Vince Neil headlines Gulfcoast Rhythm & Ribfest in Palmetto

Motley Crue singer is backed by members of Slaughter

mclear@bradenton.comApril 11, 2013 

Fans of 1980s bands that hit it big in the hair-metal heyday of the 1980s will get a two-for-one deal at this year's Gulf Coast Rhythm & Ribfest.

One of the headliners is Vince Neil, who of course also fronts Motley Crue, one of the most popular hard-rock bands of all time.

His back-up band, though they're not billed, is made up of four members of Slaughter, which is probably best known for the 1990 hit "Up All Night."

Neil, with Slaughter behind him, is scheduled to perform at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Ribfest, at the Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto.

Neil said the set will include a healthy selection of Motley Crue songs, plus a songs from his solo albums and some covers. He declined to be more specific.

"We got a list of about 1,00 songs that we do, man" he said. "We just get together and say, 'Yeah, that'd be fun to do.'"

Dana Strum, the bassist for Neil and for Slaughter, said the Motley Crue songs in Neil's solo show tend to focus on the non-hits.

"He likes to surprise people," Strum said. "He likes to do the more obscure Motley Crue songs, the ones that Motley doesn't necessarily do on tour. And for the covers he likes to a lot of stuff that influenced Motley Crue. People are in for some real surprises."

Motley Crue is still touring huge arenas, and in fact Neil said he's hurrying home to Las Vegas after Ribfest to get ready to embark on a Motley Crue tour that starts in Canada, goes west across the northern United States and ends in a three-week stint at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, where Neil lives.

"I get to play the big festivals and the big arenas, and we play a lot of Indian casinos, too," he said "And then I get to play at festivals like the one I'm doing down there. It's fun. That's the only reason I do it. I wouldn't do it if it wasn't fun."

Since he's been a huge recording star and concert draw for more than 30 years now, Neil said he's seen his audiences expand.

"We get everything from grandmothers and fathers with their sons on their shoulders to 12-year-old kids wearing 'Shout at the Devil' T-shirts," he said. "It's such a great feeling to see little kids out there singing my songs and knowing all the words. That's what keeps me going."

Details: Gulfcoast Rhythm & Ribfest is April 12-14 at Manatee County Fairgrounds, 1402 14th Ave. W., Palmetto. Tickets are $15 for April 13 and 14, are available at www.gulfcoastribfest.com. Tickets for Friday are $5 and will be available at the gate only. Information: www.gulfcoastribfest.com or 941-746-7470.

Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-748-0411. ext. 7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.

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