Kiss & Mötley Crüe keep the summer heat alive, Alpine Valley

2012 has boasted some pretty large festivals and tour collaborations, but the coming together of rock super groups KISS and Mötley Crüe is one of the biggest yet. Marketed as simply “The Tour”, KISS and Mötley Crüe draw curiosity with just the tour name itself, not to mention their own household names. And a tour on such a massive scale sure does live up to its name.

With KISS and Mötley Crüe on the road together, fans have come to expect a huge spectacle for a show, and for the most part that’s exactly what they got.

Mötley Crüe took up the stage first and an unfamiliar amount of production. A massive clock forming a circle around Tommy Lee’s drum platform took up most of the stage. Earlier this summer illuminoise was at the Mötley Crüe show in Oshkosh, WI at Rock USA. After seeing them on “The Tour” with KISS, it showed how much more was put into their show here than at Rock USA. Exciting and disappointing at the same time.

Kicking off with newer hit “Saints of Los Angeles,” the Crüe easily had the crowd at their control. Newer songs like SOLA were received in good spirits, but I think the real excitement and energy still lies in their earlier hits “Shout at the Devil”, “Dr. Feelgood”, and “Kickstart My Heart”. Nonetheless, the show started with a bang when one extra climbed the circular structure and sent a few hammer strikes into it igniting sparks and pyro to light up the night.

Vince Neil worked the crowd very well. While Nikki and Mick mostly hung back and did their own thing, Vince was up close and personal with the crowd backed up by his dancers on stage.

Unfortunately half way through Mötley Crüe’s rockin’ set, rain moved in and drenched the tens of thousands of fans in attendance. For a short while most of them held out, but after the first hour of rain and no let-up, many left the venue in frustration and didn’t return for KISS.

The entire night wasn’t ruined though! About 15 minutes before KISS took the stage, the rain moved on to northern Illinois and the valley breathed a sigh of relief.

KISS didn’t let the absence of about 1/4 of the venue bother them. There were still plenty of loving fans willing to hold out in the rain for their rock n’ roll heroes.

Over the years I don’t think KISS has strayed far from their refined setlist. Sure they change up a few songs here and there, but there are some that have become such a staple of their concerts and image that they have to be included in the night’s setlist. And one could argue there would be a few unhappy fans if they didn’t play certain hits that made KISS who they are today.

“Detroit Rock City”, an obvious hit, started the night after a large curtain drop. Lights, pyro, makeup, costumes, and music all came together to create one entertaining performance that at times had me experiencing sensory overload; the chemistry is just right. Other hits included “Rock and Roll All Nite”, “Shout It Out Loud”, and “Firehouse”, but I’m sure in Kiss fans’ eyes they’re all hits. There’s just so much going on!

Gene, Tommy, and Paul were all very photogenic throughout the time we could grab a few shots. Getting up close and posing for the camera was a real treat for photographers and the crowd alike.

KISS still really loves to put on an amazing show. From Gene’s fire spitting, blood, and flying to Paul’s unmatched interaction with the crowd to Tommy’s blistering guitar solo’s, KISS is almost more of a visual show than an audible one. But, believe me, you can still hear these guys playing from miles away.

A 14-song set may seem a little thin for a KISS show, but if you combine it with the 14-song Mötley Crüe set, fans got a very long concert for their hard earned dollars. And in this tough economy, maybe these new double tour ideas will catch on even more. Fans can get almost a two for one deal if bands are combined correctly. I could think of a few that would make for some killer tours.

Mötley Crüe Setlist: Saints of Los Angeles – Wild Side – Shout at the Devil – Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.) – Sex – Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) – Home Sweet Home – Drum Solo – Guitar Solo – Live Wire – Primal Scream – Dr. Feelgood – Girls, Girls, Girls – Kickstart My Heart

KISS Setlist: Detroit Rock City – Shout It Out Loud – I Love It Loud – Firehouse – Hell or Hallelujah – War Machine – Shock Me – Bass Solo – God of Thunder – Love Gun – Lick It Up – Black Diamond – Strutter – Rock and Roll All Nite

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