Motley Crue, Alice Cooper | Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Motley Crue, Alice Cooper Recommended All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Image

When: Fri., Aug. 8, 7 p.m. 2014

Thirty-three years ago Motley Crue self-released their debut, Too Fast for Love, a perfect collision of power pop and punk that would become the first in a string of big-selling albums for the band—they spun their tales of the Sunset Strip’s glam aspirations and grimy day-to-day realities over thrashy guitars played with a smeared-mascara wink. Crue went into a bit of a tailspin during the grunge era, but in 2005 the original lineup reunited, and since then they’ve remained one of their cohort’s few remaining big-venue draws—the burners “Kickstart My Heart” and “Girls, Girls, Girls” have popped up in Super Bowl commercials and on classic-rock stations, and the weepy letter from the road “Home Sweet Home” has stuck around well into the text-message era. Motley Crue’s live shows have maintained a sense of arena-rock grandeur, thanks to the solo-as-thrill-ride antics of wiry drummer Tommy Lee and the pyrotechnics that add extra menace to growlier tracks such as “Wild Side” and “Too Young to Fall in Love.” But even if rock ’n’ roll never has to die, rock musicians stubbornly insist on aging—and as such, the band claims that this summer’s trip around the world will be “The Final Tour.” —Maura Johnston

For nearly 50 years Alice Cooper has maintained a gleefully ghoulish onstage persona, and his shock-rock reputation has preceded him almost from the start—when a hapless chicken he tossed from the stage in 1969 met a grisly end at the hands of his fans, they were just playing to type. For much of the past couple decades, Cooper’s glitzy horror gore has been the bigger part of the spectacle, trumping his new music, but respect is still due a 66-year-old man willing to slather on black eye makeup and whip around a cat-o’-nine-tails for an hour and a half. Cooper’s 70s catalog—when the rock was glammy and off-center and Lester Bangs wondered what it all meant—is superior to anything he’s released since, and he’ll definitely play “School’s Out” tonight. But the 1972 album of the same name is so much more than its title track—and 1970’s Easy Action is even better. Also, in case you’d forgotten: It’s pronounced “Mill-e-wah-que,” which is Algonquin for “the good land.” And no, you’re not worthy. —Kevin Warwick

Price: $25-$125

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