Mostley Crue, the tribute band for 80s hard rockers of (mostly) the same name, is set to play the Gates Four Summer Concert Series on Aug. 26. This show was originally scheduled for June. Weather postponed the date, but not the excitement.
The band has been together for 15 years and has played hundreds of shows as Motley Crue. The current lineup and their alter egos are Gabriel Pettit as lead vocalist Vince Neil, Darius Rose as drummer Tommy Lee, Keith Baumbaugh as guitarist Mick Mars and Miller Barefoot as bassist Nikki Sixx.
Pettit is the only original member of the band. He was in another band creating his own music when he was asked to join Mostly Crue as Vince Neil.
Pettit is known for his uncanny ability to sound like Neil by duplicating his range and tone. He credits this to spending years as a karaoke DJ, where he would imitate other musicians. The Motley Crue singer happened to be one of them. And, like most people, he liked to sing on road trips.
“I used to sing in the car all the time, and I would adapt my voice to whatever the singer happened to be on my playlist at the time,” he said. “I just listened to an absolute ton of Motley Crue for a fairly extended period of time, over a few months.”
A Mostly Crue concert might not have the theatrics of an original performance, like elaborate pyrotechnics or Tommy Lee’s rollercoaster drum set. Still, they like to get the audience involved in the show.
“I firmly believe in getting audience interaction back and forth. I like to include them, especially [when] we do a song called ‘Ten Seconds to Love,’ which is a classic Motley Crue song,” Pettit said. “It’s one that Crue has done in the past to do some audience participation. So, we kind of adopted that song and a similar style of how they included people.”
Pettit and the band members knew the music of Motley Crue from growing up in the 1980s. Most rock bands of that era were known for living a lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock and roll and indulging in the excess of that decade, but Pettit thinks the music should not be overlooked.
“The music was about the fun,” he said. “In the ‘big hair’ era, you had players who could really play; they didn’t have Auto-Tune. They could really sing.”
Attendees can expect all the Motley Crue hits, but the band does play earlier songs and B-sides or songs that may not have made it onto an album. But they should not expect the band to come out rocking the glam look popular in the 80s.
“Our look is more of a hybrid [of] their later look, post-glam,” he said. “Obviously, none of us look good in spandex anymore.”
Fans can expect to hear the hit ballad “Home Sweet Home,” which is a song they dedicate to active and retired military.
“It’s something we’ve done for 15 years. We’ll continue to do it as long as we continue to play, for as long as I’m the singer,” he said. “It’s something I firmly believe in because I believe that those people sacrifice so much for our rights and for our way of life that I think they deserve our appreciation.”
Pettit and the band enjoy meeting fans after the show and encourage them to come to talk to them after their set.
“We are humbled by everyone’s appreciation of us, and we love to hear and speak to those people who come to see us. We’ll take pictures with fans,” he said.
“This is about enjoying the music and enjoying the process of playing it. Don’t be scared to come up and talk to us. We’re here to have fun, too.”
The band was playing up to 40 shows a year in previous years, but have scaled back a maximum of two shows a month because they have day jobs and families.
“[Now], we get there, we get to pretend we’re rock stars for a few hours and then walk away back to our normal lives, and it’s a great escape for us,” Pettit said.
Also on tap for the concert is special guest band Autumn Tyde, a rhythm and blues band created by legendary musician and Fayetteville Music Hall of Famer Doyle Wood.
“This is a great band with such great musicians,” Wood said of the group. “We have four lead singers in the band — it’s not a one-man show at all, and I just really enjoy doing it.”
Playing a mix of rock, R & B, original music and the beach music suggested by the band’s name, Wood is keen to share a little something for everyone. Concert-goers can expect to hear some Prince, James Brown, Joe Bonamassa and a little Poco.
“It’ll be a fun show,” he assured. “We’ve got a different setup than most, and I think the crowd will really enjoy it. At the end of the night, I hope they enjoyed our original music and noted the musicianship and professionalism of the band. These guys are good; if not, I wouldn’t be doing it.”
The Gates Four Summer Concert Series is held at Gates Four Golf and Country Club Pavilion.
The series kicked off April 1 and will run through September. The May show featuring Heart Breaker was also rescheduled due to weather and is now set for Oct. 7.
The Summer Concert Series is free for outdoor lawn seating, and attendees are welcome to bring chairs and blankets. For those looking for a little “extra,” VIP tickets are for $38 and $68 and include pavilion seating, food and beverages. Tables of eight can also be reserved at discounted rates. For more information visit www.fayettevilledinnertheatrre.com/tickets.