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Mötley Crüe Plays the Palace

When Mötley Crüe fired longtime glamboy vocalist Vince Neil, I thought, "What a brave and risky move to make, commercially speaking." Like it or not, the bleached-blond screamer is synonymous with the Crüe. That's why I'm sure some longtime fans stayed away from the Crüe's naughty August 3 show at the magnificent Palace Theatre. Their loss!

New frontman John Corabi was impressive, singing and playing rhythm guitar on Crüe classics with convincing ease. The handful of new songs from their recent self-titled LP was well received but paled by comparison when the boys ripped into a war-horse oldie like "Live Wire" or "Shout at the Devil."

The charismatic Corabi had a certain rapport with us "psychos," his little nickname for the audience members. At one point, using very colorful language, he spoke out against censorship, basically telling us to be aware and ready to take action.

The original Crüe members, guitarist Mick Mars, bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee, proved that they still have it and get off on playing their testosterone style rock.

The Crüe have become less glamorous in the absence of Neil and, more importantly, less pretentious, although a true Crüe show wouldn't be complete without Tommy Lee's self-indulgent drum solo. To my amazement, Lee even tossed in a decent rap during his solo.

Between raucous versions of "Kick Start My Heart," "Wildside" and the vigorous "Dr. Feelgood," the band's antics were in high gear. Nikki Sixx demanded that some front-row psychos use his bass as a punching bag and soon after, along with Corabi, destroyed their instruments by smashing them to the stage.

The encore was a real treat for some fifteen or so girls who joined the Crüe onstage in an intimate acoustic scene. The girls were in awe but that didn't help the band on their sappy "Home Sweet Home" tune. The Crüe's biggest song was a big bust on this night.

Displaying some taste, the band followed with a tuneful cover of the Beatles' "Revolution."

Motley Crüe may not be the powerful chart-topping machine of the past decade. but, to their credit, they've mastered the art of live raunch and roll.

Type O Negative, a New York-based band, opened the show with a 45-minute set of murky, sorcerer-like rock. Head wizard Pete Stele's deep, menacing vocals were so penetrating that the lofty Palace sculptures were in danger of being rattled off their foundations.

Type O Negative's dark muscular sound stayed clear from a monotonous tone mainly due to the animated keyboard player.

The band showed a true distaste for any kind of solo theatrics. Stele and company were very serious, especially when delving into "Black No. l" and "Summer Breeze."

The late-arriving crowd should have showed up earlier because Type O Negative was well worth it.

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