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Review: Mötley Crüe on stage, motley crew in the audience
by Nathan Orme
Feb 07, 2009 | 1674 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Tribune/Nathan Orme - Mötley Crüe lead singer Vince Neil (left) sings "Kickstart My Heart," accompanied by Mick Mars on guitar, during Wednesday's show at the Reno Events Center.
Sex. Drugs. Rock 'n' roll.

Mötley Crüe's show at the Reno Events Center on Wednesday night undeniably proved two-thirds of that mantra to be true beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The drugs portion is still technically illegal, so the fact that the scent of such intoxicants was in the air will not make it into this article. The other two parts, however, are very legal — hey, this is Nevada! — and therefore will garner the attention.

Photographers who cover concerts are often given rules by the headlining act. Most often, this rule reads something like, "First three songs only." Often these rules are not enforced, but the burly bald man at the Mötley Crüe show indicated otherwise. This makes life difficult for those of us who are trying to both photograph and write a story about a concert. If the burly bald man would have simply allowed the camera to be shut off while the notepad came out, the problem would be solved. However, he insisted that the camera be put back in the car, which eliminates the motivation for a reporter who already has a cold and doesn't feel like walking back to the concert.

Fortunately for this reporter, another stroke of luck came along, which brings us back to the aforementioned triad. While Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars brought the rock 'n' roll and anonymous audience members brought the drugs, Dennis Hof brought the sex. While standing on the sound board in the middle of the arena, camera in hand ready to shoot pictures, a familiar older man with a Hawaiian shirt and black baseball cap walked around the metal gate with three beautiful young women. With such a male-female combination, it is immediately evident to anyone watching that this is no ordinary arrangement. The mystery was solved when Hof turned his head enough to make visible the words "Bunny Ranch" emblazoned in rhinestones on his hat visible.

After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence with these ladies just inches away, a good-looking blond struck up a conversation. No, it wasn't about the length of my lens (200mm, if you must know), but just friendly curiosity about my publication. It didn't take long to find out that this young woman in tight jeans, high-heeled boots and a black lace top was Sunny Lane, a young but highly successful adult film star. At least, that's what she said. A quick Internet search after the show confirmed her story.

Wow.

Since Ms. Lane had mentioned that she and her friends knew the band, it seemed logical to use her as a source for some post-performance analysis. So, on Thursday she took a break from her duties at the Bunny Ranch to talk about the show.

After the initial three songs, which included the classic Crüe hits "Kickstart My Heart" and "Shout At the Devil," the band went into playing songs from the new album, "Saints of Los Angeles." While it is common for fans to come to a concert expecting to hear old material and shun the new, Lane said it was not so with Wednesday's crowd.

"People responded for the fact that there were hands flying up in front and banging heads," she said of the response to the new Crüe songs. "You could feel the vibration of the music. You could see the wave of fans enjoying and embracing it."

But then the band whipped out an old fan favorite, "Dr. Feelgood," the title song off the group's last album of the 1980s. The group's next album, in 1994, featured a different lead singer, which combined with the decline of their brand of rock made for a rousing failure. Neil returned in 1997 to some success. Since then, drummer Tommy Lee has returned to restore the original lineup, which was all on stage in Reno Wednesday.

Lane, a self-described "rock 'n' roll baby," said she has done promotional work for the Skylar Neil Foundation, founded by the group's lead singer in honor of his daughter, who died of cancer in 1995. The story of Sklyar's battle is very touching and not what you'd expect from a bad boy like Vince. Read about it at www.skylarneil.org. Lane said she has worked on poker cruises and golf tournaments for the foundation, and acted as the Vanna White by holding up merchandise for auction or raffles.

"He's a good person, Vince Neil is," Lane said. "He's open minded and he has a big heart."

On stage, however, Neil is a wild man, running back and forth with his long blond hair waving wildly as the spotlights and flames chase him around the stage. On guitar, Sixx was also animated and fun to watch, while Mars stood almost like a statue under his long black hair and top hat. If Lane's description of the rest of the show is any indication, it never went downhill from the first three songs: loud and heavy to both the eyes and ears.

"What was memorable for me was being able to be on the sound and lighting stage and dance our little asses off," Lane said, adding that she appreciated the sexual images being blasted up on the video monitors. Of course, she and her friends partied with Tommy Lee after the show. The details of that will have to remain up to the imagination.

For anyone who wants to get to know multi-award-winning adult film actress Sunny Lane a little better or find out when she's at the Bunny Ranch, well, this is really not that type of publication, but you do know how to use Google, don't you?
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