Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil played his first post-pandemic show as part of this past weekend’s Boone River Valley Festival in Iowa, and if you think he used the downtime he had during the past year-and-a-half to get in shape and make sure his voice was in peak condition for his return, well, you don’t know Vince fuckin’ Neil.
I’m saying he sounded like shit.
Metal Injection reports that at the end of the show, in fact, Neil, completely winded, just gave up and told the crowd…
“Hey, guys… I’m sorry, you guys. It’s been a long time playin’. My fuckin’ voice is gone… Uh… We love you, and we’ll hopefully see you next time, man. Take care.”
…while his VV professional band and invisible back-up singers continued to play.
Thing is, that’s fourteen songs into the set. Pre-pandemic, Neil’s solo setlist consisted of twelve songs. The setlist for Mötley Crüe’s 2015 farewell tour was only eighteen songs long, and two of those songs were a drum solo and a guitar solo (i.e., time for Neil to go sit down and take a rest), and the set had other built-in interludes (i.e., more time for Neil to go sit down and take a rest). So pointing to this moment as evidence that Neil is in bad shape is really shooting a whale in a barrel.
No no no. To demonstrate how sad Neil is now, I point you to these videos from the same show, of “Dr. Feelgood” and “Helter Skelter.” Because those were the second and fourth songs in the set, and therefore prove that Neil sounded like dog shit long before the show was nearly over:
Vince Neil has sounded awful for the entirety of this century, so the fact that he still sounds awful isn’t really that shocking.
And yet, it is still disappointing. Fans voiced concerns about Neil’s live performances when Mötley Crüe announced their reunion tour, which was supposed to take place last summer. The band, their management, and even Neil himself made assurances that he’d be in fighting shape by the time the tour rolled around. And maybe he would have been — maybe — but whatever work he did back then, he clearly let it all slide during the lockdown.
And yeah, he now has until 2022 to get ready for that Crüe tour… but that’s not an excuse to sound lousy for this crowd.
The bottom line is, Vince Neil has serious problems, and until he can conquer those demons, he’s going to keep disrespecting fans. If you still wanna go see him, that’s your decision, but don’t lie to yourself about what you’re getting.