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September 1, 2014

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Not mayhem, but still fun

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Erik Kabik/Retna/www.erikkabikphoto.com

Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars.

When Mötley Crüe played the final pre-renovation concert at the Aladdin in 1997, they tore up the stage, fans literally tore up the theater, a small-scale riot broke out, and four people were hurt.

It was mayhem.

When they played the final concert the Joint Saturday night, however, the older, wiser and more subdued Crüe behaved themselves.

It wasn’t mayhem, but it was still fun.

“Pass that s**t back, I see some thirsty f***ers in the back!” drummer Tommy Lee yelled, thrusting a bottle of Jägermeister into the crowd.

It was the second consecutive night that the band hit the stage at the Hard Rock: Their 29-city tour rolled into town on Friday.

There had been rumors of special guests for the special, final show at the Joint, but the 90-minute show was virtually identical to the one that took place the night before. Even the encore remained the same: one song, “Home Sweet Home,” and that was it.

The only addition to the set was an improvised rendition of “Happy Birthday,” in honor of Neil’s 48th birthday, which was Sunday.

Indeed, the show was pretty typical. And, thanks to the teeny-tiny Joint stage and demolition already underway backstage, the night didn’t even end with a Crüe-sized bang: The Las Vegas shows had only 15 to 20 percent of the pyrotechnics used at other gigs on the tour, according to road techs.

Roadies said only about one and a half trailers’ worth of effects, lights and stage props were unloaded from the tour’s eight-truck caravan. (A ninth tour truck apparently isn’t carrying stage or show gear in it.)

In other cities, large letters spell out “Los Angeles” onstage. At the Joint, however, all we got was “LOS A.”

Like the letters N, G, E, L, E, and S, the tour’s opening bands couldn’t fit onto the Joint’s stage, either.

While Hinder and Theory of a Deadman will open the other stops along the 2009 Saints of Los Angeles tour, the rockers were dropped from the Vegas bill (Theory played a gig of their own at House of Blues on Thursday night) and lower-level openers, Lost Vegas, were used to prime audiences instead.

Sixx noted all the bigtime bands that had played the Joint stage through the years – the Ramones, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones, among others. He called the closing gig an “honor.”

The bassist was all smiles and swear words last night – though 10 years ago it was a different story.

He was arrested in 1999 after a show at Mandalay Bay, after the rocker allegedly threatened to incite another Aladdin-style riot and reminisced onstage about how fans had overturned police cars in the streets. (The charges were later dropped.)

There was no talk of riots last night, and no mention of Metro, either. While Neil, Lee and Sixx all dropped F-bombs like the cuss was going out of style, that was about as offensive as it got.

Neil committed the only misdemeanor of the night, and was caught in the act of a serious fashion faux-pas when he stepped onstage wearing gaudy white pants with a lace-up crotch.

Luckily for Neil, however, it was a rock show, not a fashion show, and no one cared what he was wearing.

The group rocked through hits including “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Dr. Feel Good,” and “Kick Start My Heart” and, after the ceremonious and standardized one-song encore, that was that.

Lee created a quick diversion (“I say Vince, you say Neil! Vince – Neil! Vince – Neil! I say Mick, you say Mars! Mick – Mars! Mick – Mars! …”) as his bandmates exited stage left, scooted past the merchandise table, and escaped out the side doors to the relative safety of their dressing rooms backstage.

With that, the house lights came on, the stage came down, and the lights went out on the Joint for the very last time.

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