up close and personal with the crowd during the Mötley Crüe concert at Westman Place in the Keystone Centre on Monday night.

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Lead singer Vince Neil and bassist Nikki Sixx get up close and personal with the crowd during the Mötley Crüe concert at Westman Place in the Keystone Centre on Monday night. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)

Lead singer Vince Neil whips up the crowd during Monday night’s concert.

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Lead singer Vince Neil whips up the crowd during Monday night’s concert. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN))

Too many fans wanting a piece of Mötley Crüe’s action has forced the ribald band to make a few changes to its show.

Instead of entering last night’s concert strutting through the crowd escorted by a phalanx of pretties in skimpies, the group simply walked onstage for its expected one-hour, 45-minute set at Westman Place in the Keystone Centre.

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Joining the band for opening number "Saints of Los Angeles" were a couple of acrobatic dancers. Women, of course. And more joined later, serving as bump-and-grind backdrops.

Some physical changes were also apparently made to the stage to prevent another incident such as what happened last Saturday in Estevan, Sask., when an overzealous member of the audience jumped onstage and tackled guitarist Mick Mars and made a grab for singer Vince Neil before security jumped in and hauled the moron away.

As fans know, Mars suffers from a painful medical condition called ankylosing spondylitis, which slowly fuses the bones together.

Mars later tweeted that he was OK.

Did the changes hurt the Brandon show before the 4,010 fans (84 per cent capacity as the venue was configured)? Nope.

The band was as loud and proud as ever, making it a fantastic event for real fans to see the superstar act — one of the best-selling bands of all-time — in a smaller venue. The group stuck to the set list it has been offering fans throughout the Canadian leg of its Monster tour — a mix of old and new, with an emphasis on the hits. In fact, the Crüe played eight out of what are normally considered the band’s top-10 fan favourites.

Fuelled by sex, drugs and alcohol, Mötley Crüe has rightly earned its notorious reputation from its beginnings.

But should a band with players in their 60s still be singing about all that kid stuff?

Sure, why not.

But what the band could do for its aging fan base is turn down the volume. Just a bit.

I was wearing earplugs for songs such as "Wildside" and "Shout At The Devil" and took them out just long enough to realize I would be risking some serious ringing in my ears today without them.

As for the crowd, it definitely skewed older — 30s and up — but there were also a lot of teens surely just thankful not to have to travel to Winnipeg to see a genuine rock ‘n’ roll show.

Yes, the staging was plain, but the lighting was good and the leather-and-denim clad boys (men?) in the band strutted back and forth enough to make sure they could be seen by all.

"How are you guys doin’ tonight? Who likes the old sh**?" potty-mouthed singer Neil asked the crowd "We have old songs, new songs, and some songs from the middle.

"And an awful lot of f***ing pretty girls."

The band then kicked into a hot version of the classic "Same Ol’ Situation," from the smash 1989 album, "Dr. Feelgood."

The band’s rhythm section was as tight as ever, with bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee keeping things grounded.

Well, that’s until Lee took a spin on his 360-degree vertical drum kit riser during an extended solo. A neat stunt for one of rock’s more flamboyant players.

Lee then chose a shirtless male audience member to join him for a spin.

At press time the band had yet to serve up its arguably three biggest hits: "Dr. Feelgood"; "Girls, Girls, Girls"; and "Kickstart My Heart." Mötley Crüe hasn’t been doing encores on this tour.

Hard-rockers Big Wreck opened the show with a 45-minute, workmanlike set.

The reunited act played to a half-empty room, as many folks were still going through the tight security at the gates.

And there was also still a good group inside the Hockey House — renamed Concert House — just off the Keystone Centre’s main mezzanine.

The concert was co-presented by the Brandon Sun and KX96.

The bands move to Winnipeg’s MTS Centre tonight.

» James O’Connor is the Brandon Sun’s managing editor. Earlier in his career he was an entertainment writer and concert reviewer. He’s on Twitter @Monstereditor

» joconnor@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 7, 2013

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Best concert Brandon has seen yet.....

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Too many fans wanting a piece of Mötley Crüe’s action has forced the ribald band to make a few changes to its show.

Instead of entering last night’s concert strutting through the crowd escorted by a phalanx of pretties in skimpies, the group simply walked onstage for its expected one-hour, 45-minute set at Westman Place in the Keystone Centre.

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Too many fans wanting a piece of Mötley Crüe’s action has forced the ribald band to make a few changes to its show.

Instead of entering last night’s concert strutting through the crowd escorted by a phalanx of pretties in skimpies, the group simply walked onstage for its expected one-hour, 45-minute set at Westman Place in the Keystone Centre.

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