If you’ve seen any of the concert reviews I’ve done in the past you would know that music is one of the things I love. I try to see as many shows as possible, and am constantly mixing up my musical genres. One day you will catch me listening to Alice In Chains, the next day I’ll be listening to Toby Keith and the day after that I’ll throw on some techno. Of all of the bands I’ve listened to, Guns N’ Roses has probably received the most airplay on my home stereo (I have all of their albums, but Appetite For Destruction has definitely gotten the most airplay).
It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in my parents recliner watching MTV (back when they had music videos). The opening riff to Welcome To The Jungle came on, and I still remember the scene where Axel gets off the bus and heads out into the city. That was a pivotal point in my life, and I became one of the most hard core GNR fans from then on. So fast forward to this week. The new GNR (Axel Rose w/ an all new supporting cast) came to town this week, and I was fortunate to get tickets to the show.
A local band started the night off, though I didn’t catch their name. Buckcherry was next, and they played an amazing show that included “Sorry,” “Crazy Bitch” and “Everything” to name a few. Josh Todd is an amazing lead singer, and he has a phenomenal stage presence. I commented to my girlfriend during their performance that very few bands have a solid presence on stage, and they have no idea how to get people into the show. IMHO that is one of the reasons you spend big bucks to come out and see a band.
Once Josh and the boys finished up we got to sit around for close to two hours while they prepared the stage for GNR. The lights eventually went dim, and the band members came on stage to the theme song of the tv series Dexter (I wonder if Showtime can ever top Dexter season 4). They then cut into into their first song of the night, Chinese Democracy, which is fresh off their relatively new album of the same name. Once they finished Chinese Democracy the crowd got something they had all been waiting for, the opening riff to Welcome To The Jungle. Everybody and their brother knows the intro, and Axel and boys played a killer version of it. Awesome!
For a band that had been out of commission for years, I was amazed at how sharp Axel was. He was dancing around, it looked like he was having fun, and his interaction with his bandmates looked solid. He kept running off the stage when he wasn’t singing, and I kept asking myself “Is Axel OK?”. Based on his performance and the fact that they didn’t stop the show, I think Axel was A-OK.
Now on to the setlist they played. They performed almost (no Civil War) every hit you can think of, including “Welcome To The Jungle,” “Nightrain,” “Live And Let Die,” “November Rain,” “Rocket Queen,” “Sweet Child Of Mine,” “Patience,” “Knocking On Heavens Door,” “It’s So Easy,” “Mr. Brownstone,” “Don’t Cry” and the fricking awesome rendition of “Paradise City.” You can see the full set list here.
So how would I rate this experience? Well I have to give this experience ten stars out of ten stars. The music sounded amazing, the band played for 3 hours (the concert didn’t let out until 2am), Axel was in good spirits and I got to hear a bunch of my favorite songs performed live by the original lead singer. The only thing that would have made this experience better would be to have had the original GNR members (Slash, Duff, etc.) take part in the festivities. Good times my peeps!