at Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN, USA, September 21, 2005

The Mötley Crüe Carnival Of Sins Reunion Tour hit the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, on September 21, 2005, to approximately 8000 appreciative fans who left the event with smiles on their collective faces. So many of 80s bands have either found the timing to be right again to reunite and give it another whirl, or, like in the case of Mötley Crüe, kissed, made up, and put aside their collective differences for the sake of recapturing some of that magic that they have been unable to replicate amongst their own side projects. Many of the reunited 80s bands, however, have reunited in vanilla fashion … opting to sort of just get back together to play a bunch of songs that sound familiar to everyone … songs that were responsible for making those bands gold and platinum sellers during their respective heydays.

Well, Mötley Crüe evidently didn’t get that memo, because the Carnival Of Sins show was just that … a show – complete with hordes of fireworks, flames, smoke, lights, scantily clad hotties undulating on various inanimate objects on stage, midgets, motorcycles, Planetoid videos with animated band caricatures serving in the lead roles, psychedelics, and, yes, the Tommy Lee Titty Cam! In other words, Mötley Crüe delivered a total entertainment package, spanning over 2 hours and 45 minutes. Whew!!!

The added challenge with this tour is, of course, the well-publicized ailment of guitarist Mick Mars, which has unfortunately hit his body hard enough to make him look frail on stage. Mars, though, looked highly motivated, and clearly showed his dedication to his profession, bandmates, and fans. All things considered, Mars performed remarkably throughout the show, although he did look like he was ready to drop at any moment near the end when he took over the spotlight during his guitar solo. You’ve got to admire Mars’ spirit and love for what he does, though … he was obviously struggling physically out there, but he stayed on top of his game for the better part of 3 hours. The other unexpected challenge at this juncture of the tour, unfortunately, was that a few nights prior to this show, Vince Neil injured his leg whilst on stage and had to be rushed to the hospital. The easy thing to do would have been to cancel a week or 2 of shows to let his leg limber up, but Neil decided to gut it out, and hobbled around the stage with a walking cane for the duration of the show. Clearly in pain, Neil still performed with stage charisma and enthusiasm.

The show started about an hour later than the posted time (possibly because no warm-up act was booked) with a hilarious, animated, mini-movie featuring Beavis & Butthead-type caricatures of the band, which gave way to the band taking the stage to the sounds of “Shout At The Devil.” The first half of the show (8 songs) was generally taken from the band’s first 2 albums, with the exception being “Louder Than Hell” off of the Theater Of Pain album. “Looks That Kill” was the clear highlight of the first set, generating the loudest audience response and sounding the best. Vince Neil was often getting lost in the mix, with Tommy Lee and Mick Mars dominating the soundscape.

After a 10-minute intermission and more animated screen shows, the band came back out with a bang, playing “Girls, Girls, Girls,” and other hits up through their Decade Of Decadence greatest hits CD. Adjustments must have been made during “halftime,” because Mötley Crüe just seemed to sound better when playing latter day songs like “Dr. Feelgood,” “Kickstart My Heart,” and “Home Sweet Home.” “Wild Side,” “Home Sweet Home,” and “Same Ol’ Situation” drew out the best audience responses, however, these fans were on top of it all night long, sounding often like 18,000 instead of just 8000.

With such strong and notable personalities in this band, it makes sense that Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, and Tommy Lee all took generous turns at addressing and engaging the audience. Seldom do you see bands spending as much time talking to and joking with the audience as Mötley Crüe did on this night. Tommy Lee, especially, must have spent 20 minutes gelling with the audience via his extended drum solo and the Titty Cam. The Titty Cam antics were hilarious … basically, Lee got ahold of a small, hand-held camera that was connected to the side video screens, and beckoned the girls in the audience to “whip the shit out.” To the enjoyment of the audience, many hotties in the audience did just that. A particularly humorous exchange came when one of the girls in the audience refused to bare her breasts unless Tommy “whipped his shit out.” Tommy responded by saying, “You want me to whip my shit out? Why would you want me to do that? The WHOLE WORLD has already seen my shit!” – referring to the unwanted dissemination of his X-rated home video with Pamela Anderson Lee. Lee’s drum solo was out of this world … he started with a pretty basic drum pattern, then the lights went out briefly, and next thing you know, he’s flying like Peter Pan between 2 additional drum kits perched about 30 feet (10 meters) above the stage on both the left and right sides, amid pyrotechnics, strobe lights, and aerial bombs. Truly a spectacle.

Overall, even with band performing as the walking wounded, the reunited Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, and Mick Mars still know how to deliver an excellent concert and spared no expense to put on a spectacular stage show. The show included many ties and tricks with roots back in the 80’s … even the set was almost entirely comprised of 80’s material … but you can’t knock the band for this. In the end, they are an 80s band, if not the definitive 80s band that influenced and drove the Glam/Hair Metal movement into the mainstream. Mötley Crüe looked like they were having a total blast on stage, and further solidified their reputation as knowing how to throw the ultimate party. After all, Rock ‘n’ Roll is supposed to be about having fun, and this band epitomizes that line of thinking. As Tommy Lee said near the end of the concert with great enthusiasm, “This is NOT a farewell tour – we’ll be back to see all of you f#*kers again very soon!” We can all only hope … after all, Metal needs a united Mötley Crüe!


Shout At The Devil / Too Fast For Love / Ten Seconds To Love / Red Hot / On With The Show / Looks That Kill / Louder Than Hell / Live Wire – (Intermission) – Girls, Girls, Girls / Wild Side / Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) / Primal Scream / Without You / Home Sweet Home / Dr. Feelgood / Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.) / Kickstart My Heart / Anarchy In The U.K.


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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