Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 | 11:59 a.m.
Editor’s Note: Please check back later today for a photo gallery from opening night Wednesday.
Furious fireballs, exploding fireworks, thundering shells, a flaming pentagram symbol, a burning piano and a stuntman on fire!
The crushing cacophony was all — and more than — frontman and Las Vegas resident Vince Neil predicted for Wednesday night’s start of the Motley Crue “An Intimate Evening in Hell” concerts in the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Actor Nicolas Cage, just one of the celebrities who witnessed the pyrotechnic assault akin to a military battlefield, said it best: “I’ve never seen a rock show like this before. This was the greatest.”
I was backstage when Queen rocker Roger Taylor and “American Idol” star Adam Lambert hugged Vince and also agreed that it was the best rock show they’d seen.
Adam will perform Friday with Roger and Brian May of Queen at the opening night of the two-day 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Luxor headliner comedian Carrot Top, also in Vince’s VIP green room for celebratory Champagne, added: “This doesn’t just blow your mind; it genuinely blows you away right out the building.”
With all the amazing fire blasts that truly turned up the temperature, fire marshals balked at letting Vince wear his feathery Liberace-esque white cloak and boa. Fearing it could catch alight even with fire-retardant measures in place, they ruled that it was too long.
The costume will be drastically cut today so that there’s no danger of Vince accidentally swirling it into flames. A stuntman was not permitted to be on fire while sitting atop Tommy Lee’s piano when it burst into flames; he was only permitted to walk across the stage while on fire.
How Tommy also managed to sit inside the flaming pentagram circle to play his drums will probably remain a mystery. The capacity crowd at the Joint felt the full force of the flames all the way to the back of the concert hall and up on the second-level mezzanine.
I watched the fiery fuselage from the center soundboard area, and it was a staggering spectacle. It also was a miracle that Vince sang the 30 years of top hits nonstop, unfazed by the flames and the smoke — and still had the strength in his voice to rise over the explosions and blasts. The guitar solos by Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars were just as devastating.
“There’s more to come,” Vince told me. “We had minor hiccups with some of the pyro tonight. Some misfired out of sequence. Some didn’t fire. It gets fixed on our day off and will be all perfect for this weekend’s shows.”
You would never have known some of the heat went amiss. The full-house audience lapped it up screaming, cheering, yelling and fist pumping. It was exactly the hot hit that Vince had promised: “There is no show like this. There never has been, and there never will be again.”
Our thanks to contributing photographer Erik Kabik of Retna for his photo gallery. Motley Crue’s “An Intimate Evening in Hell” is at the Hard Rock Hotel through Oct. 6.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Arguably one the coolest joints in town, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino houses some of Vegas' best entertainment, restaurants and nightlife.
At Hard Rock, it's all about the music. From the light fixtures made out of drum cymbals and guitar shaped door handles to stage costumes and tools of the trade of legendary musicians displayed on the walls, the hotel screams rock and roll. The Hard Rock's Joint has hosted some the biggest names in music — from The Who to Bob Dylan to hometown heroes, The Killers.Aside from the music venues, the pool at the Hard Rock is one of its biggest attractions. Spread out over 4.7 acres, the pool area features swim-up blackjack, a bar and grill, private cabanas, a bevy of secluded nooks, a waterfall and an extensive live music venue with a dance floor. During the summer, the pool transforms into the Rehab club on Sunday afternoons.
The resident nightclub Body English fuses European elegance with a rock star bachelor pad and it often a hot spot for visiting celebs and popular DJs. Vintage rock memorabilia lines the walls at Wasted Space, Hard Rock's anti-club.
Restaurants at Hard Rock are just as hip as the rest of the casino. Pink Taco serves up Mexican dishes, as well as a Central American and Caribbean menu. Nobu, one of five worldwide Japanese-specialty restaurants from famed Nobu Matsuhisa, satisfies a different taste. For round-the-clock cuisine, Mr. Lucky's 24/7, is sure to ease your appetite even after a Vegas-all-nighter.