In early 2014, Mötley Crüe announced they would embark on a two year final tour saying goodbye to the fans, celebrating their history, and going out on top with all four original members. The band played over 70 arenas in the U.S. and Canada, then worldwide goodbyes with nearly 170 shows, with the final three concerts at the Staples Center concluding on New Year’s Eve last year. They ended ten miles from where they first started on the strip, going out the same way they came in. All bad things must end in the City of Angels. The band spent the last three nights with 19,000 die-hard fans in their own hometown.
They steadfastly insisted that unlike other farewell tours, this was the final Motley tour, stating they had done it all and couldn’t top themselves again. Though there will always be naysayers waiting for them to come back, the band signed a legally binding cessation of touring contract that stated after the final show of the farewell tour they could and would never tour again as Mötley Crüe, each member saying they had other projects they wanted to pursue.
“The End” was filmed for future DVD release, premiering in almost 250 theaters on June 14 as a one-night only engagement for the Fathom events screening. This was a one-time chance to see them larger than life, on a wide screen with surround sound.
Previews included Sixx: A.M.’s lyric video for “Rise,” vintage promos for Mötley’s greatest hits collection, the “All Bad Things” video and the original “Home Sweet Home” videos. It was a nice touch of nostalgia showcasing the ‘80s, MTV years, ‘90s and the band’s decadence.
Fan perspectives were given outside where they were showing allegiance through shirts, tattoos and collective vocal worship pre-show and post-show. Some fans were emotional, talking about the music’s inspiration and personal meaning.
Through multi-cams, close ups, explosions, confetti, flames, streamers and a big ass roller coaster, the concert film captured 2 hours and 20 minutes of the final show of Mötley Crüe’s career. Interview segments showed the real, blunt nature of the guys after decades together; they weren’t all buddy buddy but when they were on stage, they were a machine.
The show begins with audio of Nikki Sixx talking about filling notebooks with ideas about the band he wanted to create, and years later realizing that everything that had been said lyrically, they’d done. They truly were the saints of Los Angeles. Shots of pre-show stage construction and crew interviews gave insight to the band using both daily perspectives and showing how massive the production and tour was. Tour staff gave blunt and honest descriptions, saying they had more days of not liking each other than days they did. There are also a few early, amusing shots of Tommy Lee wheeling around the arena on his hover scooter.
The theater sound and feel give the footage that extra bit of authentic touch, allowing the audience to lose themselves in the show, responding with wide eyed adrenalized excitement…even tempted to clap between songs.
The show sounded live, even with Vince Neil’s often critiqued vocals. You could almost feel the heat from the flames as you watched the progression of sweat per song. The cameras got you closer than the photo pit ever could.
Each member responded to, “Why now?” Almost 35 years as a band was a long time, Neil said. Sixx said that the first discussions of ending it started four years ago in Japan. There were good days and bad days but, “Anyone would trade places and live this life.”
Mick Mars sarcastically commented on industry recognition that they didn’t need awards like a gold star on the board. The screaming crowds told them they’re doing something right.
Neil’s teleprompter was oddly showcased on a few camera swoops during the show, and his teary-eyed thank you and goodbye intro to “Same Ol’ Situation” was cut, along with “Anarchy in the UK” and the Cruecifly malfunction was edited down.
A well-done backstage segment played as Mars finished a thought straight into the blindsiding, neck-cranking blast of “Live Wire.” Along with several slow motion shots of the band performing and several effective shots of Sixx’s pyro-bass shooting long spewing flames on “Shout at the Devil.”
Sixx told the story about his dad’s pocketknife and said you can do anything you want if you keep trying.
The final set featured: “Girls, Girls Girls,” “Wild Side,” “Primal Scream,” “Same Ol’ Situation,” “Don’t Go Away Mad,” “Smokin’ in the Boys Room,” “Looks That Kill,” “Mother Fucker of the Year,” “Shout at the Devil,” “Louder than Hell,” Cruesifly, Mars solo, “Saints of Los Angeles,” “Live Wire,” “Dr. Feelgood,” “Kickstart My Heart” and “Home Sweet Home.”
There were several backstage scenes of Mars talking about band longevity and Sixx putting on war paint talking about the band, ending it and their personal relationships or lack there of. They don’t hang out. “We’re not friends and we’re not enemies.” They take four separate buses, stay in different hotels and dressing rooms.
Mars’ battered and beaten six string love Isabella was prominently featured during the show. Lee said they always gave you your money’s worth. “The hardest thing about being in Mötley Crüe was being in Mötley Crüe,” Neil said.
They talked about their first show at the Starwood, booked on a weekend as a favor to Sixx who worked there as a janitor, though Lee recalled it being at a different venue. Mars said they opened for Y&T that night, and the next time they played with them, Y&T opened for them.
The tour encore “Home Sweet Home” captured the night’s emotion along with the expressions from the band and audience. This was the moment that had been building and now it was here. The New Year’s Eve clock rang out retirement after midnight. Neil struggled, fighting back emotion at the beginning and end. The powerful moment was captured perfectly as the camera showed a woman watching the stage slowly descend hand over mouth, tears falling. Neil’s voice cracked on the ending hums, overcome with emotion as the last piano keys hit, symbolically and physically ending Mötley Crüe.