At the end of July, the Boyfriend and I went to see Mötley Crüe and KISS live at the Time Warner Pavilion in Raleigh, N.C. We had great seats, in row P, and the weather was decent for summertime in the South. Rained in the very beginning, but since the pavilion was covered, we just felt a cool breeze. I felt sorry for everyone camping out on the grass, though.
The opening band, The Treatment, was energetic. I’m afraid to admit I couldn’t actually understand any of their lyrics, but the songs had a good beat. The lead singer made me feel very old when he announced he was under the legal drinking age in the U.S., but oh well.
At times, I felt a little over-dressed for the concert, as I was wearing a green cotton skirt and black top, and a lot of the concert-goers were sporting mullets, ripped shirts or wife-beaters (if they were wearing any tops at all), the usual “I’m in the Deep South” attire. But at other times, I felt quite normal when I spotted fishnets, over-the-top pink hair and leopard print tattoos. It’s not enough that the pattern has to invade everything from couches to baby clothes to dog collars, no, we have to sport it permanently. In bright colors.
The Crüe’s opening was interesting enough, a large clock counting down until the big entrance, and the band walked through the pavilion in a procession of scantily-clad dancers, theatrics and banners reminiscent of my (brief) college days.
Crüe was entertaining enough, they went through their repertoire of familiar songs (at least, I believe they did, not being a big Crüe fan). It seemed the lead singer was a bit confused and forgetful, and kept making up words to go along with the beat. Either that, or he was under the influence of copious amounts of drugs and was seeing shiny butterflies everywhere. I will give him credit, he did know his newest song quite well. Of course, it is about a favorite topic for most rock stars, movie stars and porn stars – sex.
I was quite impressed with their two dancers – the sheer amount of muscle needed to go up and down the chains and hang themselves in the air was really quite impressive.
When the drummer decided to do his (somewhat?) trademark drumming-upside-down routine, the crowd went wild. He found a volunteer to go with him on one song (amusingly enough, a Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song). The volunteer reminded me of an older Bruce Willis, and it made his day, nay, his year to go up there with the Crüe’s drummer.
Overall, Mötley Crüe had a performance full of lights, dancing women, and sparkly things. It was missing actual, live musical talent (well, the lead singer), but the show was eventful.
During intermission, the Boyfriend and I were subjected to a rather unique woman we called “Chatty Cathy.” Chatty Cathy was an older woman, late 60s, early 70s, and thought the Boyfriend was her new best friend. She would talk to him during the concert, even if he couldn’t hear her, or talk incessantly to herself. We learned many things about Chatty Cathy that evening, like she loved Toby Keith and Eminem and was a groupie of a local(ish) metal band. Oh, and she enjoyed dancing in white tights and a short red dress.
I was able to avoid most of her babbling when the Boyfriend went to get us a pretzel and drinkage, as I am partially deaf in one ear. Unfortunately for Chatty Cathy, it is my right ear I am deaf in, not my left (as I had informed her), but… Mea culpa.
The couple sitting to my right were quite amused by her as well, to the point where they were snapping pictures of her while she was dancing.
A stagehand for the Crüe operated a water gun into the crowd every now and then, rather refreshing since the high for the day was in the upper 90s. During one such time, the annoying woman in front of us (you know the type – standing on her chair, blocking the view for everyone, etc.) was trying to protect her hairdo from the gun by hiding under a rain jacket. The Boyfriend is an evil one, and kept gesturing to the stagehand to aim for her. He obliged, but not after aiming for the Boyfriend first. I think he felt it was worth it, the woman was soaked from head to toe.
When it became clear KISS was about to go on, a low murmur started building in the crowd. “This is it! This is what we’ve been waiting for!”
The band had a theatrical entrance, lowered from the heavens, like the human gods to us mere mortals. There was more smoke and lasers in KISS’s entrance, compared to the Crüe, and a lot more spandex.
Where people would talk a bit during Mötley Crüe’s set, they were almost reverential as they sang along to every. single. song. during KISS’s performance.
You could definitely notice the difference between Mötley Crüe and KISS – while I had trouble understanding the lyrics for the Crüe, I could definitely make them out for KISS. They were also more…energetic, they made the show about themselves (and their logo), rather than fancy lights and dancing girls.
We left before KISS finished their set, my feet were killing me, the Boyfriend was tired, and we wanted to avoid the traffic and the like from the mullet-bearing crowd.
I had some reservations about attending a concert, I’m not one for big crowds or loud music, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The music and energy pulled you in, I found myself moving to the music, or bouncing in my place, even to songs I didn’t know.
And it was quite fun to people-watch, I tell you.