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Motley Crue to set up shop in Las Vegas

December 2, 2011 |  9:24 am

Motley Crue promises a psycho circus of heavy metal, pyro and possibly some naked women when the band begins a nearly three-week residency at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Feb. 3.

The Los Angeles-based, multiplatinum band known for a 30-year trail of debauchery and grinding riffs will be the first hard rock band to establish a residency in Sin City, and are in the planning stages of a production that singer Vince Neil compared this week to Cirque du Soleil.

“This show is going to be more towards the Cirque-type, over-the-top, full-production thing,” Neil said in a conference call to announce the series. “We’re really not interested in just going out there and playing songs. We want to make a full-blown interactive [show].”

A Vegas residency is a growing rock tradition established in recent years by the likes of Elton John, Santana and Rod Stewart, and is something Motley has discussed for years, said drummer Tommy Lee. Band members were excited by the possibilities whenever watching a big Vegas show, including the Beatles-themed “Love” by Cirque du Soleil.

“We all have talked about it many times going, “God, could you imagine if we could only get our hands on this kind of an opportunity, what we could do?” said Lee.

For the drummer, the possibilities include expanding on the daring acrobatics of the band’s current tour, which has Lee’s drum kit attached to a 360-degree rollercoaster that sends him spinning around and upside down during a wild drum solo. At the Hard Rock, Lee predicted “something even more crazy.”

“We love putting on an incredible show and when it doesn’t have to move around from city to city, day by day, the options become incredible,” said Lee. “Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to design a show that people want to come to?”

Neil, who lives in Vegas, added: “We’re a band about visuals. We’ve always put a huge show together, you know, since the beginning of our careers.”

On recent tour stops at the Hollywood Bowl and the Sunset Strip Music Festival, the band brought a high-octane stagecraft to their material, from "Girls, Girls, Girls" to “Saints of Los Angeles.” Details on the Vegas show were still vague, and the band members were openly considering the possibilities as they spoke with media on the conference call.

“This is Vegas and it sure would be fun to, really do it full Vegas style and have there be, some -- nudity or almost nude,” said Neil. “It would be great to do things Vegas-style where you couldn’t do some of those things in a normal arena in Ohio.”

Tickets go on sale Dec. 3 at Motley.com. (Prices are listed as $41-$81.)


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-- Steve Appleford

Photo: Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx, left, and Vince Neil in 2009. Credit: Jake Danna Stevens / Los Angeles Times.