Mötley Crüe’s long-delayed reunion tour finally kicked off Thursday night at Atlanta, Georgia’s Truist Park. And while drummer Tommy Lee was only able to play on a handful of songs due to a major rib injury, they did have Machine Gun Kelly in the house to join them on the live premiere of “The Dirt (Est. 1981).”
“The Dirt (Est. 1981)” was recorded by the Crüe for the soundtrack to their 2019 Netflix movie The Dirt, which starred Machine Gun Kelly as Tommy Lee. It was, by far, the newest song they played during the show. The rest of the set centered heavily on Crüe classics like “Live Wire,” “Shout at the Devil,” “Wild Side,” and “Dr. Feelgood.” Midway through, they played a medley of covers that included “Anarchy in the U.K.,” Smokin’ In The Boys Room,” “White Punks on Dope” and “Rock and Roll, Part 2.”
The show began with Lee on drums, but he stepped aside after six songs and handed the sticks over to longtime Ozzy Osbourne/Black Sabbath drummer Tommy Clufetos. Lee briefly returned later in the night to play piano on “Home Sweet Home.
“Man ya’ll ain’t gonna believe this shit!” he wrote to fans on Instagram. “I broke 4 fucking ribs! But I’ve been resting and healing and even though the doctors tells me I shouldn’t play at all, you know I’m stubborn and I’ll beast through the pain every show for as many songs as I can!”
This was the first Mötley Crüe concert since they wrapped up their Final Tour on December 31, 2015 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. They signed a “cessation of touring” contract prior to the tour (which was never shown to the media) that they claimed would make it legally impossible for them to play live again once it ended.
“The only loophole is if all four band members agreed to do it, we could override our own contract,” bassist Nikki Sixx told Rolling Stone in 2014. “But we know that will never happen. There are people in this band who will refuse to ever do it again, and you’re talking to one of them. There is no amount of money that would ever make me do it again because I have such pride in how we’re ending it.”
When they announced this tour in 2019, they claimed the renewed interest around the band following The Dirt convinced them to reform. The bill for this tour also includes Poison, Def Leppard, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. They’re going to spend the next next few months playing stadiums all across North America before wrapping up September 9 in Las Vegas. Ticket sales have already been very strong, and they’ve spoken about the possibility to taking it to Europe and the rest of the world over the next couple of years.