Gig Review: John Corabi + Sisters Doll @ Crowbar Brisbane

Headliner: John Corabi

Supports: Sisters Doll

Venue: Crowbar, Brisbane

Date: Saturday, 31st March 2019

Review: Jay Kleinschmidt

Photos: Tam Schilling

It has been 25 years in the making with the Mötley Crüe album finally being toured in Australia for the first time. Fans were eagerly awaiting the tour with John Corabi, who have never had the chance to hear this material played live, and are now being blessed with hearing the entire album start to finish.

Considering the lack of commercial success for this album, it’s understandable that it could be forgotten amongst the catalogue of 90s music from the grunge era to the heavier Pantera like styles. However, fans feel the album is incredibly under-rated. Yes, grunge albums such as Nirvana’s Nevermind (1991) or Core (1992, Stone Temple Pilots) really hijacked the momentum that Glam had built in the 80s. This may have derailed the supreme efforts of the album Dr Feelgood. But Mötley Crüe ‘94 was the Crüe’s answer to grunge. It took grunge and turned it on its head. It made grunge even better. It was a hard-edged album that showed the real versatility and musicianship of the L.A.-based rockers. Unfortunately, the album could not match the commercial success and being a ‘94 release, it might have missed the mark slightly, being a year or so too late.

However, punters were not deterred last night. The core fanbase of this music packed out the Crowbar, you could hardly move inside the venue. Corabi, now 25 years older, shows the signs of age that the rocker lifestyle brings, but he rocks it fantastically. The glam makeup gives him a good impression of Jack Sparrow, captain of the long-lost Mötley Crüe ‘94 ship, steering towards harbour to the delight of many fans awaiting at port!

Supporting the main act was Melbourne-based band Sisters Doll. They’re a great glam outfit with killer tracks to match. Drummer, Bryce’s obvious Tommy Lee influences match the bands look and sound. Bassist, Austin, is a solid bass player and also busted out some wicked licks on the guitar as well. Brennan fronts the band with the flair of a good showman, while lighting a sword on fire and breaking guitar strings. These guys have been building a solid fanbase around Australia these past 9 years, and they’re only getting better with time! I can’t wait to see them play again.

When the Corabi band finally hit the stage, everyone erupted - the long wait finally over. The band faithfully recreated the songs while Corabi sang his lungs out. In between songs John regales us with his stories of his time before Mötley Crüe and how he came to audition for them. He also tells some funny stories of his time in the band. Additionally, we are introduced to his son a.k.a. ‘the little shit’, named Ian, playing the drums. Guitarists, Jeremy and Phil are also experienced musicians, having played with Ace Frehley and Gene Simmons. And Topher on the bass was making that rhythm section heavy and driving. The overall sound was as close to the album as you could get.

In all, the faithful recreation of Mötley Crüe ‘94 was done well and punters were more than ecstatic. Mötley Crüe should be proud of this album as it has its place in history amongst great 90s music. And it is great music. Surprisingly, Mötley Crüe are content to go on ignoring this and pretend the album never existed. The little attention this album was given in the recent Netflix film The Dirt is testament to this. However, in spite of this, the Corabi tour has been a raving success in Australia and abroad. It was a pleasure to have seen this show and we can’t wait to see John play in Australia again. Good stuff, fellas!

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