After 45 years, Mott The Hoople returns to Milwaukee for a stunning show at the Miller High Life Theater

Wchicken Mott the hoop last played in Milwaukee, the Domes were under ten, Summerfest was nearing its seventh season and Richard Nixon was in the throes of his presidency. The date was May 22, 1974, and the band was touring the United States in support of their most recent album, The hoop. It turned out to be their last studio album; founding frontman Ian Hunter left the group at the end of the year, and Mott The Hoople was no more. It appeared that the group would never cross the Atlantic again.

But after nearly 45 years, Mott The Hoople is back in America. Featured as Mott The Hoople ’74, the line-up consists of three members who were on the last US tour: singer and guitarist Ian Hunter, guitarist Luther Grosvenor – better known as Ariel Bender – and keyboardist Morgan Fisher. The other two members of the 1974 tour, who were also founding members of the group, Pete Overend Watts and Dale “Buffin” Griffin, have died within the past three and a half years. Ian Hunter’s usual backing group, The Rant Band, replaces them and strengthens the group.

The fact that Milwaukee is one of the stops on Mott’s tour is quite remarkable, as they only play in eight cities, but it is even more remarkable that Milwaukee is the first stop, and that the band play in the same building as in 1974, the Miller High Life Theater, which was then known as the Milwaukee Auditorium. Monday night marked this festive return to Milwaukee.

During the 1974 tour, the opening band in Milwaukee was Kansas, which took over when Queen had to drop out because guitarist Brian May fell ill. This time The suburbs had the honor. The nine-piece set wasted no time getting started, as if they only had a few minutes to get to work and wanted to pack as much as possible. Singer and keyboardist Chan Poling commanded from the center of the stage, guitars clashed backstage, drums barely released, and horns punctuated and occasionally led the dance and pop songs. After nine songs and just under 40 minutes, they were over and the house lights came back on.

When it turned black again, “Jupiter” by Gustav Holst The planets exploded into the speakers, just like before the opening of so many Mott The Hoople shows before. And then a familiar voice was heard in the darkness; it was David Bowie encourages the crowd to, “Please welcome, from England, Mott The Hoople.” Ian Hunter, wearing sunglasses, raised a drink to the audience as he took the stage with the band. He walked into the opening stanzas of Don McLean’s “American Pie”, ending with “The Day the Music Died,” and then asked the question “Where did he do it?” The whole group moved up a gear to answer the question. Maybe the heyday of rock ‘n’ roll was with Elvis, Buddy Holly, and Little Richard in the 1950s; or maybe it was during Mott The Hoople’s original run in the early 1970s; but with the group at full throttle from the get-go here, it wouldn’t be out of the question to think that the golden age was still with us in 2019.

Hunter, Bender, and Fisher were located towards the center of the stage, and the spotlight often shone on one or all of them. Hunter’s voice was largely intact and maintained throughout the show, and he was flexible and moved easily. He will be 80 this year, but there was no record of it anywhere. Fisher, dressed in his usual keyboard-cuffed jacket, started and finished a handful of songs. At one point, he took a glass of champagne …or more probably white wine– and ran to the other side of the stage and tossed the liquid in the air. Bender, wearing a red flat cap, black tailcoat, and black and white checkered trousers, spun, stamped and gesticulated in the air with his free hands, as if he were a box of money. frenzied music that had been coiled before. come on stage. He often moved closer to the front of the stage during his solos, and the spotlight hit him and those in the front rows. It was obvious he was savoring every moment of the show, and he more than once started a “Seventy-four!” Seventy four! Seventy-four! ”Song.

After the opening act, things started to relax a bit. After a relaxed and mid-tempo “Alice”, the energy was re-pumped with “Honaloochie Boogie”. But it was lowered again when the spotlight fell on Fisher as he began the opening bars of “Rest in Peace.” From there it was a slow simmer as the intensity increased with each number – through “I Wish I Was Your Mother” and two songs by The hoop, “Pearl ‘n’ Roy (England)” and “Roll Away the Stone”. And that’s when Fisher ran to the other side of the stage and threw his glass in the air as Hunter strummed his guitar and the band launched into a raucous version of “Sweet Jane. “from the Velvet Underground. That’s when the crowd finally overflowed, and almost everyone stood up.

An exhilarating version of “All The Way From Memphis” – after which Bender asked, “Did we pass the audition?” , similar to the way they appear on Mott The Hoople Live, the album released after the 1974 tour. The memorable riff of “You Really Got Me” was sandwiched between “Jerkin ‘Crocus” and “One Of The Boys”. Bender leaned against Hunter and put his arm behind his back. The song ended, Hunter changed acoustics, and in a second or two, they entered their next medley, which contained parts from at least nine different songs. With that, Hunter thanked the crowd and the band left the stage.

The crowd was completely in the palm of the group’s hand at this point, and was once again on their feet, hissing and screaming for them to come back. Cell phones lit up the room, as did a handful of lighters. The group returned and Hunter raised a glass again, but in his other hand he held up a proclamation from Mayor Barrett that said it was Mott The Hoople Day. Bender once again started his “Seventy-four!” Seventy four! Seventy-four! ”Vocals. And then Mott The Hoople finished his set.“ Saturday Gigs ”was relaxed and thoughtful, and when Hunter exclaimed“ Just one last thing before I go, ”the group turned to“ All The Young Dudes “. The crowd was beaming, some were swaying to the beat of the music and many had raised their hands.” We came here on purpose … this is the only place where when you walk in people thank you for ‘for coming. So thanks for having us, “Hunter said before the group moved away. All the young guys are a little older now, but they can still bring news, and it’s always worth the effort. to be listened to.


1. American Pie / The golden age of rock’n’roll
2. Lounge Lizard
3. Alice
4. Honaloochie Boogie
5. Rest in peace
6. I would like to be your mother
7. Pearl ‘n’ Roy (England)
8. Roll the stone
9. Sweet Jeanne
10. Rose
11. Walk with a mountain
12. All the way from Memphis
13. Puppet
14. Jerkin ‘Crocus / You really got me / One of the boys
15. Rock And Roll Queen / Crash Street Kidds / Death May Be Your Santa Claus / Whole Lotta Shakin ‘Goin’ On / Mean Woman Blues / Johnny B. Goode / Violence / Milwaukee Rocks / You Really Got Me

1. Saturday concerts
2. All the young guys

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