Tagged: manchester

Steel Panther, Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard review from MEN Arena

Three band bill at the Manchester Evening News Arena (MEN Arena). Those names are GIANTS when it comes to live-performances, definitely among the best in the business. Without a doubt always worth a trip to anywhere!


When we were standing outside the arena, waiting for the doors to open, I admitted that I had never listened to Steel Panther. The clown-thing works in a movie but I didn’t think I would like it in a “real band”. So my expectations were down to zero. When you’ve got no expectations whatsoever, it’s usually a good thing. You can’t get disappointed.

I’ve heard about these guys a lot from a good friend who really digs them, and he’s sent me plenty of links to their videos on Youtube, even from back when they were Metal Skool.

As I was watching the arena fill up, it was crystal clear that a LOT of people had come to see Steel Panther. One silly bad wig after another and lots of tiger- and leopard-spandex everywhere.

Lights went out, intro voice started, crowd screaming…and out came Steel Panther – looking just as ridiculously 80’s as I imagined they would. But they were freaking great.

 Even if the whole point of this band is celebrating, or doing a parody of the 80’s glam and sleaze-scene, they are doing it damn well. Not that it’s surprising that the musicianship is top notch – after all it’s a bunch of former session musicians. They know their business and the songs were surprisingly good.

The band had a fantastic energy on stage that was really contageous. Most of all, I was laughing so hard at their silliness, they were too fuckin’ funny! I swear, my FACE was aching from the constant laughing and smiling – so I give Steel Panther a big, fat 10 out of 10 for entertainment value! 

Can’t wait to see them again, and next time not from the seated section, but from the front row!


I’ve seen Motley Crue many, many times over the years – but I’ve never seen them do such an unexpected entry ever…! First there’s a bunch of roadies preparing the stage for the band, the arena is lit and music is playing, people out there buying merch and beer…. When out of the blue, we’re talking seconds, lights go out and the Crue runs in on stage – BAM!!

There’s Vince Neil! Uhm…. and yeah. That was pretty much the only person you really noticed throughout Motley Crues entire set.
Vince was all over the place. He might not be a Pavarotti and he never was – at times his voice sucked really bad. BUT – I salute him for his showmanship.

He is the only one on the stage, except for Tommy Lee, who genuinely seems to be enjoying himself and gives everything he’s got.

I was always a Nikki Sixx-fan, I guess the whole world is… Or was. But I don’t see him enjoying himself really. If he is, he hides it pretty well. There were times when I had to really look hard to find him on the stage from where I was. Even when I’m reading his posts on Facebook, he sounds more like a management than a musician with a true love for rock’n’roll. It shows on stage too.

Yet he is the star and the icon of the band – probably more because he is cool. And he’s hot. I’ll give him that. :)

The entertainers in Mötley are Vince and Tommy.

The drum-solo was WICKEDDDDDD!! It’s just so over the top insane. It’s what makes Motley Crue a band worth seeing – you can be sure that they will bring something new, something crazy, something wild, something that’s just nuts. If you want a SHOW, this is the band to go see. No expenses are spared. 

Super cool lightshow, good sound, the classic songs that we can all sing along to. I can’t say I was bored, but I didn’t get a huge kick either – except for maybe when they played my favorite songs.

I’m impressed Mick Mars can do what he does, against all odds – that’s just amazing. 

But basically – the stars of the LIVE-band Mötley Crë were Vince and Tommy, for working their asses off on stage. Can’t wait to see them again at Sweden Rock Festival next year!


Def Leppard did everything right. Yet it didn’t go all the way. I’ve been trying to figure out why, because I can’t point out any particular reason. It was just that “THAT” was lacking. The magic wasn’t there – although everything else was.

Impressive stage production. Flawless sound. And Joe Elliott. He’s always impressed me, cause he’s a one-of-a-kind frontman who always OWNS his stage.

He still had the same presence, very confident, very intense. But it didn’t do anything for me. It felt like watching a Las Vegas-show. Everything picture perfect, yet it was just another day at the office for Def Leppard.

The only time they felt human and close to the crowd, was when they stripped down and performed an acoustic version of “Two Steps Behind“. Suddenly they made Europe’s largest indoor arena, with a 21,000 capacity, feel like an intimate evening at the local pub. That was impressive.

The songs are there and the Leps have done this shit since they were kids. They sure as hell know what they’re doing. It’s just that there always comes a time in every artist’s and every band’s career when they lose their magic – or when it temporarily disappears.

I’d say that this evening should have been reversed – Def Leppard should have opened, followed by Motley Crue and then wrapped up by the high-energy hungry Steel Panther. If performance ruled those things and not record sales, that would have been a lot more interesting. ;P

We left the show before it was over, had a night-bus to catch. When we walked out, it didn’t feel like I was missing out on a whole lot.

BUT – it was still worth the trip, no doubt about it.
Nothing was BAD it just didn’t quite go all the way up to eleven. :-)

Or maybe I’m just getting picky. :-D

Photos on FB: http://www.facebook.com/InTheRearviewMirror 

Video clips from MEN Arena last night

Back from the Steel Panther / Mötley Crüe / Def Leppard show – and as anticipated, so crazy tired it’s ridiculous. There will be a story, as soon as I get my brain back in working order. :-)

And there will be a review. Or actually – 3 reviews. Just stick around.

For now, just a few clips from MEN Arena, Manchester last night! (Def Leppard still uploading, will be back with some of that!)











AND – the headliners of the evening – DEF LEPPARD (here in an acoustic version):



Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe and Steel Panther – let’s get ROCKED! :)

Just a few more days until the Steel Panther, Def Leppard and Motley Crue show in Manchester. Going with my friends “Catz” and “Sleazee” and a friend of theirs. Will be a fun trip with good friends. :)

I have to admit that for some reason, I haven’t cared to listen to Steel Panther much. A friend of mine is a huge fan, and he’s sent me links to some of their videos on Youtube but I never took time to really get into them. Guess I took them for another Spinal Tap sort of band but I guess they’re not..really.

So – it will be a nice surprise I’m sure. After all – with Russ Parrish, an ex-Fight member, in the band, it can’t be bad…!

Def Leppard – oh boy. An amazing live band. Probably one of the best live acts ever. First time I saw them was actually pretty late – it was back in 2006 when I flew to Las Vegas for just a few days to attend VH1 Rock Honors at Mandalay Bay. I was one of the chosen for a TV-audience, which means we were not a “regular” crowd per se, we got our tickets for free because we were being directed how to act, what to wear, where to be, by the TV-producers.

The “tryouts” took all day and I remember how surprised I was to learn how it all worked with these TV-galas. The “Black carpet”-thing wasn’t what you would think. It was filmed in the back yard of Mandalay Bay, we were placed where the TV-team wanted us to be and the bands “drove in” from around the corner in the same limo that just went for the next band over and over again. Actually it was a van and a limo and there was no real crowd, just us who were told when to scream and clap our hands, and when to shut up. That’s show business!

(Find the Def Leppard Rock Honors video here:)


Once we got in, I was actually told to stand somewhere that I didn’t think was close enough to the stage, so when the security guy looked elsewhere, I just sneaked in behind his back and blended with the front-row crowd! I hadn’t come all the way to Vegas to be standing somewhere way in the back like a moron.

[Joe Elliot, Def Leppard – VH 1 Rock Honors, Las Vegas 2006. And me – somewhere uh…Yeah.]


And when PRIEST played…. There was no happier fan anywhere in Vegas! It’s been caught on camera, I remember the camera-guy came running with this huge camera that he pointed straight in my face when I was going crazy over Priest…! :-) It’s out on Youtube somewhere, I’ll see if I can find it.


As for Motley Crue – that’s a band I’ve seen a bunch of times through the years. And some funny memories too. I remember the Dr Feelgood tour in 1989 – Copenhagen, Denmark. They were having a meet and greet-thing organized by the record company at the KB-Hall (which burned down recently…) and they put all of us journalists in one room with the free snacks and drinks.

I think most of the people there were there for the free food more than for the band, because when Nikki, Vince, Tommy and Mick walked in, one of the reporters had the nerve to ask for more peanuts….!

The one detail I remember the most was Mick Mars – cause he had makeup on, some sort of foundation and powder, and when he was that close, you could see how it was all stuck in his bristles…! :-) Not too classy. 

The record company representative came over with Nikki and Vince and introduced them to me. “This is Daniela, she came over here from Malmo, Sweden…” and they both went: “Ooooh, wow, all the way from SWEDEN??” It’s like they had no clue it was only 45 minutes away by airboat (this was before the bridge was built).

The meet and greet was a pretty meaningless event actually. They shook hands with people who didn’t really give a shit about them, and then they left. They signed a few things for those who wanted something autographed, but that was about it.

The show that night rocked. But funny enough, the opening act, Skid Row, a new up-and-coming band in 1989, gave them a good run for the money!

It was fun – Motley Crue is always about party, having a good time, over-the-top stage effects…! In Washington, 1998 I think, they shared the bill with Scorpions and a lot of families had shown up to see the outdoor concert. What they didn’t realize was that Motley had some pretty….explicit parts of the show. Two strippers not only getting almost totally naked, but also doing a….ehm, show with eachother. Not sure how to describe it without getting too visual. ;) Use your imagination. I saw mothers dragging their kids out of there covering their eyes with their palms. :)

Many were pissed off, but what the hell, if you don’t know what Motley Crue is about by now, don’t take your KIDS to their gigs! Five-six year olds are not supposed to be at Motley-shows, period.

Vince is not the greatest singer and he never will be. But he’s a great entertainer, the perfect frontman. Nikki used to be hot. He’s not anymore. But it’s still a band that knows how to entertain. And with Def Leppard setting the bar high, there is some healthy competition going on which will most likely bring out the best in both bands!

Looking forward to getting ROCKED on Sunday!







Another (concert-) day

Had a rather rough awakening Saturday morning. Although I love hotels and hotel-beds, I sometimes wake up not knowing exactly where I am, and most importantly, I don’t know the size of the bed – cause it’s always different.

Basically, I thought I was just rolling over to a less warm part of the bed, but…. ended up rolling RIGHT down on the floor – landing between the bed and the wall, almost knocking my head in the bedside table, BAM!!! What the f…..?! GOOD MORNING to me. Ouch!

But the questionably wonderful morning didn’t stop there. When I opened the drapes, it was raining cats and dogs…! Of course. It’s Britain. :) I waited for a while but then I decided to go out anyway, I couldn’t just sit in a hotel room all day. After all, I was prepared – had my raincoat and all.

 Just before I left the room, I saw that Ronnie (who’s one of the few people who’s been reading my stuff online since the very beginning, my first ever website, then MySpace and now this) left a message saying that I was apparently in his “hood” so to speak. Always nice to actually meet people in real life after having talked a bit back and forth for a few years. :)

So, he was already in Manchester when I texted to say where I was at. Before I even had time to open the text-reply, the guy had already found his way to Boots where I had just been shopping a few things! :)

I ended up having my personal Manchester-guide! Took a long walk, had a burger on the way, and then when we finally got to Manchester Apollo, he was going to show me how to find my way back to my hotel after the show. Picadilly station was close, so I figured I’d take the train just one station – at least I knew how to find my way back from there. Once we were at the station, I saw there was a STARBUCKS!

Sooo – of COURSE I HAD to have my Mocha Frappucino. :)) I should start writing down how many different countries I’ve enjoyed a Mocha Frappucino in. Ronnie was very british with his cup of tea (what else?) haha.


Went back to the Apollo and got in line. Ronnie kept me company a while, until the line started filling up and he hadn’t planned on going to the show anyway.

Like I said to my friend Mari earlier today, this is one of the best things about travelling alone – you get to meet new people. If you’re travelling with friends, you don’t get the same natural opportunity, so this is great.

Once again I experienced the polite british crowd. I stood there, front row – ALWAYS front row – and there was a little bit of space between me and the girl next to me. Had this been in Sweden – you would have had some drunk asshole pushing his way to get that spot, regardless who he might end up hitting or shoving in the process. HERE it was more like…. first there was a hand on the barrier – then I heard this male voice saying: “Excuse me…. is it okay if I hold my hand here?”

Uh – what? I’m not used to people asking, they usually just act like Terminators, moving (or re-moving….) everything that gets in their way…! It felt almost like a private show, I didnt notice anyone really – nobody headbanging, flapping his/her hair in my face, nobody jumping on my toes, nobody going bezerk at the barriers, it was so civilized I could barely believe it!

The show? That was described in the blog from yesterday, but here are some more videos! :-)

After the show I went to the station and guess what – trains were NOT running anymore! What the f….?! I specifically ASKED when I was there earlier that day, and now I had a ticket that I wouldn’t be able to use.

One of the station employees offered to show me the way to Oxford road. It was the sweetest, nicest thing. I thought he would just go to the entrance and then point me in the right direction, but he walked with me for a good five-ten minutes until we got to a street that led STRAIGHT to Oxford Rd! Another good reason to travel alone – you get to meet nice people like that.

Can’t believe Ronnie spent half his day walking me around Manchester too, so its very cool to get to know all these great people!

Well…. sleepy time here. Next trip is High Voltage. I think. Something might prevent me from going but I still don’t know for sure. I hope I will be able to go, I really want to. Would want to see Thunder and Skin, two bands that we are not likely to see in Sweden anytime soon.

 One of my favorite songs by Thunder…:

We’ll see what happens.

Day of decadence

Made it to Manchester, UK. I honestly didn’t even know if I’d been here before. But everything was effortless for a change – no drama like in Greece or the Sonisphere/Heathrow experience. :

Bought a train ticket at the airport, was going to Oxford Road, and didn’t know what to choose “off peak”? “Regular”? What’s the difference? I took the most expensive one for £5 just to be sure not to have any problems, and £5 pounds wasn’t so bad. Turns out I had bought a First Class ticket, so the lady that checked my ticket said I was welcome to go and sit in the First Class section if I wanted to. Nah. Didn’t feel like moving, I had a good seat right where I was.

And Ronnie – if you’re reading this – the trains are STILL clean and they are running on time, so I guess that your “alternate universe Britain” is still alive and kicking, lol!

Had no idea what to expect of Manchester. I don’t have any references that I can think of, no particular memories, people I know that are from there or anything… So when I finally arrived, right in the heart of the city, it was like a mini-New York! :-)

My first impression was that it had a very young and modern vibe, people everywhere, theaters, casinos, restaurants, just a high tempo. Really nice city, I can’t wait to explore it further today. It was raining when I got here, and I was tired so I had no plans to go anywhere yesterday. It was late in the evening anyway.

My plan was to just treat myself like a queen and create my own little luxury den in my hotel room. :) THIS was plan number one:

Red wine (got two cause it was 2 for the price of 1) a few snacks…. Not exactly WeightWatchers-evening, but sometimes you’ve got to just LIVE…! :-)

Plan number two was this:


And plan number 3 was plain and simple:

The hotel is great. My room is the cleanest, most spotless hotel room I’ve ever seen! It’s as if it was built yesterday! I couldn’t find anything dirty in here if I TRIED – even the bath tub and sink were perfectly clean, brand new. Bed was ridiculously comfortable. :-)

Had tea right before bedtime, there’s a kettle in here – even THAT is brand new! You know what they usually look like after a year or so… Yeah. I would recommend this place to anyone, great location, great value for the money, clean, easy check-in…! And no, nobody paid me to say that, lol! Oh, it’s Premier Inn by the way.

It’s still pissing down. Sigh… Well, I knew it might, after all, this is England. So I’m prepared – brought my raincoat. :) I AM going sightseeing! And later this evening… JUDAS PRIEST! :))