Revisiting Mick Mars’ Last Concert With Motley Crue
On a hot September evening in Las Vegas, fans packed into Allegiant Stadium to watch the final stop of the hugely successful Stadium Tour. Unbeknownst to anyone in the crowd, they’d be witnessing Mick Mars’ last performance with Motley Crue.
For more than four decades, Mars was a dependable mainstay in the infamously volatile band. Through highs, lows, controversies and debaucheries, the guitarist always remained a quiet, steadying force in the group. Health issues – specifically ankylosing spondylitis, the chronic, inflammatory form of arthritis that plagued him for years – eventually contributed to Mars’ retirement from the road after 41 years.
Still, such issues were not evident on Sept. 9 in Sin City. That night, Motley Crue took the stage with their typical fury, performing the final set on a lineup that included Joan Jett, Poison and co-headliner Def Leppard.
The Crue began their performance with “Wild Side,” the opening song from their 1987 LP Girls, Girls, Girls. From there, the band tore through a some of their biggest hits, including “Shout at the Devil,” “Too Fast for Love” and “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away).”
Watch Motley Crue Perform 'Too Fast For Love' at the Final Stadium Tour Stop
At times, sound issues affected the set, but these hiccups failed to dampen the triumphant Stadium Tour finale. Further highlights included “Live Wire,” “Home Sweet Home” and “Dr. Feelgood.”
Throughout the performance, Mars maintained his steady presence, contributing his distinctive riffs, yet rarely stealing attention away from the band’s more flamboyant members. The guitarist was the only Motley Crue musician who didn’t address the crowd that evening, instead it was drummer Tommy Lee – thanks to some partial nudity – and bassist Nikki Sixx – thanks to a proclamation that Motley Crue can’t be canceled – who grabbed most of the spotlight.
The final song of the night – and, ostensibly, Mars’ Crue touring tenure – was “Kickstart My Heart.” Appropriately, the rocker’s revving guitar sound was integral to the high-octane 1989 single’s success (it even ranked No. 1 on our list of Top 10 Mick Mars Motley Crue Songs).
After the final tune, the Crue bandmates joined at center stage for a triumphant embrace. Lee hammed it up for the crowd, encouraging fans to yell "Fuck yeah" and kicking his drum sticks into the audience. Mars was more reserved, smiling and waving to the crowd before exiting the stage. Seven weeks later, fans would find out he’d taken his final bow.
Watch Motley Crue Perform 'Kickstart My Heart' During Mick Mars' Final Performance