East Coast Dates and More:
Embarking on their first headlining tour, the Sixx A.M. Modern Vintage tour came to an end with five East Coast dates. The band rocked a sold out show at the Starland Ballroom (NJ) and Palladium (MA), followed by three packed show at the Best Buy Theatre (NYC), Electric Factory (PA), and The Fillmore Silver Spring (MD).
The success of the tour should come as no surprise, Sixx A.M. fans have waited for this tour for seven years. What makes this band so unique is the diverse group of fans who find peace with the lyrics. Some passionate fans even arrived to venues up to ten hours early, numerous days in a row in order to secure a spot in the front row. Fans world-wide united during this tour with international fans from France, Germany, and Ukraine making trips in order to see the show.
The band formed in 2007 after Nikki Sixx, bassist of Motley Crue published his first novel, The Heroin Diaries. The Heroin Diaries is a compilation of the diaries Sixx had written during the 80’s when his addiction was at its highest. Diary entries along with Sixx’s drug-free self-reflection, and friends views on events are included. For Sixx, this was a new outlet for expression where beautiful ideologies of hope and recovery inspired many.
Producer James Michael, Guns N Roses guitarist DJ Ashba, and Nikki Sixx make Sixx A.M., purposely named after each member’s last name. They were friends for many years and decided to work together to create a soundtrack to release in addition to Sixx’s book release. This became their first record which would lead up to their follow-up album, This Is Gonna Hurt for another of Sixx’s novels.
The band never had intentions of becoming a touring act until thousands of fans spoke about how the music changed their lives. It was time for them to become a live act when the band released their newest album, Modern Vintage. The new album has a new experimental sound, having songs that range from hard rock to bluesy rock. The fans have spoken that they love the music. Fans bought the record in masses and sold out many of the venues where the band was set to play: Sixx A.M. is very much so wanted.
The setlist includes songs from all albums and each show has its own unique, special performances thanks to the band's on stage antics. Whether it be pushing each other around, allowing a young child to sing on stage, or to participate in some crowd surfing, each show has something special.
The lights dim, the curtain drop and the packed venues filled with the opening vocals to X-Mas in Hell. First on the stage is touring drummer, Dustin Steinke who pounds away at his raised drum set which allows him to be seen by all fans in the venue. The two powerful female touring vocalist, Melissa Harding and Amber VanBuskirk join the stage to back up James with melodic vocals.
The band morale is at a high and can be seen from the way the band acts onstage. Sixx and Asbha are constantly joking around on stage and have smiles all around. The band’s Instagram page shows that the current favorite tour bus activity is tasing each other.
The elusive frontman, James Michael appears on stage in his black leather trench coat, fingerless black gloves, and reflective aviator sunglasses. With the entire New Jersey crowd fist pumping, Michael encourages the crowd to let go.
“It’s been about fucking time, dontchya think?” Michael screams to the New Jersey crowd.
The band burst into Let’s Go and rages on through the setlist. Tossing his sunglasses into the sold out crowd, the charismatic front-man struts across the stage and goes into songs off the new record.
This is Gonna Hurt blast through the amps and the crowd joins in for a sing along of one of the band’s biggest hits. Sixx grooves across the stage, bass in hand kicking and throwing water bottles which doused the tightly packed, and dehydrated crowd. Watch out if you're in the front few rows, you're going to get wet!
Michael, an accomplished pianist sits down for a heartfelt performance of Dead Man’s Ballet. The true passion of the performance of the song can be seen with Michael fiercely singing:
"Yeah, you, you miserable father, The one who ignored me for half of my life. Now I, I can't even look at you, Why? Why? Why?"
Following, a soft entrance of Accidents Can Happen begins as the crowd sings the lyrics back to the singer. Fans throughout the venues are moved to tears by the heartfelt performance. The band continues to light up the place with one of their, jazz-rock songs, Miracle.
Ashba who explains that he more comfortably speaks through his guitar rather than with words tells the crowd, “Thank you so much for coming out here. I thought instead of doing a speech I would tase the shit out of my guitar tech.” With the taser not with in immediate reach he went on to say: “I’m not much of a talker, but fuck, thank you so much for coming out and supporting Sixx A.M.” In response, the crowd roars back with cheers and clapping.
Back up to the high energy songs the band starts Gotta Get It Right, the single off the new record. The passionate fans sing the lyrics back with much excitement.
Throughout the show Ashba, prances across the divider between the floor and the bar for a more intimate experience for fans who were unable to be close up.
Sixx takes a special moment to address the crowd about how they have played such a major role in creating the band that is Sixx A.M. today.
“Me and James and DJ, we all knew each other as musicians but more so we were best friends and we made music together basically just for us… As we were writing it we began to start understanding our past and we realized that we all have a shattered, fucked up, cracked past. Maybe you have somebody fucked up in your family, or maybe you’re fucked up, or maybe you were and you changed but everybody wanted to hold you down and that was my story. I was aways told I was less than—and we wrote a song called Life is Beautiful.”
“And now look at what the fuck you have created. So if you don’t mind next year we will drop our fourth record and we will announce a world fuckin’ tour. Just when I thought I was gonna retire, fuck that shit. Sixx. A.M is here to stay!” Sixx goes on to explain that it was the thousands of fans who showed up to his book signings to tell their stories that inspired the band to hit the road. With Motley Crue's Final Tour ending this year, Sixx will have more time to dedicate solely to working on Sixx A.M.
The band goes on to include some fan-favorites off their previous record with Help Is On The Way. A beautiful piano opening started Goodbye My Friends, and moved the crowd to awe of Michael’s extraordinary vocal range.
The band goes into the final part of their set, filled with their big-name hits. The intro to Stars begins and fans already get their cameras out to catch a photo of what was to come. The chorus kicks in and suddenly the venue is filled with thousands of black paper stars falling.
The encore begins with Michael again at the piano playing the fan-favorite song, Skin. In Sayerville, an eager fan makes a run for the stage, jumps and finds himself being grabbed and taken out while Michael in complete focus, barely bats an eye at the disruption. Ashba takes a seat atop the piano and effortlessly spews out a guitar solo, extending it for the fans who desperately don’t want the show to end.
Ending on a high note with Life Is Beautiful, an inspirational song that was not only the first Sixx A.M. song to get radio play, accidentally so, but it was the song that lead the band to decide to tour and further their works into a full album. The crowd sang the entire chorus back for the band as they gave it there all for a grand finale.
The United States tour is coming to its end but the band explained there will be a world tour next year. The band will take some time to regroup and will continue work on a fourth studio album. Until then, we must wait until 2016 until they hit the road for another tour.
For more information about Sixx A.M. visit www.sixxammusic.com
X-Mas in Hell
Give Me A Love
This is Gonna Hurt
Pray for Me
Dead Man’s Ballet
Accidents Can Happen
Gotta Get it Right
Help is On The Way
Goodbye My Friends
Lies Of The Beautiful People
Life is Beautiful