Mötley Crüe Farewell Tour – a Photographer’s Challenge for a ‘Crüe’ Over

Farewell was bid on October 29, 2014 to Mötley Crüe as they made their farewell appearance here locally at the Oncenter Event Center in Syracuse, NY. One of the smallest venues they played across the nation, Syracuse was super psyched and honored to be on the list of cities they were visiting.

As the smallest venue they were playing, they were unable to construct the amazing roller coaster drum kit assembly that allowed Tommy Lee to fly through the air upside down from one side of the arena to the other while playing, but even without that, their light show and pyrotechnics were one of the most amazing spectacles to see and they entertained the packed crowd.

Having signed a contract that this truly was their final tour, I was super pumped to see that they were coming through the area and making a stop locally. One of only three media passes for the evening I was honored they trusted me to capture their night here. I’m certain over the years they have accumulated photo after photo depicting their life on the road, so when granted access to photograph them from the sound board for the first song, I was up to challenge to capture something usable to share with NYS Music readers. After all, they had no idea how many photos this gal could capture in a three minute time frame. I so had this covered. Bring it guys. This would be my first and only attempt to capture a memorable photo of them, and when I arrived at the soundboard and saw that the only thing in between myself and the band was 100 feet distance, and 800 fans with large hair and rocking hands holding cell phones and beers in the air, my challenge increased. Standing precariously on the back of a folding chair that kept moving, I inched my way over the top of the 6 foot 5 inch hard rocking biker dude and his leather clad girlfriend to capture these moments. Unfortunate for me, Vince Neil wouldn’t stand still and Tommy Lee was incased in a haze of fog, but fortunately for me as accident prone as I am, I didn’t fall and break my camera equipment. Always must save the equipment.  Thank goodness Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars were stationary.  Thank you guys, as you were my targets for the night. It didn’t matter if I had an $8,000 lens or a $100 lens, the shots were not happening for me. I left deflated and discouraged. I had met my match. The Crüe had triumphed over me and my journey to capture them on tour. Well played guys, well played.

As I left the arena, I was disappointed.  I felt as though I had let down my readers and let down the venue.  Thinking to myself, why wouldn’t they want these moments captured…why wouldn’t they want Syracuse to remember them in the best possible light? Those in the pit could take blurry cell phone images and videos to plaster all over social media, depicting them randomly and in only as good a light as pixelly possible, however those trained in capturing moments and publishing in the best possible way were shut out. I’m sure it’s most likely because,… yeah sorry can’t figure it out. They were not camera shy with reality shows, viral videos, and magazine after magazines covering them over the years.  So I pose this question to them, why not let your public relive your final moments time and time again in the best possible light by allowing me to be in the pit getting some mind blowing photos you could flashback to after the tour was over? Whatever the reason was, I could not succeed on this particular challenge.  So as a disclaimer, although the shots are usable, I really could have done so much better. Crüe, if you are reading this, give me another chance to put me back in the game.  I can do it coach.  Put me in the pit, and see what you get!

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The highlights of my evening came from the opening acts.  Alice Cooper and The Raskins made my night. You guys truly rock. Shooting the first few songs from the pit, they played to the cameras, and gave us a show to share with the readers.  Find below a few moments of the evening capturing their amazing sets, costuming, and rocking moments.  Loved every last second in the pit.  Crüe I truly can do better.  Just try me!  Give me a “Crüe” over!
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