The Austin Chronicle

Live Shot

Reviewed by Neph Basedow, July 18, 2014, Music

Cedar Park Center, July 15

During his 50 minutes as Mötley Crüe's opening act, shock rocker Alice Cooper performed hits including "Feed My Frankenstein" and "School's Out," brandishing props like a bloody crutch, money-spewing sword, and live boa constrictor. Striding onstage at the Cedar Park Center looking as he did in 1992's Wayne's World, the long avowed golfer, 66, then had to be restrained in an electric chair by masked executioners and forced under the guillotine by a sexy zombie nurse. Cooper would have been welcomed back for an encore, but Tuesday night belonged to the headliners. After signing a "cessation of touring" agreement in January, the Los Angeles quartet arrived 10 shows into their 70-date farewell tour. Nearly every member of the sold-out crowd sported a Crüe T-shirt, so the band pulled out all the tricks. Perhaps too many at once; the incessant fire bolts couldn't mask the fact that Vince Neil, 53, wasn't exactly acing the set. He flubbed high notes and relied on the crowd to sing the choruses. Where the frontman faltered, Tommy Lee compensated. The drumming remains remarkable all on its own, but his trademark 360-degree roller-coaster routine (aka "Crüecifly") is astonishing in person. Sentimental, Neil celebrated Crüe's "31 long, fucking crazy years [as a] band of brothers." Bassist Nikki Sixx corrected the singer's math (33 years): "None of us graduated high school," joked the group leader and principal songwriter, "but we didn't need to. We found each other." After "Kickstart My Heart" closed the two-hour fan favorites set ("Live Wire," "Too Fast for Love," "Looks That Kill," "Shout at the Devil"), the band left and soon reappeared on a tiny, suspended stage in the center of the venue. In this fireball-free setting, Crüe closed with felicitous 1985 ballad, "Home Sweet Home," the nostalgic moment tempered by Neil's final words, "We're gonna miss you fuckers," as Lee dry-humped the air. Mötley Crüe's last moments mirrored their now-storied career: a little bit sweet, and a whole lotta sour.

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