Vince Neil slaughters TS Casino stage

 

vince-neil-turning-stone-casino-james-suits-photography-the-fuze-magazine-8Vince Neil, the voice of the legendary metal band Motley Crue, performed recently at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino Showroom. This marks Vince’s first solo tour since the retirement of Motley Crue and their final tour. Even though this was a solo tour the set list for the evening consisted of, with one exception, all Motley Crue songs. It was also a rather short set list with only ten songs, half the number of songs Motley Crue played during their stop down the thruway in Syracuse back in 2014.

After a short delay due to technical issues, Vince came out wearing a leather vest that read “Live Wire” on the back (the very first Motley Crue song ever) and opened the show with the classic “Dr. Feelgood” which instantly got the crowd on their feet and rockin.’ It did seem like it took a few minutes for Vince to get vocally warmed up, though. Something just seemed a tad off for the first song or two, but then he started hitting all the requisite high notes and really rockin’ out.

At 55 years old, Vince is no longer the svelte head banger he was back in the 80s and 90s. He has added a bit of padding around the midsection and quite as quick on his feet. Toward the end of the show it almost seemed like he may have been getting a little short of breathe, often cutting lyrics short or not carrying a note nearly as long as the album version. Those minor quibbles aside though, Vince came to rock and make sure the crowd had a good time. He would often pump his fist in the air working the crowd at the front of the stage. On a couple he even strapped on a guitar to play rhythm, such as on “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)”.

Vince’s touring band was comprised of guitarist Jeff Blando, bassist Dana Strum and drummer Zoltan Chaney. These guys might be more familiar to fans of hair metal music as the current lineup of the band Slaughter (minus lead singer Mark Slaughter). They were really solid musically and nailed almost every song. The only misstep was on the classic ballad “Home Sweet Home” when Blando attempted to translate that song’s piano part on guitar. Vince even joked that Blando “always f*#*s this one up.”

Zoltan was by far the most animated guy in the band and perhaps the most animated musician ever. At first he came across as an imitation of Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee, but after watching him for a while it’s obvious he is much more influenced by Animal from the Muppet Show. Flailing his arms about wildly, sticking his legs above the drum kit and drumming around them, flinging his drumsticks high up in the air at regular intervals and twirling them in his fingers like some sort of drum major in the most hardcore marching band ever. He was quite entertaining to watch and at the end of the day he never missed a beat.

The one non-Motley Crue break in the set list came later in the show when Vince left the stage for a while and let the other guys take over for a bit. Blando took over lead vocals as they performed a medley of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell.” Blando even used a violin bow on some of the Led Zeppelin bits, just like Jimmy Page.

One of the best moments of the evening came during the song “Kickstart My Heart” when Strum brought on stage several Marines who were in the front row. They were all decked out in their dress blues and looking sharp. Strum lead the four Marines over to his microphone stand where they (attempted) to sing along with the song. No one in the audience really cared if they were getting it right or not, they were just up there having a good time. Vince made his way over to the Marines and put his arm around one as the small group finished out the song together. I caught up with one of the Marines after the show. Staff Sergeant Charlie Paog, stationed in Albany as a recruiter, said he and his fellow Marines were at the Turning Stone as part of a Marine Corp sponsored celebration of the 241st birthday of the Marine Corp.

The show ended with the song “Wild Side” and with one more final act of nuttiness from Zoltan, he climbed up on top of a stack of monitors next to his drum kit and took a flying leap towards one of his crash cymbals for one more massive hit to end the song. Though it would have been nice to have a longer set list (he could’ve easily doubled it), Vince Neil is carrying on the legacy of his work with Motley Crue on his solo tour. He now takes a short break and will return for a New Year’s Eve show at the Eastside Cannery Casino in Las Vegas.

 

 

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James Suits / James Suits Photography / The Fuze Magazine

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