Last Sunday night, I went to see Guns N’ Roses at the Universal Amphitheater. I know Patry already posted about it, but it was so good, I had to write about it. The openers were Helmet and Sebastian Bach. Helmet weren’t my cup of tea, but Bach was really fun – I was never a huge Skid Row fan, but he really did put on a good show, and I forgot how good “Youth Gone Wild” and “Slave to the Grind” were. They might have to be added to the ipod.
But really, let’s face it, the only reason I wanted to go was to see W. Axl Rose in person, and he really didn’t disappoint. I mean, there were rumors that they were coming on at midnight, maybe not at all, but they showed up at 11:40 and played a 2 hour and 20 minute set, which, on a Sunday night, is really late. But it was so worth it. They played most of Appetite for Destruction, a few off of G’N’R Lies, a few off of the Use Your Illusions, and, somewhere between 4-6 new songs off the forever-delayed Chinese Democracy, which all sounded good, but not great. Actually, it doesn’t matter what they sound like, I’m still buying that album. One of the cooler moments was when Izzy Stradlin showed up and played with the band on a bunch of songs. I guess he’s popping up around the tour and playing a few songs here and there.
Patry mentioned that it was like seeing Axl with a Guns N’ Roses cover band, but they were one hell of a band (and it’s basically the same thing Roger Water is doing on his tour. Either way, they were both great shows in very, very different ways). The new G'N'R just totally rocked. I mean, I threw up more devil horns towards Mr. Rose and crew that night than I think I ever have in my entire life. The show was so loud I had to wear ear-plugs the whole time – a first for me. Despite the ear plugs, my ears were still ringing later that night and into the morning.
Axl was in great shape (especially compared to that appearance on the MTV Video Awards a few years ago). He ran around, controlled the stage, had the crowd on their feet the whole time, and changed outfits about 4-5 times. (no kilts or bandanas!) He definitely had a chip on his shoulder – in the good way – he’s out to prove that he can still do this without his old bandmates, and he certainly proved that to me.
We had great seats, so good in fact, I could actually watch Axl turn his back to the audience, grab a tissue from a box on the back tier of the stage, and blow his nose. Nothing humanizes a rock icon like watching them blow their nose.