Sandwiched between fellow classic rock legends Slash and KISS were the partying substance abusers of old Motley Crue. The hairspray addled foursome visited Download amidst their farewell tour which – unlike Thunder, Status Quo and The Scorpions – will actually result in their retirement as they signed a legally binding document forbidding them to tour after 2015.
Their final UK festival performance, 31 years after their Donington debut, was kicked off with ‘Saints of Los Angeles’. The rest went by with a flash and bang to the tune of their best hedonistic hits. From the buzzsaw guitar of ‘Wild Side’, the gang chanting of ‘Looks That Kill’ to strip club favourite ‘Girls Girls Girls’ they were as bombastic and fun as you hoped. You were aware that The Crue are on the final stretch, making the adrenaline fuelled tale of momentary death ‘Kickstart My Heart’ and the drug dealing ‘Dr Feelgood’ sound even better.
One thing that was sadly lacking was Vince Neil, his much publicised lifestyle has taken its toll on his vocal cords not to mention his once slim frame, but the scantily clad back up singers gladly took up the slack. Vince’s voice ain’t what it used to be but the rest of the band sure are, they were as tight as ever. Time and tide have had no ill effects on Mick Mars’s skills, his hands a meandering blur throughout his wailing solo. Nikki Sixx provided spectacle amongst the crash and bang of flame, sauntering on stage midway with a flame throwing bass in tow – a small taster of the huge pyrotechnics to come from KISS.
Classic rock Sunday rolled on with Motley Crue bowing out of their last Download in style blasting out their hits with panache, even if Vince Neil’s voice was lacking somewhat.
Photo Credit: Danny North/Download 2015