Def Leppard/Mötley Crüe – review

Arena, Nottingham

"I can't believe we're still alive," yells Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx. Since their eyewateringly debauched biography The Dirt, they have become the rock voyeur's favourite undead, having survived heroin, heart attacks, plastic surgery, a hip replacement, being dumped in a skip (Sixx) and even an incident involving a woman on all fours and cat litter.

Although the drugs are presumably on prescription nowadays, they still worship the gospel of excess all areas. Guitars are hurled in the air; buckets of blood over the crowd. No eardrum is safe from a pyrotechnic explosion. Even the microphone stand is attached to some sort of trapeze.

Songs such as Girls Girls Girls and OD anthem Kickstart My Heart are thoroughly unrepentant, but their shoutalong choruses get every hand in the air. Mars manages to blow up most of his amps (since he has 15, this is a mere trifle), while the theatrics get more brilliantly ludicrous. The piece de resistance is the sight of tattooed Tommy Lee drumming while revolving through a 360-degree vertical loop, a sight almost as eye-popping as his infamous sex tape.

Poor Def Leppard have to follow this every night: no wonder they sound dull. Although the Sheffield rockers still have mega-hits like Rocket and, er, Let's Get Rocked, their streamlined FM metal sounds stuck in the 80s and overly Americanised. Action is a lively cover of the song by Sweet, but When Love and Hate Collide is ghastly faux-boy-band metal, making you long for the savvy ridiculousness that makes the Crüe a hoot: if they had a song as ludicrously titled as Pour Some Sugar On Me, they'd no doubt illustrate it literally.


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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