1. When your show’s called “An Intimate Evening in Hell,” there’s really no overdoing the pyro, and Mötley Crüe’s show designer clearly took that to heart. Nary a chorus nor wail went by without fireworks or a gush of fire from one of the many flame-spewing devices encircling the stage, the heat radiating several rows back in the crowd. The show’s title likely takes on a different, more literal meaning for the fire marshal, who actually required singer Vince Neil to trim down his costume’s feathery accoutrements after show No. 1, lest he risk getting engulfed in flames.
2. That said, the show wasn’t packed with as many bells and whistles as anticipated, given that the band’s last Joint residency included everything from a roller coaster drum kit to balloons to back-up dancers. This time around, the Crüe kept it simple (relatively speaking): lots of fire, lights and a few confetti cannons. It’s a good call for the band, providing plenty of spectacle while leaving room to move around the stage and interact with the crowd, which in the end is always more gratifying for fans than any high-tech production.
3. Neil’s costumes haven’t aged, but his physique has. Still, you have to give him credit for committing to the laced-up leather look, unfortunate as it might be.
4. While it’s easy to make fun of hair metal bands, it’s also important to remember that groups like Mötley Crüe inspired guys like Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo to start playing music in the first place. Without Neil, indie rock for ernest nerds might never have been.
5. For greatest-hits residencies like this one, the crowd will ultimately make or break the show, and Friday night’s audience was one of the best concert crowds I’ve been in. From the front row to the far back, fans were attentive and into it, unselfconsciously reveling in the nostalgia while leaving obnoxious, drunken behavior in the past.