In a town probably best-known for its more melodic, indie songsters (see Elliott Smith or the Decemberists), there is something undeniably awesome about attending a full-on Portland stadium rock show, even if it’s roughly 40 years too late.
On Tuesday night Alice Cooper (67) and Mötley Crüe (mean age 57) played a less than packed show at the Moda Center but those who turned out for the glam metal heroes’ final tour All Bad Things Must Come to an End meant it. There was not a back in the house without a sweat-drenched Crüe tee, nor a hand that did not raise the horns at some stage during the performance.
Aged rock stars may be a fairly recent phenomenon, but in a culture where youth is ever prized, there’s something spectacularly fresh about witnessing OG superstars still strutting the stage.
And sure, rockers past their prime who continue to embark on global tours come in for some criticism about their motives, but even a millennial like me can appreciate the shred that Alice Cooper and Mötley Crüe brought to their Tuesday evening performance: after half a lifetime of perfecting their onstage performance, you bet they’ve nailed it down with one slamming hit after another. Featuring deafening pyrotechnics, mutilated baby dolls (on stage during Cooper’s performance), and Lee’s infamous drum roller coaster the show sent the band out with a bang.
If Mötley Crüe’s reputation as hardcore drug demons holds, you have to congratulate them for just staying alive, let alone embarking on a farewell tour. But hey, if you’ve got it, there’s no good reason not to flaunt it one last time. The Rose City salutes you!