TVD Live: Mötley Crüe and Alice Cooper at the Shoreline, 7/23

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (1 of 13)

Last week I saw one of my favorite bands on the planet perform on their final tour. I’ve seen Mötley Crüe 6 or 7 times over the years and I could easily see them play many more times. It’s been a good run for the bad boys of rock having sold over 80 million records, sold out countless tours across the globe, and spawned more than 2,500 Mötley Crüe branded items available in over 30 countries.

They’ve built a heavy metal empire and along the way set the bar very high for what defines the best and the worst elements of being a rock star. But, you have to respect these guys for knowing when to call it a day. Leaving the fans with a lasting memory while they are arguably at their finest, this show was everything I had hoped it would be and more—a mind-blowing mix of fire, explosions, and musicianship set to a stellar choice of cuts from the band’s extensive catalog.

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In between it all, Nikki Sixx would get intimate with the crowd and talk about the band’s formation and the early days. I wouldn’t be surprised if his eyeliner might have smudged with a few tears because he was starting to get emotional.

The setlist was a perfect mix of the usual suspects with the addition of a few rarities and surprises in the form of songs I never heard the Crüe perform live. “On with the Show” and “Too Fast for Love” from the first record sounded amazing, while “Shout at the Devil,” “Too Young to Fall in Love,” and “Looks that Kill” reminded me how much I fucking love their second album. “Saints of Los Angeles,” which has been a recent staple over the years, is a true classic and seriously one of the best opening songs the band has in their arsenal.

Other highlights were “Without You” which I haven’t heard played in years, and of course “Dr. Feelgood” which absolutely slays live. The encore was an overly sincere version of “Home Sweet Home” that ended with a roar. As I was walking out—mind-blown of course—I thought to myself, is this really it? Can this be the last time I will ever see the Crüe live? I believe it is, but goddamn this was one hell of a way to go out. Nicely done boys.

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So, as you are probably noticing with the photos, the Crüe cancelled all press that night—even though I was lucky enough to shoot them twice before, the first being my actual first concert shoot and the entire reason I still shoot today. But, I was in the fifth row with my point and shoot to get a few shots that would hopefully capture the magnitude of the rock ‘n’ roll bombastic-ness. It definitely doesn’t do the show justice, but when the pro photogs are banned, we have to get creative with what’s allowed.

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (2 of 4)

What could make this tour better you ask? How about having a legend open the show for you? The original shock rocker Alice Cooper DID allow us photogs to shoot the show and it was one of the best shoots of my career. Cooper schooled this crowd with what he does best, incorporating his classic horror themed, over the top theatrics with his brilliant catalog spanning over 40 years.

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (2 of 13)

Cooper pulled out all of the stops for this one including the guillotine, Frankenstein, straitjackets, hot crazy mental ward nurses, along with a cast of monsters and ghoulish tricks that ended with a showering of confetti and a full house of fans singing “Schools Out” at the top of their lungs. Even though Crüe is retiring, Alice Cooper is 66 years young and absolutely killing it on stage—literally and figuratively.

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (3 of 4)

Cooper always puts together and amazing band but this time he has outdone himself. There’s a new addition named Nita Strauss who is absolutely mind-blowing. This one can shred with the best of them and she was on fire. She is the type of guitarist who is carrying the torch for heavy metal and introducing new fans to the pivotal role a lead guitar plays.

In a world where guitar solos are becoming increasingly sparse, Nita Strauss is making them sexy again, and again I mean that both literally and figuratively.

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (3 of 13)

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (4 of 4)

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (4 of 13)

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (5 of 13)

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (6 of 13)

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (7 of 13)

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (8 of 13)

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (9 of 13)

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (10 of 13)

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (11 of 13)

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (12 of 13)

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (13 of 13)

Alice Cooper Performing Live at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View (1 of 4)

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Bottom line, if you get the chance to see this show,  get there early and plan to stay late. The Final Tour continues in the US before hitting international territories in 2015.  Check out hi-res photos of Alice Cooper in the gallery.

 

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