While I don't really go to concerts anymore due to soaring ticket prices, there are a few classic musical artists who I have always said that I simply must see perform live at least once in my life. For the longest time, the very top spot on my list has been occupied by shock rock veteran, Alice Cooper.
On Friday, August 29, Alice came to the Jones Beach Amphitheater as the opening act for Motley Crue's final tour. With a ticket in the upper deck going for a quasi-reasonable $25, I decided that I would seize the opportunity. Friday had been a rough day. While at work, I had the misfortune of witnessing a motorcycle accident that ended up in a fatality. The sight of such a horrible thing had shaken me up quite a bit and, by the time evening had rolled around, I was definitely looking for a little distraction. And Alice Cooper brought the goods! Playing most of his classic hits, Alice sounded great and put on a very entertaining show. It had all of those Funhouse-like elements that have made Alice Cooper such a unique name over the years. His concert gave me a wonderful feeling of nostalgia and it was exactly what I needed. I took great joy in singing along with every word.
Headlining the night was Motley Crue. After signing their "Cessation of Touring" agreement, this is to be their last tour ever and I could see why the decision is the right one. While they brought all of the grand-scale Rock & Roll glitz that one might expect, the pyrotechnics couldn't mask the fact that their music is stuck in a brief period of the 80s and just sounds stale in 2014. During any banter with the audience, the F-bomb was dropped multiple times, but, nowadays, the use of foul language from the stage just seems more trite that tough. At one point, a pair of scantily-clad, young girls appeared on stage to perform a pole-dancing act during "Girls, Girls, Girls," however, as I never lost sight of the fact that the band is now made up of middle-aged men, this came off as kinda weird and creepy. I have also never bought into the idea of "sex sells" in the arts. For me, half-naked girls on risers couldn't hide the fact that the band just sounded bad, and, as the name of the tour suggests: "All Bad Thing Must Come to an End." Whereas Alice Cooper brought a welcomed feeling of nostalgia, Motley Crue was just old hat. While I certainly respect them for signing their legally-binding agreement to never tour again, I was actually waiting for the concert to be over by the fourth song.
"All a man's ways seem right to him,
but the LORD weighs the heart."
~ Proverbs 21:2