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Backwash

Mötley Crüe...WOO...still rules, dammit!

There was one little thing that Neil had to clear up for the crowd, and that is just what the hell a freakin' girl was doing behind the drum kit. In a nearly apologetic tone, Neil introduced fill-in drummer Patty Schemel, on loan from her day job as the skinswoman in Hole (a motley crew in its own right). Neil reassured the crowd that she was indeed worthy by relaying a little tale about a time she removed her shirt and danced on the table in a topless bar while the two were out drinking. "How fucking Mötley is that?" he asked. Not very, it turned out: Schemel lacked the power that makes you want to actually clap your hands over your head during the anthemic choruses of classics like "Too Fast for Love," which opened the show, and "Shout at the Devil," which closed it.

Looking over the crowd -- 6,000 crazy motherfuckers with their hands raised high in the air, configured in the universal two-fingered gesture for "rock on" -- it felt for a minute like Neil just might win his battle to revive heavy metal's heart. And though much of what the Mötley one perpetuates is tired, adolescent, macho pap, in a way, you hope he does.

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