The bad boys from L.A. have returned with a snarl.
An older and wiser Motley Crue brought its "Anywhere There Is Electricity" tour to the Power Plant (how appropriate) Wednesday night. Can you say "energy?"At 8:30 p.m., drummer Tommy Lee, guitarist Mick Mars, bassist Nikki Sixx and new vocalist/guitarist John Corabi who replaced the departed Vince Neil, marched on stage to the beat of clapping hands and a pre-recorded military cadence.
Carobi's black mane, earthy vocals and wild eyes added to the band's menacing attitude as the opening chords to "Hooligan's Holiday" blasted from the speakers.
The capacity crowd took a "no-holds barred" attitude and pumped fists, banged heads and shouted lyrics as Crue shot out "Live Wire" from the platinum debut "Too Fast For Love."
Hard-core fans skeptical about Corabi covering older tunes like "Live Wire" soon forgot about Neil and welcomed Corabi with screams. Corabi took the hint and solidified his status through a scorching rendition of the band's trademark "Shout at the Devil."
Motley Crue took advantage of the intimate climate and communicated well with the audience. Sing-a-longs and other types of crude audience participation drew large cheers and fed the energy.
Other hits included "Wild Side," a piece describing the raunchy excesses of Hollywood Boulevard, and another new song, "Power to the Music."
This clearly was not the same band that donned the "glam" look in the early to mid-1980s. Crue lost the flashy 10 minute drum and guitar solos and all the visual spectacles (like a rising, revolving drum set) and presented itself through a heavier, more bluesy sound - "gut music."
New songs like "Uncle Jack" and the Beatle-like "Misunderstood" featured Corabi chugging away at the rhythm guitar as Mars soared to fresh leads and experimental feedback.
And, as usual for a band that's been around 13 years, the old songs brought the loudest cheers.
Sixx nearly shook the Plant to rubble as he rumbled out the bottom heavy "Dr. Feelgood." And fans lifted their arms and fists as they heard Mars' motorcycle ignition intro to "Kickstart My Heart."
An acoustic set leaned toward the cliche' mode, but rested the audience's ears and highlighted Crue's somewhat sentimental side.
The band then played a backwoods version of "Home, Sweet Home" from "Theatre of Pain," while Sixx stood and plucked his lines off a double-bass fiddle. The audience also sang along to "Loveshine" and "Girl Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)."
The funky "Primal Scream" from "Decade of Decadence" became the one-song encore. As Mars' guitar took the spotlight, Sixx and Corabi spun across the stage and the heavy popping syncopation rolled off Lee's solid fists of fury. Not once did the band lose its energy level.
The whole evening's spark of energy was ignited by Guns N' Roses rhythm-axe man Gilby Clarke. The Cleveland native's set featured original tunes as well as a few surprise covers.
Clarke opened his show with a punky cover of the UK Subs' "On the Farm." Other covers included the Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers" and The Clash's "Jail Guitar Doors." And to Clarke's advantage, all three songs, though sung by the younger, raspy vocalist, stayed true to their original form.
The originals, which included the lazy "Cure Me or Kill Me," the bluesy "Pawnshop Guitars" and pompy "Tijuana Jail," all had a '70s heavy-rock feel with a '90s "hit me" attitude. In all the songs, Clarke's drawling vocals were enhanced with driving guitars and raw, chaffing rhythms.