In 2014, Motley Crue joined the ranks of countless other classic rock acts by announcing their farewell tour. Unlike those acts however, the band also signed a "cessation of touring" agreement, which prevented any of the band members from touring as Motley Crue past the end of the farewell tour.
While cynics will point out that this pact can be broken if all four original members agree to break it, thus far is has been more than a year and they have stayed true to their word. Realistically, these are guys who don't always get along very well, so the likelihood of this truly being the end is probably fairly high. The tour went on for roughly two years, with the final show on New Year's Eve 2015/2016 finishing where the band started, in Los Angeles, CA. The show was filmed and makes up the Blu-ray Motley Crue: The End -- Live In Los Angeles.
The Blu-ray begins with interviews with the fan outside the Staples Center before the show. In between clips of fans showing off their tattoos or stating how the band had changed their lives is audio of the band members talking about this being the end after 35 years. The performance opens with a pair of songs from 1987's Girls, Girls, Girls. The title track starts things off in suitably over-the-top fashion, showcasing the band's spectacular stage and light show, as well as several well-timed explosions. "Wild Side" from the same album completes the bombastic one-two opening punch and showcases Tommy Lee's excellent, if underrated, drumming. The group is in fine form musically, with bassist Nikki Sixx and Lee creating a tight groove for guitarist Mick Mars to play over. Much has been made of Vince Neil's vocals in recent years and while he isn't singing every word of these songs, he isn't embarrassing himself either. The band has a pair of female backing vocalists and while Neil's and the backup singer's vocals don't seem to be doctored, they also seem to be getting a "digital assist" from time to time. Regardless, it doesn't distract from the energy of the show.
Neil dons an acoustic guitar for a spirited rendition of "Same 'Ol Situation (S.O.S.)" that proves more energetic than the album version from Dr. Feelgood. Sticking with that album, the group gives a heartfelt performance of "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away." These are fun songs that don't take themselves too seriously and the band seems to enjoy playing them.
It's not all nostalgia however. Two Saints Of Los Angeles tracks feature as well -- The heavy, groove-laden "Motherf***** Of The Year," and the title track. While the former is a strong track, it sounds like Sixx:A.M. as interpreted by Motley Crue where "Saints Of Los Angeles" is classic Crue.
A highlight of any Motley Crue show is Lee's drum solo and this one does not disappoint. Lee's drums are attached to a giant roller coaster that runs the length of the arena, spinning him around as he drums to everything from EDM to Black Sabbath. An unexpected surprise during the solo adds to what was already a memorable night. Not to be outdone, Sixx turns his bass into a flamethrower during a potent "Shout At The Devil."
After a raucous "Kickstart My Heart," complete with fire, explosions and confetti, the group ends the show, appropriately enough with "Home Sweet Home." Lee plays the familiar piano intro and an emotional Neil gives his best vocal of the evening in this strong final performance.
The Blu-ray is presented in 1080i High Definition 16:9 Widescreen and looks great. Audio options include DTS-HD Master Audio and LPCM Stereo. The mix is full and powerful. Bonus features include interviews with the band and features on Sixx's bass and Lee's drum rig. A CD of the show minus the drum and guitar solos is included as well.
Motley Crue is a symbol of a bygone era in rock. More than just a hair band, they mixed glam with pop and metal and created some memorable songs along the way. Motley Crue: The End -- Live In Los Angeles is a fitting final chapter for this band.