Crüe Fest – KB Hallen, Copenhagen 2009

On a warm June night we were invited to the party known as the Crüe Fest; as the responsible group behind it was none other than the reunited 80ies hair-metal heroes Mötley Crüe.
With them here in Copenhagen they had two warm-up acts, both of rather high reputation on the hard rock / metal scene; namely Oliver Weers (DK) and Hardcore Superstar (SE).

Oliver Weers:
Oliver Weers was set to open the night, and since we unfortunately arrived at the concert hall a few minutes late, his concert was already well under way as we entered the darkened hall.
Counting kindly, I’d say the room was about half filled with people, and there was given an ok response to the rockers efforts on stage; however, I’d say that the main reason for him not having such a good reception as last time he played here (warming up for Whitesnake) must have been that his music falls somewhat outside of the target audience for the other two bands.

The show itself was very well delivered by Weers and the band, and it was easy to see that this is a man who loves being on stage and performing.
In addition to this, the lightshow which accompanied the band was well-made and lively, something you rarely see for a support band. The only thing bothering me was that KB Hallen didn’t use their spotlights, which resulted in Weers becoming naught but a shadow as he walked out on the edge of the stage to come in close contact with the crowd (something he did a lot I might add).
In the sound department it was easy to hear that the weight had been put in volume rather than quality; it was insanely high, but kind of muddy around the edges f you know what I mean.

The end of the show also showed me that the guys had been rehearsing a bit more than last time, as they all remembered to come out and take a bow after finishing. If you’ve read my other review, you might remember that there was some confusion in the band about this at that occasion.

The only real negative remark I have to say about Weers’ show was that it felt very short. I know it didn’t help that we came a little late, but even counting this in, he can’t have had more than 20-25 minutes of stage time…

Hardcore Superstar:
After a short break after Oliver Weers’ show, with a visit to the insanely overcrowded bathroom (KB Hallen really needs to work on this, it is a constant problem for every show they host) and a pitstop in the bar it was time for the Swedes in Hardcore Superstar; and already from the deafening roar as they walked on stage, you could tell that the support here was something completely different from that of the last band.
Of course, I had noticed that there were a lot of Swedes in the audience tonight as I walked around earlier so it was no surprise they gave some extra love to their countrymen, but apart from that I would say that some of the enthusiasm came from the fact that the music of Hardcore Superstar is much more in line with that of Mötley Crüe than the more melodic rock Oliver Weers brought to the table.

In spite of having a bit of a negative preconception of this band (to be honest, I simply don’t like their music all that much), I must admit that these guys know how to perform.
From the very first note their energy output was at a max, every single one of them! I’m most impressed by their drummer Adde Moon (a.k.a. Magnus Andreasson) as he managed to stay on his stool even with his wild thrashing about.
Some humour was also introduced in the show with singer Joakim ‘Jocke’ Berg displaying a set of silly walks, and at one time bending down and biting Vic Zino (guitar) in the leg.

The crowd was fire and flames over Hardcore Superstar’s show; it had not just grown in size since Weers, it had most definitely grown in vitality as well. There was jumping, moshing and thrashing along, just the way a show such as this should be.

On the technical side of things, Hardcore Superstar ended up in the same boat as Weers, with well-made lighting and loud but poor sound. Then again, as their music wasn’t quite as technical as the former, relying more on raw power, they didn’t suffer as much from this as Weers had.
Also, just as Weers, their stage-time was only about 20-25 minutes, which isn’t much, even for a support band.

Hardcore Superstar didn’t do it for me personally, but that is most likely just because their music doesn’t mean anything to me; a simple matter of taste is all.

Mötley Crüe:
And so it was time for the anticipated main-act of the evening; Mötley Crüe.
A black curtain had been raised in front of the stage between bands, to hide to the very last the stage setup the band had brought along.
A spoken intro was started, and then the music began, still with the curtain up, but a short way into the first song it was dropped to the floor with a bang.

The crowd was ecstatic as they cheered on their heroes in the stage.
In the background huge letters cast in metal were placed and spelled out Los Angeles. If it was intentional or not I cannot say, but all the letters turned the wrong way; in fact the entire name was written backwards!
Behind this a curtain of lights hung and to either side of the stage large video projection screens had been put up; all three of these props were constantly showing different tings throughout the show. To begin with it was just different light-patterns (the kind you would find in your Windows Media Player or iTunes) but later in the set various video constellations were also displayed; mostly showing pornographic S/M footage mixed with pictures of politicians, war and chicks with guns. And the band of course.

My interest in this band has never been overwhelming, so I have never really gotten to know their songs except for the really big hits. Because of this I can’t really comment on the setlist, except for that it was long, and held both old classics as well as some songs from their latest album Saints Of Los Angeles.
The rest of the crowd did not suffer from this lack of knowledge however, and took part in singing along to basically every song played! All in all, the support the crowd showed the band was amazing, and even though I am not a fan myself, I could tell that the people around me loved the show through and through.

I believe the band noticed this as well, as they looked very happy up on the stage. Their performance was clearly influenced by this as well, as it was very energetic, and even though they couldn’t run as fast as Hardcore Superstar across the stage, they were still very lively to watch.
For instance, Nikki Sixx played a lot with his mic-stand, which he constantly pushed around. As it was (most likely) screwed to the floor and constructed with some kind of feathering mechanism it bounced from side to side, which made it look hilarious as he was trying to follow it when he was to sing backing vocals.

All members of the band had their own short time to shine as well; Tommy Lee and Mick Mars both used theirs to perform a solo (Tommy also drank some Jägermeister and shook hands with the audience) and Nikki Sixx introduced (as if this was necessary) the members of the band. Ok, so not all had their own time; Vince Neil had to make do with singing the songs, there was no solo part from him.

It took me quite a long time to warm up to this show; probably in part because their music isn’t really my cup of tea, and probably also in part because I know so little of their material so most of the songs were unknown to me. Towards the end I was more able to rock along though as classics such as Girls, Girls, Girls and Dr. Feelgood was performed per excellence; and on an ending note a grand piano was brought out centre stage for the classic track Home Sweet Home.

If I’m to point out something which bugged me throughout the show it would be Vince Neil’s vocals. The man sounded as if he had the largest balloon of helium out backstage, which he went to inhale from at every chance he got.
Another thing was that I couldn’t follow the songs as I did not know most of them; this however is completely my own fault and has nothing to do with the band (go figure).
All in all however, it was still pretty enjoyable, and the finish with Home Sweet Home lifted the whole experience several notches for me.

Text: Tobias Nilsson

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