Artist: Vince Neil
Venue: Irving Plaza (New York, NY)
Opener: Dirty Pearls
Label: Eleven Seven Music
After having been a Motley Crue fan from their almost beginning I had a general level of excitement at the prospect of being able to enjoy Vince Neil doing his thing as a solo artist. The singer had recently released a solo album of covers and I had to say that I really enjoyed “Tattoos and Tequila” more than I thought I would have. I state my views like this because I had really grown tired of this angle being used by artists to sell records and had honestly had my fill of “cover albums” by this point. Vince’s however was a perfect selection of the tunes and everything on it worked. That’s never a bad thing. The show tonight would be at Irving Plaza, a venue that was recently re-christened to this time honored name from The Fillmore NY at Irving Plaza which it had been operating under for a couple of years. Believe me I welcomed that and had been tired of the tongue twisting new name. Here is how the event went down for those who might have missed it or been attending the Alice In Chains, Mastodon, Deftones show that was going on at Madison Square Garden at the same time.
The action tonight would be started off by the NYC locals The Dirty Pearls and while this is a good show for the band, it was not the proper opener for the price tag that was hitting the fans who were in the room. I don’t mean this as an insult to them, but let’s give the people a solid package and have the Pearls be the first band up. Clearly they had some fans in the room and are a good live act but I have seen them so many times on shows like this that they are wearing on me as well. I like what they do but am always on the fence about them. Sometimes I enjoy it and sometimes I don’t care and wish someone else was up there. The same thing happens when my friends and I see Warbringer or Blackguard on every single heavy show we attend. You like the groups but when it is again and again and again they lose their specialness. It seemed that The Dirty Pearls had some new music to play and they are very energetic so I give them props for that. My favorite tune by them is their staple of “NYC Is A Drug”. Now it was time to enjoy Vince or was it?
There was a considerable amount of delay in the time it took for Vince Neil to reach the stage and I am not talking five or ten minutes here but at least a good thirty minutes and this is after everything appeared to be good to go on the stage. That was really unacceptable to do to the fans tonight but when he finally did come out they appeared excited and willing to forgive. Vince did start off with a good level of energy and he kicked this into gear with a Motley Crue classic in “Live Wire”. As this song played I immediately took notice of his drummer Zoltan Chaney who was a visual treat along with being a very solid drummer. He was doing all sorts of tricks and not losing a step as Vince continued on with a couple of more Crue tunes in “Dr. Feelgood” and “Piece Of Your Action”. Now I love these songs but I would have expected only the one as an opener before some solo originals – for that we had to wait until song number four which was the title of the new album. I will admit that this is my least favorite of the albums fare and would have preferred he did anything else instead. He did the Cheap Trick cover of “He’s A Whore” before jumping back into Crue standards and I will admit once again that this was a surprise to me. Vince Neil has a couple of rocking solo albums but outside of the two tunes he just played he would remain in his Motley Crue skin for every other song he participated in.
I realize that the last comment sounds strange but after “Same Ole Situation” we got the Blando Medley which was guitarist Jeff Blando from Slaughter who led the group into a couple of covers. With Jeff we got some Zeppelin, and some Black Sabbath from their Dio era. As a matter of fact he made sure to dedicate “Heaven and Hell” to the late great Ronnie James Dio and got a great response from the crowd. The weird thing was Vince was not even onstage when his guitarist offered up such a tribute and I viewed that as very cheap. I know if I was the lead singer that I would be onstage when one of my band members raises the horns for someone like Dio. This part of the show was great if you wanted to see just how well Blando worked with bassist Dana Strum and Zoltan but it went on for a good twenty five minutes which I felt was a bit long. I think that I would see these guys as a group of their own if the chance ever arose. Vince finally returned and while I had expected “Kickstart My Heart” (since I saw the set list on the stage) he would omit the number and do “Girls, Gils, Girls” instead. I had wondered if we would find another tune swapped out for “Kickstart” but we would only get “Wild Side” and then it was over. Had this show run on time the entire crowd would have been out of the venue by 10:30 the latest as opposed to our just after midnight exit. The reaction in the crowd was one of “wait, is that it? Are we done already” and I don’t blame them for any of that. It had me scratching my head as well.
So when you add all of this up (and let’s recap for a second) to being a little over thirty minutes late, cutting a song out of the set, and disappearing for twenty five minutes while your lead guitarist gets the spotlight I had to say that while there were some fun moments that the overall presentation was a big disappointment. Nine songs from the headlining singer in an eleven song set overall is really pathetic and something that insults the intelligence of the fans who are shelling out good money to see you play. Let’s face it, today people are minding their money a lot more carefully and I would not be surprised if this hurts his solo adventures the next time around. If he doesn’t feel any impact from this, then he should consider himself very, very lucky. Vince has been making headlines and not in the good way with driving while intoxicated issues and he doesn’t need to add delivering sub-par shows to the audience to the mix. He sounded good more than he didn’t and I enjoyed not having to sing every other verse of the tunes as I had done in the past at his performances. This is a diehard support base and I think more of the around 500 who attended left feeling empty handed. For me I saw what I needed to and was super excited for Monday’s Accept and King’s X show that was happening at B.B. King Blues Club. That was not going to disappoint anyone that is for sure.
Vince Set List:
1. Live Wire
2. Dr. Feelgood
3. Piece of Your Action
4. Tatoos and Tequilla
5. He’s a Whore
6. Don’t Go Away Mad
7. S.O.S (Same Ole Situation)
8. Whole Lotta Love
9. Heaven and Hell
10. Stairway to Heaven (solo/outro)
11. Kickstart My Heart (omitted)
12. Girls, Girls, Girls
13. Wild Side