Concerts

Here’s what people mean when they talk about the Motley Crue backing track controversy

Motley Crue, who once signed a contract (in blood!) saying that they would tour no more, are back on tour. For some fans, this is great. Others feel ripped off after spending money on that “last” tour in 2015. And others still are greatly annoyed at the band’s performances on this go-round.

To many observers, it’s apparent that vocalist Vince Neil needs pre-recorded help to get through the gigs. In other words, he appears to be lip-syncing and not singing live. And it’s not just Vince, either. There are accusations that other bandmembers are relying on tracks, too. (Let’s not get into the whole Mick Mars lawsuit situation right now. That’s for another time.)

Look, Neil isn’t the first and won’t be the last older rocker whose voice isn’t what it was. The issue is one of deceiving fans. Is it right to charge people to see a live performance that isn’t really, you know, live?

Here’s the kind of things that are driving purists apoplectic. This is from The Crue’s Hellfest performance in France earlier this month. Watch Vince at about the 35 second mark of the video.

Exclaim! provides a couple of other videos showing…well, you’ll see.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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5 thoughts on “Here’s what people mean when they talk about the Motley Crue backing track controversy

  • Didn’t care for them in my 20’s, don’t care now…

    Reply
    • So why do you bother clicking on the article?

      Reply
  • Shameful, embarrassing. They don’t have the minerals. just a cash grab.

    The fact that they don’t see a problem says it all.

    Reply
  • It should mandatory for Live Nation/Ticketmaster to disclose if a majority of a performance is lip synced. A backing track for layering vocals live is one thing but what Motley Crue, Kiss and others do is no different than throwing a previously taped concert on the P.A. and miming for an hour and a half and ticket buyers should be able to make an informed decision on if that’s what they want to experience. I would honestly rather hear the flaws that make things real.

    Reply
  • I don’t like backing tracks but the first video just shows they are using them, and they’ve already said they are when asked.

    The last two show how off Vince can be. He’s sung those two songs like that forever. I expect that when I go.

    Reminds me a little of DLR, not a great vocalist but the band gives you an experience if it’s your cup of tea. I guess unlike DLR, Vince could sing at one point but it was a long time ago.

    I love DLR btw, I’m just using it as an example. Dave had the audience in his hands and it was great.

    Reply

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