Matt Smith checks in with some more rock news from his sojourn to Wisconsin:



You want to check out free movies for the kids? Movies like “Hoodwinked” (PG), “Doogal” (G), “Charlie & The Chocolate Factory” (PG), “Ice Age II The Meltdown” (PG)…free on Monday and Tuesday at  Free on Wednesday and Thursday at Yes, I own those theaters.

Look for a good review on “The Heart of the Game,” opening Friday at Market Street Cinema, in this week’s Times, I hear.



Rock Fest, Cadott, Wisc., Sunday July 23



Midnight, The CRUE finally touches down in the chopper. This is so MOTLEY. The boys had a show time of 11 and show up an hour late, typical This is the most fascinating train wreck in all of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
I got respect for the great ones — The Rolling Stones, U2, Aerosmith. I understand these guys are massive worldwide. But, look at the Crue … 50 million albums sold while crashing cars, dating playmates, overdosing on drugs, going to rehab, fighting, going to jail, deaths in the family.
Every bad, wild, crazy act you can imagine these guys have done it and continue to do so.   Books and movies have been done about these mad men! The best VH1 Behind The Music belongs to them!

It is one thing to have fans, but respect from your peers is a different matter. There is not a Rock Band that has come on the scene between 1982 and today that does not want to meet, party and record with Motley Crue.
Every one that played Saturday — Cross Canadian Ragweed, Gregg Rolie, Tesla, 10 Years, Papa Roach — stayed at the fest to see Motley. The rest of the week, there was some backstage party time, but not like tonight! 

I love Motley, don’t get me wrong, but the Crue needs a show time of 8 p.m.
There is no way they need to be scheduled to play somewhere at midnight.
It is just too late, and they are too far gone by that time. Mick Mars shows up in the same manner and condition of the entire ’05-’06 Red White and Crue tour. (CARNIVAL OF SINS)  Does not talk to anyone, does not shakehands — leave him alone! — hee stays in his room with his nurse and guard until show time. Tommy bounces off the walls. He talks to everyone, he hugs everyone, he signs everything. Nikki is in  somewhat of a bad mood, maybe it is the divorce? Maybe it is the fact that Vince is drunk off his ass?


I have seen these guys 31 times in 18 months. It is usually, tour back stage at 7 p.m. (meet and greet ) concert 8-10:30, backstage party 10:30-11:30, Vince Neil nightclub afterparty midnight-1a.m., Vince Neil strip club party 1-2 a.m. Vince charges $6,000 for a one-hour appearance at a club or bar. $100 a minute to hang out and drink for free. Not a bad gig for the guy! 

By midnight Vince is gone. Sadly that is when the show started for the Rock Fest Fans. The Crue powered thru “Shout at the Devil,” “Live Wire,” “Looks That Kill,” “Girls Girls Girls,” “Wild Side,” “Dr. Feelgood,” “Home Sweet Home,” “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away),” “Kickstart My Heart,” “Same Old Situation,” “Red Hot.”  “Anarchy in the UK” closed the show.
Nikki and Tommy had to turn up their mics and do a lot of singing. Vince skipped words, slurred words, butchered up the songs. No dancers, no clowns, no circus tent from The Carnival of Sins Tour. The worst show I have seen them do in years! The drunk fools in the fest crowd never even noticed, and most of them hadn’t seen the Sins Tour shows any way.  They didn’t know what they missed. Man, do these boys know how to party. The fest area was jumping until 3 a.m. “ Party like a ROCK STAR” was coined for MOTLEY CRUE!  See more @

12:15 p.m. Sunday,  ZED LEPPLIN Looked just like the real thing, and tried to sound that way. 

WARRANT These guys are super excited about being on tour. They opened with “Down Boys,” closed with ”Cherry Pie.”  In between was “32 Pennies,” “Heaven,” “Sometimes She Cries,” “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” “I Saw Red,” “Mr. Rainmaker,” “D.R.F.S.R.” “Bourbon County Line (from the new album BORN AGAIN),” “Love in Stereo,” “Machine Gun,” “Hole in my Wall.”  This is the original band except for Jani Lane, who is out sick. Jamie St. James from Black N Blue does vocals. He sounds awesome on the new album. He does a great job on the classic Warrant rock songs. He does not pull of the ballads. Those ballads belong to Jani Lane. Unfortunately, the girls in the crowd want to hear them so he plows thru ‘em. He shouldn’t do that. They need to bring the ROCK, leave the rest. See them on the net and buy their album @ These were the nice guys of this entire week. They stuck around for photos, meet & greet, autographs, the whole bit. Very, very good to the fans. 

CINDERELLA I got a bone to pick with the clown that set up the day’s schedule. Really the whole schedule. What a retard. Why do you have Warrant and Cinderella playing this early in the day? Most fest people have not recovered from Saturday night, they are asleep and tired. They are missing these bands. 
Pissed is what they will be when they wake up and these bands are gone.   
Add that mood to the hang over they will have. No drum solo, no guitar solo, the band didn’t like the time, either. Too early, too hot. They rushed thru: “Nobody’s Fool,” “Gypsy Road,” “Don’t Know What You Got (Til It’s Gone),” “ The Last Mile,” “ Coming Home,” “Heartbreak Station,” “Somebody Save Me,” “Shelter Me,” “Push Push.” They wrapped it up with ”Shake Me” as usual. They are on the 20 Years of Rock N Roll Tour with Poison.  They are supporting the album “Rocked, Wired and Bluesed: The Greatest Hits.” This show rocked when I saw them in Chicago in June.  Hit ‘em up on the net   Be sure to catch them in Little Rock or Memphis or both (which is what I will do) in August. 

LIVE WOW!  Extremely  better than the last  time I saw them.  The set list included: “The River,” “Selling the Drama,” “I Alone,” “Lightning Crashes,” “All Over You,” “Lakini’s Juice,” “Turn My Heart,” “The Dolphin’s Cry,” “Run to the Water,” “Heaven.”  I voted with my money here and bought some T-shirts and extra CDs at the merch booth. Really good job!

STAIND The guitar player, Mike Mushok, has a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and excitement, he is great to watch on stage. The drummer, Jon Wysocki, kicks out the jams.   This half of the band knows they are at a concert.  The other half, those two guys are just there. Or maybe not. I don’t understand looking down at your shoes at a concert. This is suppose to be a show. These guys are suppose to kick off a tour in two weeks, but it seems like half of the band doesn’t want to go.  They played: “Right Here,” “Falling,” “So Far Away,” “Open Your Eyes,” “Fade,” “It’s Been Awhile,” “For You,” “Outside,” “Mudshovel,” “Home.”  There you have it. 

POISON On tour to support “Best of 20 Years of Rock.” Awesome in Chicago, last month. Awesome here. True masters of bubble gum Rock N Roll. Not as lightweight as Bon Jovi, not as hard as Motley Crue. Always clean and sober Bret Michaels puts on a good Rock N Roll show. With the backing of C.C., Rikki, and Bobby he sang: “Nothing But A Good Time,” “Talk Dirty To Me,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” “Fallen Angel,” “Ride the Wind,” “Look What the Cat Dragged In,” “I Want Action,” “Something to Believe In,” “Cry Tough,” “Unskinny Bop.” The new album has a cover version of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re an American Band.” Great song, great show. If C.C. Deville will stay off the bottle, these guys can tour May 1 thru Labor Day every year and sell a ton of T-shirts, CDs, and tickets.  On the web @     See these guys in Memphis or Little Rock in August. Per Mandi’s request (demand) I will be on the front row both shows. 

Overall, Rock Fest 2006 was a great festival and event.  This year was the best lineup of bands ever. 

“For those about to rock, we salute you!” – Matt