Vince Neil & Slaughter
Feb 15th, 2014
Mile One Center, St. John’s, NL
Review by CelticBob & EvilG
All photos by CelticBob
After a show postponement and a day’s worth driving I finally get to see Vince Neil on home turf. This was his first time ever performing in the Province of Newfoundland, same for special guests; Slaughter. Was it worth the wait?
CelticBob: After a quick Meet & Greet with 3 of the Slaughter members I made my way back to the Media Gate to await the escort to The Pit. I was more psyched to see Slaughter than Vince as I have seen him solo back in ’03 opening for Poison in London, 2005 in Toronto and ’06 in Saint John with Motley. This was my first Slaughter show so I had high hopes and they delivered.
Their short but standard 40min set was well received by the small crowd. Many were still arriving to the show and missed a great batch of tunes by Mark, Dana and Co. Mark’s voice did show signs of strain but he did an excellent job and put on a great performance, even walking out into the audience for almost a full song. The band’s energy level was on bust as Dana was pounding the bass and running around the stage while interacting with the audience, flicking pics out to them. Drummer Zoltan Chaney is like the bastard child of Keith Moon and Animal from The Muppets. He was unreal! His playing was phenomenal but his energy and showmanship was like no other I have ever witnessed. Drumsticks flying in the air and being caught at that precise moment as to not miss a single beat was extraordinary. He clearly stole the show for performance and energy.
[EvilG: Unlike CelticBob, I was nowhere near as pumped for this show. I was never that into Slaughter, and I was disappointed that the Vince solo band was not really Vince’s band but Slaughter with Vince on vocals. I was also disappointed to learn not a single Vince Neil solo band song would be played. But at the last minute, the 14yr old in me was screaming “dude, it’s still Vince Neil of Motley Crue, you’ve got to go!” So I went, and I’m very glad I did.
As mentioned, I didn’t know much Slaughter expect for their videos that the power hour played back in the day. When they came out on stage, the first thing that woke me up was the ear piercing screams of Mark Slaughter. I was shocked at how deadly his vocals were…that dude can wail! As well, Dana Strum was on 10. The dude put’s guys 1/3 his age to shame. …and the drummer was….NUTS. I’ve never paid as much attention to a drummer as I did to this dude throughout the night. If you’ve ever seen the video “drummer at the wrong gig” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLEfbA7CBg8) then you will have an idea of his energy and some of his moves. From kicking cymbals, tossing sticks into the rafters, slamming cymbals with his drum stool, this guy was a riot! After the show, the most often comment I heard was “that drummer was insane!” Everyone loved him. So yea, Slaughter were solid. Much better seeing them live than going back to the old albums for me anyway.
After Slaughter the audience was forced to endure a bar band. For a bar in 1987, they would be gods. For a show in an arena where bands are playing original music, hearing them cover bad old timey rock and roll was so out of place I felt embarrassed. It was like, really?!? This is all our city could come up with to put between these two 80’s glam METAL legends?? There is a local metal scene with a bunch of bands that would of loved to play to this many people in a nearly full arena. Someone really dropped the ball here. The only sign of life was their cover of “Whole Lotta Love” – but again, it was just covers….oh well.]
CelticBob: Between sets and while a local cover band played I was awarded the chance to meet Vince Neil before he hit the stage. It was a quick ‘Hello’ and a snapshot before the next person in line. He was in a great mood and smiling during all of the photo’s. I knew then and there that this would be a great show.
The moment finally arrives and Vince hits the stage backed by the Slaughter guys; except for Mark. As with Slaughter’s show, the band was on fire and played flawlessly. How drummer Zoltan can do 2 sets in one night is beyond me. The guy is crazy energetic and gives it his all and more besides. He must have an IV mix of straight caffeine and sugar the entire time he isn’t on stage.
Vince charged through a set of ALL Motley songs. As mentioned earlier, this was my 4th time seeing Vince live and this was by far the best I have ever heard him sing. He was in great shape and looked to be having an excellent time. He was energetic, running around the stage, interacting with the crowd that now filled the arena to near capacity. At one point in the show he asked the crowd if they wanted him to return with Motley to which he got tremendous applause. He then said he could make it happen. With any luck he will be true to his word and return to NL with the Crue.
The only disappointment is that he never did any solo tunes. A song or two from EXPOSED would have been excellent as well as a couple from TATTOOS & TEQUILA, especially the title track from the latter. Maybe he will reconsider his solo setlist for future shows and include 3-4 solo songs at least. All in all it was a great night for Metal in NL.
[EvilG: So Vince Neil…. “the voice of Motley Crue”….I’ve heard his live music from the Crue and his solo shows on youtube over the years and sometimes he’s good, sometimes he sounds winded and tired. Luckily, we got Vince on a good night. Unlike some people who unrealistically expected Vince to sound and look at he did in 1986, I knew what to expect, and my expectations were exceeded. Vince was as good as he’s been in the past 20 years. He was running around, smiling, hitting the high notes, and just overall having a good time rocking the fuck out. For a dude in his 50’s, he was doing great! When they played songs like “Wild Side”, “Looks that Kill”, “Live Wire”, “Girls, Girls, Girls”, etc, I felt the magic, and for a moment or two, the 14year old Crue freak in me got really excited! The only criticism I can make is that not a single Vince solo song was played. I can understand that it is the music of the Crue that brings the numbers. It is after all what most casual fans know, but throwing in 2-3 of his own solo songs would not of pissed off those who only know the Crue hits. If Vince never plays his solo music, then these people will never hear it as it’s not gonna be played on classic rock radio. Even a song from Vince’s 2010 solo album Tattoos & Tequila would of fit as the Slaughter dudes are the ones who played on that album with Vince!!
(Fan Footage: Short clip from “Looks that Kill”)
Regardless, there were a couple Motley songs that could of made the set even better such as the sorely missing “Shout at the Devil”. In the middle of the set, Vince took a 10min break while the band jammed out some classic tunes, most noticeably was the Dio Black Sabbath song “Heaven and Hell” which was dedicated to the man on the silver mountain, Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P.). On this song, Slaughter/Vince guitarist Jeff Blando showed off some great vocals! It would of been neat if they played a Vinnie Vincent Invasion song though and had Mark come out for a song. Haha!
After the show, a lot of people were talking about how this was the litmus test for the Crue playing in NL (they’ve never played in this province). Vince even teased saying “Maybe next time I’ll be back with the Crue”. To tell ya the truth, I don’t see that happening. I’m sure they could sell out Mile One stadium, but as the farewell Motley Crue tour kicks in, I’d expect them to play the huge venues to play to as many as possible for the last time. If we’re lucky, maybe they’ll play as close as Halifax, but I won’t be holding my breath for them to come to NL.
If Vince/Slaughter are playing in your town, you can be ensured of a great night. Just don’t go expecting a total recreation of the late 80’s. While Vince was “on”, his band was only on stage for maybe 75mins…10mins of which Vince had a break. When I saw Ozzy a couple years ago, Ozzy played a 2.5 hour set, so it is kind of disappointing that Vince can’t do 90mins or even two hours. But I guess 70mins of him in good shape would be better than that last 40mins having his voice shot and tired out. So expect a good ass kicking for 70ish mins and enjoy it for what it is.]