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Christian Lamb
Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars
Writing Credits:

On December 31, 2015, legendary rock icons Mötley Crüe completed their 35-year touring career as a band with a spectacular final concert at Staples Center in their hometown of Los Angeles.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English LPCM Stereo 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 108 min.
Price: $26.98
Release Date: 11/4/16

• Interviews
• “Nikki’s Flamethrower Bass” Featurette
• “Tommy’s Drum Rig” Featurette
• CD Version of Concert
• Booklet


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

Motley Crue: The End - Live in Los Angeles [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 30, 2016)

Question of the day: how many musical artists embark on “farewell tours” and then actually retire from the road? Not many, it seems, and acts like the Who, Cher and Kiss all made mockeries of the “farewell” concept.

When they decided to launch one last go-round, Motley Crue took a different approach to their farewell tour. At their January 2014 press conference to announce this trek, the bandmembers signed “legally binding documents” that declared they could no longer tour as “Motley Crue” after 2015.

What does this mean? If I understand correctly, “Motley Crue” can’t tour again – unless all four original members agree to do so. This prevents three of them from touring without the fourth, but in no way does it keep Motley Crue from more shows.

Don’t bet against a Crue reunion, as the history of farewell tours teach us that “never say never again” isn’t just the title of a bad James Bond movie. If there’s money to be made, bands tour, so don’t feel surprised if the Crue hits the road again someday.

Until/if that happens, Crue fans can remember the band with The End – Live in Los Angeles, a document of their final show. Shot at LA’s Staples Center on New Year’s Eve 2015, the concert offers a 15-song set list that encompasses many aspects of the group’s career.

1981’s debut Too Fast For Love boasts “Live Wire”, while 1983’s Shout at the Devil brings us “In the Beginning/Shout at the Devil”, “Louder Than Hell” and “Looks That Kill”.

From 1985’s Theatre of Pain, we discover “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” and “Home Sweet Home”. 1987’s Girls Girls Girls features the title song as well as “Wild Side”.

After this we get four tracks from 1989’s Dr. Feelgood: “TnT/Dr. Feelgood”, “Kickstart My Heart”, "Same Ol' Situation (SOS)" and "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)". “Primal Scream” came as a new track from 1991’s hits compilation Decade of Decadence. Finally, 2008’s Saints of Los Angeles provides the title song and "Muther****** of the Year".

Back in 2005, I reviewed Carnival of Sin, a DVD that documented the band’s successful tour from that year. I was never a Crue fan, but their concerts sounded interesting so I gave the DVD a look.

Unfortunately, the directorial and editorial choices found in Carnival made it impossible to evaluate the Crue’s qualities as a live band. The DVD became essentially unwatchable and offered no real picture of how the Crue fared on stage.

As such, I hoped that The End would bring me a more enjoyable visual experience. To be sure, the Crue retained the wild pyro and theatrics that marked earlier tours – no one figured they’d retire with a subdued show, did they?

Like I anticipated, The End offered a concert packed with manic antics and stagecraft. The Blu-ray reproduces the show in a reasonably evocative manner, though I find room for improvement in that regard.

To be sure, The End presents a radical improvement over the visual disaster that was Carnival. At the end of the day, I felt I’d gotten a decent sense of what the original concert was like, so the Blu-ray managed to convey some “you are there” impression.

That said, it could’ve used more restraint, especially during the early parts of the concert. The first few songs go wild with editing and camera tricks, so they became tough to take.

Though those techniques reappear at times, the presentation does calm down as it goes. While I won’t ever call this a well-rendered concert, at least it’s not a frantic, hyperactive mess from start to finish – we can usually get a nice feel for the performance.

As for as the concert itself, The End presents what one would expect from Motley Crue. They put on a big, brash show with lots of over the top moments – exactly what fans want from the band.

The End does offer a surprisingly short concert, though. If you eliminate the Blu-ray’s pre-concert intro and its long end credits, the actual performance lasts only about 90 minutes – and 13 of those minutes saddle us with extended drum/guitar solos.

Yeesh – who thought those solos were a good idea? Tommy Lee’s “drum solo” doesn’t even really fill that role – Lee pounds a fairly basic beat to some prerecorded tracks, so he doesn’t deliver a true “solo”.

Lee’s “solo” does offer a certain wacky charm, as that section sends Lee and his kit from one side of the arena to another on a large “rollercoaster” rig. This seems more interesting in theory than in reality, as Lee’s drum set moves slowly – and gets stuck at the end – but at least it’s something different.

Mick Mars’ guitar solo is nothing interesting, though. He just wails away with standard metal guitar cliches, and the segment lacks visual merit.

Even if they’d included more pizzazz, the solos become a major drag. They crush the concert’s momentum and serve little obvious purpose other than ego gratification. At least the Blu-ray allows fans to easily skip these scenes – I pity the poor people in the arena who lacked that option!

Even with those tedious solos, The End offers a pretty satisfying Motley Crue presentation. I can’t claim to be much of a fan of the music, but the show represents what they do well.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C

Motley Crue: The End – Live in Los Angeles appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The concert delivered a good visual presentation.

Sharpness looked precise and detailed throughout the show. The only instances of softness resulted from stylistic choices, so no problems with delineation occurred.

I noticed no signs of jagged edges, moiré effects or edge enhancement in this tight presentation. Source flaws and digital artifacting also seemed totally absent.

Colors appeared fine. As with many rock concerts, the bandmembers focused on dark garb, so the brighter hues resulted from lighting. Those elements presented vivid, warm tones.

Black levels were also nicely deep and dense, while shadow detail appeared appropriately heavy but never excessively thick. This became a solid image.

Though not as good, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio was largely dine. As one expects from a concert presentation, the soundfield focused on the front, where it showed positive stereo imaging.

Neil’s vocals appeared set in the center, while the various instruments were accurately located and they demonstrated nice breadth and delineation. The instruments were placed in a natural and clear manner. They also blended together smoothly to create a forward soundstage that consistently created a real and involving setting.

As for the surrounds, they largely offered a general sense of ambience. Mostly I heard crowd noise from the rears, though occasional instances of instrumentation emerged as well. The back channels supported the music and made the presentation come across as reasonably natural and distinct.

Audio quality could’ve been better but was acceptable. My main complaint came from a moderate lack of warmth. The track boasted decent bass response but could’ve seemed stronger in that regard.

Otherwise the audio worked fine. Vocals showed good clarity, and instruments offered appropriate range and bite. A little more low-end would’ve improved the track but it still seemed positive.

In terms of extras, we get a collection of Interviews. This 35-minute, 53-second compilation offers comments from band members Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars and Vince Neil. They discuss the band’s early days and related experiences, the decision to end the band and aspects of the final tour.

For a band with such a colorful history, the interviews don’t tell us much. The musicians offer bland valedictory remarks without much of interest along the way.

Two similar featurettes follow: Nikki’s Flamethrower Bass (3:54) and Tommy’s Drum Rig (5:32) give us notes from Sixx in “Bass” and Lee in “Rig”. They tell us about their special instrument set-ups in these mildly informative clips.

A second disc presents a CD Version of Concert. This includes all the songs from the main show except for the drum and guitar solos. It’s a nice addition.

We also find a booklet. It contains credits as well as a mix of concert photos. The booklet adds little value.

Motley Crue supposedly concludes their career with The End – Live in Los Angeles. Though not a great concert video, The End delivers a largely satisfying piece that represents their final performance well. The Blu-ray brings us strong picture quality with mostly good audio and minor bonus materials. Crue fans will want to check out their goodbye concert.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.75 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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