If you were not already aware of the excesses of Mötley Crüe, then the oversaturated promotion of their movie The Dirt is a taste of what the band has always been about. Hidden away in two ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ scenes, is the portrayal of the Mötley Crüe singer of their 1994 self-titled album—or as it’s been renamed Mötley ’94—John Corabi.
While John is an exceptional lyricist, singer and musician in his own right, there is always that curiosity about what happened in the couple of years that he was fronting the excess-hungry Crüe. Last night’s show in Adelaide was a chance to hear the songs of that era, and an opportunity to hear the stories from the man himself—an experience made extra special with the announcement of Adelaide’s show as the last we’ll be seeing of Mötley ’94.
Opening the proceedings was Melbourne’s Ablaze—a classic rock band with blues-shredding solos and anthems for choruses. Singer Danny Slaviero treated the cramped stage like he was at Wembley Stadium, covering every inch to connect with the audience.
Also from Melbourne, Sisters Doll is larger than life; it’s as if they guys have been plucked straight from the Sunset Strip itself. Their image is classic Marc Bolan, Slade and Crüe, and musically their hearts lie not much further away. Old school Bon Jovi-styled songs like ‘Black Mirror’ had the crowd singing back. Keep an eye out for the daggers being set alight next time they’re in town.
The Mötley Crüe album was actually a great record coming at a time when grunge ruled the world, however, in the world of Mötley Crüe, it disappeared. Last night, we experienced just how good it is, starting with ‘Power To The Music’—its sheer heaviness sounding gargantuan in the tiny club.
‘Uncle Jack’ followed suit, and the crowd’s singing was electric during ‘Hooligan’s Holiday’ before John Corabi took a moment to regale us with some stories, including one about Kate Beckinsale and lyric-rearranging with “pizza reaction” replacing “piece of the action.” The night was full of inspiring storytelling of that time, not just through the music but also through John’s humorous anecdotes. He interacted with the crowd and had them listening intently.
Whether or not it’s The Beatles-influenced ‘Misunderstood’ or the gloriously heavy ‘Smoke The Sky,’ the packed venue soaked it all in with a set-list that went well past midnight, including Mötley ’94 played in its entirety. The songs are great songs, with John’s blues-soul voice soothing to the psyche, and the band were tight, as displayed by the frantic jam at the end of ‘Droppin’ Like Flies.’ An encore which featured John’s own ‘10, 000 Miles Away’ concluded the evening, albeit early in the morning.
As a singer and a comedian, at times, John treated us to an outstanding and engaging show. It may not be Mötley Crüe, but it is Mötley ’94. May there be more ‘Power To The Music.’
Find more photos of John Corabi here.
Find more photos of Sisters Doll and Ablaze here.
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Photos: Peter Pap