Dirty Circus

Mˆtley Crže
Air Canada Centre
February 23, 2005
The stage was covered over in a faded multicolored circus tent. The lights dropped out and the sold out crowd erupted in applause. Before the music started a creepy and disturbing dwarf walked out from the curtain and stood near a wooden box. As he waved his hands silently interacting with the crowd; two ladies dressed in traditional stripper gear (with a circus ambiance) slowly made their way out of the box. The curtain lifted up and Mˆtley Crže started the night with their '83 release of "Shout to the Devil". To the left, right, and middle of the stage screens were set up for viewing pleasure. Tommy Lee and his drum kit were propped up in the middle of the stage with the pyrotechnics equipment all around him. Loads of fire, dazzling lights and big bangs going on.

Throughout the set a moment was taken to enjoy a few slow songs. This brought the tone of the crowd down and had everyone singing along to classics like: "Home Sweet Home".

When the first set was over the band gave us a 10-minute intermission to stretch our legs and grab another $12 beer. During this miniscule break clay animation took over the viewing screens compliments of www.disasterthemovie.com.

The second set was way more impressive than the first and a personal highlight for me. As the curtain lifted each of the boys rode in on Choppers. The stage was once again adorned with stunning ladies scantily dressed. The viewing screens displayed appropriate visuals of what gave the red light district and strip clubs happy advertising. The music started with "Girls, Girls, Girls" and played out in full style. During all of this the women continued their "cirque de Soliel" acrobatics using chains, fabric and rings above and around the stage. Pointing out Vince Neil's sporting of the "Toronto Maple Leafs" jersey - this seemed to appease the masses.

Tommy Lee's drum solo was impressive primarily due to his choice of techno samples. The menacing clowns helped hook him into a jumper line. This carried him back and forth between two decks located on the top left and right of the stage. These platforms were stocked with natural and synthetic drum sets. To be fair there was a higher expectation from him. Given the big show it took to get him up to the decks we were looking for more action and craziness with the sticks. It is not a shock to anyone that Lee is an impressive talent. However, I could not understand why he seemed to play it safe and show no display of his skills? Perhaps it was due to his relentlessness behind the drums throughout the entire show? Perhaps you can't knock him for that.

During the show Tommy grabbed a video cam and asked that the Toronto women "expose" themselves. I was surprised at the lack of women willing to give into Lee's request. On the other hand, I am sure there were those women who wanted him to expose everything. In another moment he was telling the crowd that he "loved us infinity". This love is contributed to the fact that Crže's concert was sold out within a few hours of tickets going on the block. His enthusiasm for the entire event was also apparent after each song - when you could hear him say "yeah" or "woo". You have to love Mr. Lee for his energy and extremism.

Although earplugs were worn there were moments that they were unnecessary. I was surprised with the lack of ear piercing notes especially with the high ends of Neil's vocals. The sound techs worked their magic with a proper blend in order to avoid listener's ear damage. So impressive!

Vince Neil & Nikki Sixx worked all parts of the stage showing they still have the energy. Mick Mars was looking a little frail but managed to pump the crap out of what he had.

The show ended with an encore performance, which included some fireworks, more bangs, and flames. There was a random audience member who decided it was a great idea to get on stage only to be tackled and carried out of the stadium. At least he waited until the end of their gig. What good would a "rock and roll" show be without a little drama from an audience member. That was the exception as the audience was extremely well behaved.

"The Traveling Freak Show" had all the ingredients for a perfect rock act; it was full of eye candy, non-stop action and rockstars. However, It is definitely not for the prude. I am happy the Crže left their spandex at home and thanks Tommy for the white face make-up!

Writer: Penny Hayward

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