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Joan Jett, Poison, And Motley Crue: The Stadium Tour At Citi Field, Friday, June 24th, 2022 Reviewed

If ever there was a genre of music that deserved being left in the ashtray of history it is hair metal. The mid-80s phenom of bands that looked like the New York Dolls and sounded like Van Halen with a hangover was naff beyond faith. And now, forty years later, on “The Stadium Tour” you are given a quick reminder that Joan Jett’s (the first act yesterday at Citi Field) any one song is worth the entire catalog of Poison, Motley Crue and Def Leppard combined.

I skipped out on Def Leppard, Motley Crue were terrible, Poison were great, and Joanie wasn’t entirely right for stadiums: musically she was on the button but as a frontperson she couldn’t quite travel the distance. The problem with hair metal is they mistook hooks for tunes and riffs for licks, even by the stodgy denizens of heavy metal they seldom came up with the goods as they assaulted the USA with a transgender though clearly cis gender valued epiphany of release. To add insult to stupidity, the big ballads were woeful dramaramas. Teens and twenties might have glammed out on the whiskey a-g-go groupies and hard drug egotism rampant but they were not at all cool as they put eyeshadow on the teenage wasteland of the 80s, somewhere Minutemen were in the process of teaching em how it was done. The only band that deserved to be remembered was Guns N Roses, who improve every time you hear Mick Mars play guitar.

Joan Jett At Citi Field

Joan Jett doesn’t exactly belong in the line-up, she was never hair metal, she was punky crossover glamrock (the one time I saw The Runaways was at CBGBs back in 1979). But she has the songs, she has the hits, and while we didn’t get the “The French Song” we got just about everything else including “(I’m Gonna) Run Away” much better live than on her current record, “Fake Friends” (introduced by her manager and keyboard player Kenny Laguna telling the same story he told me over forty years ago), and “Bad Reputation” on a sparkling set that only missed Joan shedding some of her persona to bring it harder to the audience (Grade: B).

Poison At Citi Field

Look at hair metal this way, you have the godfathers Van Halen, the first tier, Guns N Roses, the second tier Def Leppard and Motley Crue, and the everyone gets a trophy like Cinderella and Poison. But Poison have a secret ingredient and that is lead singer Bret Michaels who is a great centrifugal force in the band: the man is 59 years old and an explosion of high energy bellowing, Bret is sweet and straightforward with his audience, the man was on an absolute rock n roll trip last night and his joy at performance freed everybody. Yes, the songs ain’t much, though the penultimate song of their set “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and the final, the working class stiffs rebel “Nothin’ But A Good Time” were mighty fine (Grade: B+)

Motley Crue At Citifield

Tommy Lee played on a coupla songs then disappeared till towards the end after cracking four ribs a coupla months ago, Nikki Sixx gave a speech, and Vince Neil morphed into another 80s icon, the late Sam Kinison. The show didn’t really gel, Vince can’t bring it, he doesn’t have the energy he once did. The highlights weren’t the hits but the oldies medley (featuring Gary Glitter -who had already been represented by Joanie- the well beyond cancelled convicted child fucker) and their last single “The Dirt (1981)” (with Machine Gun Kelly -who played Tommy Lee in the movie- on video, MGK is at MSG on Tuesday).The truth of the matters is that if nostalgia tours are optical illusions Motley Crue failed to use theirs (Grade: C)

11 Comments

  1. Scott on June 25, 2022 at 11:35 am

    Was in the 4th row on the floor for the show. The sound was possibly the worst I have experienced in 50 years of concert going. Even back by the sound booth you could barley hear the vocals or music above the grosly overblown bass. It sounded like those cars that have the bass turned up so high the windows rattle.

    • Joseph L Pensanti on June 25, 2022 at 8:41 pm

      I was there, you nailed it brother.

    • Billie on June 25, 2022 at 9:20 pm

      We were there on the floor and agree 100%! Both with you and the article.

      • Rikki Rockett on June 26, 2022 at 9:42 pm

        The colorful language used to tear us down is actually flattering!

        • Whitney on July 14, 2022 at 6:53 pm

          Yupper!

  2. lisa on June 25, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    You should have stayed for Def Leppard – they were UNBELIEVEABLE. Maybe you should stick to reviewing punk bands and leave 80’s metal alone. Concession – you’re right about Motley Crue. No bueno.

    • CHRISTINA KIDD on August 9, 2022 at 11:19 am

      I just saw them Saturday at Fenway. Def leppard was AMAZIINNNNNNGGGGGG!!!!!

  3. Jeff on June 25, 2022 at 3:28 pm

    If this kind of music isn’t your cup of tea, maybe someone else should be writing the review. We thought they were all great, and most of the crowd did as well. Exciting show from beginning to end, 5 hours plus.

    You can’t judge bands from 35 years ago as if they are supposed to still be in their prime. Cut them a little slack.

  4. Erin on June 25, 2022 at 5:11 pm

    Missed Joan Jett but thought Poison was really good, Motley Crue just didn’t seem to want to be there. I’ve seen them many times and this was the worse show I ever saw them do. It may have been a little more entertaining if they did the pyrotechnics. I’m guessing they didn’t have them because of the airport. Def Leppard was AMAZING!!!! Joe Elliott’s voice was just awesome. The money I spent on tickets wasn’t worth seeing Motley Crue but Poison and Def Leppard made up for it.

  5. PJ on July 22, 2022 at 12:23 am

    If Motley Crue is the headliner please just leave after Def Leppard – they are robotic and sad. First time I sat down and stayed down when they started. Booooooooo

  6. You're Not KISS on August 15, 2022 at 9:55 am

    In Houston they are charging over $150 for the nosebleed section. In the thousands for basically everything else. Who do these guys think they are? The Stones? The has been tour should be a thank you to the fans, giving back for supporting their hedonistic lifestyles and habits with out patronage.

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