Late in Cecil B. DeMille’s epic film “The Ten Commandments,” while Moses is trudging up the mountain to talk with the burning bush and fetch God’s laws, all sorts of frolicking, revelry, idolatry and mayhem are going on down below. If DeMille lived and directed in these days, and especially if he made series for HBO like its current “Rome,” we’d see breasts galore and boozing and sex in every corner.
You know the rest of the Bible story told 1950s’ style: Ol’ glassy eyed Moses comes down with the stone tablets, sees what’s going on, tells the ones who follow him to move to one side and casts the tablets into the raucous, drunken crowd, creating an earthquake that swallows up all the bad folk, and the Maker, none too pleased himself, makes the people hang out in the desert another couple of generations.
Flash forward to Friday night at Alltel Arena, where all sorts of frolic, revelry, idolatry and mayhem were occurring under those raker beams. I looked around for a certain-to-come lightning flash that would lay waste to all us 5,341 fans.
Motley Crue embodied evil incarnate, and happily so. The “Carnival of Sins” show was presented by a company dubbed Evil Entertainment. Scantily clad girls writhed sleazily like snakes all over hobbled lead singer Vince Neil during the Crue’s opening number. Later, the same girls twirled from ropes and swings and ladders to complete the circus effect. Neil, bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee — he of the self-made porn movie with Pam Anderson that allowed their privates to be viewed by millions — used the f-word in the two-hour show more times than Razorback defensive coordinator Reggie Herring might in a whole year. There was the m-f word a whole lot, and the s-word and the c-word and another s-word and … well, you get the picture.
But just in case you still didn’t get the picture, Tommy provided it on the group’s video screens, taking the video camera around the stage and encouraging busty women from one side to the other to raise their shirts and flash the camera lens. One buxom lass in a pink halter top proudly did so twice. Tommy then took a moment for prayer. He knelt and thanked God “for titties.” A little while later, the Crue’s encore, “Shout at the Devil,” found the group doing a mock church service of some sort, with one of the scantily clad chicks on stilts carrying a cross, and Neil dressed in a friar’s robe.
During a brief intermission early on, those video screens showed some of the craziest, scariest, most evil clips from Hollywood imaginable, spliced with a sex reference every few seconds. Heads exploding, then sex; wolves eating an animal, more sex; car crashes, more sex; deformed people, then sex.
I’m sad to report that I, too, was as caught up as everyone to the display. I cared nothing about Motley Crue’s music, though “Same Ol’ Song and Dance” was a good number; I was told there would be scantily clad women and lots of pyrotechnics and the likelihood that Tommy Lee could undress a portion of the female audience on command, so I attended anyway.
As for the music, it’s fair to say that Motley Crue is a very tight act, and Sixx and guitarist Mick Mars are a stout pairing. Tommy Lee may not be able to bang the bass drum in the University of Nebraska band well, but he handles the double-kick drums nicely, and bangs out a powerful beat to all the rocking songs. Vince Neil doesn’t sing that great, in my opinion, but he handled all the highs as a Crue fan would expect.
And while little about their music wows me, everyone else in the arena seemed to love it, standing for almost all of the 135-minute show. The females I surveyed during and after the show said they found nothing overly offensive to the display and that they came there expecting as much. One male fan said it was his fourth Crue show and that it was the best; he took his girlfriend to the concert for her birthday, her first time to see the group, and she said, “I loved it.” A significant number of hands were raised when Sixx asked if anyone was seeing the group for the first time.
Just know that Fayetteville book-burner LaurieTaylor would not have been pleased. Nor would Moses. Nor would the conservative Right. I’m sure the Big Guy was frowning on it all. Luckily, there were no lightning bolts.
n Full of laughs, and deservedly so, was the “Vince Vaughn Wild West Comedy Show” that played Robinson Center Music Hall on Monday night. Besides the four comedians from Los Angeles’ Comedy Store who performed 25-minute sets, Vaughn did skits with actor Peter Billingsley (spoofing their ABC “After School Special” appearances) and Keir O’Donnell, who plays the crazed gay brother of the girls who Vaughn and Owen Wilson woo in “Wedding Crashers.”
Billingsley, who starred as little Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” stars with Vaughn in “The Break Up” with Jennifer Aniston, due out in February.
Comedian Sebastian styled his delivery a la Jerry Seinfeld and was terrifically entertaining in addressing everyday life and the club scene. Ahmed Ahmed spent his time making light of his Middle Eastern heritage and how it’s not a good time to be Middle Eastern, especially trying to fly. Bret Ernst led off with an expletive-loaded funny bit. The finale, and the best set, though, was John Caparulo’s dumb Southerner kind of shtick, which we thought was far better than what you see from the Cable Guy.