Motley Crue vs. Meshuggah: Who loves you, baby?
Two un-chivalrous tours hit Wisconsin for Valentine’s Day
This year’s retailer-mandated period of consideration, sweetness, and precious cuddling (that would be Valentine’s Day) directly conflicts with a couple of entertainments best enjoyed in macho- or geeky-male oblivion. In short, Feb. 14 is also when the extraordinarily technical (and brilliant) Swedish metal band Meshuggah plays The Rave, and when the part-glammy, part-gritty Mötley Crüe thrusts its bulges into Madison’s Alliant Energy Center. One’s like a fine candy laced with anthrax, the other’s got more of a gas-station rose vibe, so Decider set out to assess which show it would be least gentlemanly to ditch your lady for, or to take her to.
Mötley Crüe, "Ten Seconds To Love"
Sappy sentiments: From “Ten Seconds To Love”: “Touch my gun / But don’t pull my trigger / Let’s make history / In the elevator.”
Power tools: Tommy Lee’s infernal revolving drum kit.
Arguably finds the romance in: Power ballads.
Openers: Even those who don’t like the Crüe could admit the band at least knows what fun is. But listening to chief opening band Hinder (one of so many groups making a killing in the after-afterbirth of grunge) is an ugly chore.
Brushes with controversy: Between the members’ drunk driving, heroin, and sexual escapades (taped or otherwise), not to mention styles that sometimes flirted with cross-dressing, they’ve got that angle covered all too well.
Excuse for taking her: “I’ll demonstrate my faith and devotion amid this over-the-top display of debauchery by not even staring at the girls who flash their boobs.”
Excuse for going with the dudes: “Okay, confession time: I’m really there to rock out to Hinder, and you should know this and take some alone time to think hard before things go any further.”
Sappy sentiments: From the title track of 2008’s obZen: “Balance, harmony / Found in the sickly, the vile / Unflinching eyes, joyous and gleaming / Intense in their need to watch things die.”
Power tools: Combining the already complex musical traditions of metal with a heap of convoluted technicality and elusive rhythms, Meshuggah goes so far as to use custom-built eight-string guitars.
Arguably finds the romance in: Incessantly brutal, bleak music and death-gargle vocals.
Openers: The Cynic, considered among the more innovative bands to emerge from Florida’s death-metal scene; younger L.A. death-metal band The Faceless.
Brushes with controversy: Apparently at the behest of retailers, the band used a slipcase to conceal obZen’s actual album cover: An androgynous, bald-headed figure with three arms seated in a lotus position and spattered with blood.
Excuse for taking her: “I respect your highly aggressive, merciless, dizzying, and somewhat hostile intelligence.”
Excuse for going with the dudes: “I might get a year’s worth of metal-nerdiness out of my system and become the man you want me to be.”