Ok, prolly not counting at all but;
You won't get any closer to the resurrection of Christ than what you did with Axl Rose at this moment in time.
And this counts as one of the most kickass moment in time
I mentioned on Facebook that the second video should be GNR's "performance" tonight. After everyone finishes their speeches, drop the lights and play that on the video screen.
Between this show leaving my ass thoroughly kicked and a few other things keeping me busy over the last three days, I haven't had an opportunity to write a review until now. I planned on making a full blog out of it, but for now, I'll just go with random thoughts..
This was actually my first time going to a show at Conseco Fieldhouse. I really liked the entire layout (Small-ish for a basketball arena; Didn't seem to have a bad seat in the house).
I also really liked the merchandise that they're selling on this tour. I ended up grabbing the red skull/dual snake t-shirt.
Black Label Society tore into their set from the get-go. That's when it started to register with me that “This is happening”. The sound/mix made the vocals hard to distinguish for awhile, but I was more focused on Szeliga's drumming. Another highlight was Zakk making reference to Dimebag Darrell during his extended solo, since it happened to be the anniversary of Dimebag's death. Even though BLS isn't one of my favorite bands, it was a good time.
A huge smile came across my face when the “Dexter” theme started, and I came to my feet when DJ's guitar kicked into “Chinese Democracy”. That was one of the coolest aspects of the experience – singing along to every word of the new songs. You could tell that only a certain segment of the audience was familiar with the newer material, but I've got to say that the ones who weren't as familiar never seemed to lose interest. In fact, the band probably could have pulled out a few more.
“Welcome to the Jungle” was another cool moment. You could almost hear the crowd over Axl during the song.
I had my “Did I just see what I think I saw?” moment during “Mr. Brownstone”. I was in the first row at the left/diagonal side of the stage. Assuming that the lighting allowed Axl to see that particular spot, as the band was playing “Brownstone” to a close, Axl looked around surveying the crowd. Starting with the right side of the arena and stopping at my exact spot on the left. As I started doing the “We're not worthy” bowing motion, Axl smiled and nodded his head. I wasn't going to say anything about it, but my girlfriend leaned into my ear and said “Did you see that? I think Axl was looking at you”. That was definitely cool.
It was great to finally hear “Estranged” in person. That was the song that made such a huge fan years ago. It's been a long journey from then until now, and it almost felt like coming full circle. The band more than pulled the song off.
“Whole Lotta Rosie” ended up being one of my favorites. In fact, it's been stuck in my head since the show. I'd been singing/screaming most of the songs up until this point, but during “Rosie”, I (and most of the arena) came unglued. Axl's voice wailing over DJ, Bumble, and Zakk's guitar was ridiculous.
On the personal “unglued”-o-meter, “Nightrain” was probably the only song that ended up topping “Rosie”. And, when I looked around the arena, everyone else was going as crazy as I was.
As someone that's never been as big of a fan of “Civil War” as others, this performance was probably the most I'd ever enjoyed the song. I don't know if it was all the extra man-power, but it felt much heavier than I remembered. Plus, I got a kick out of seeing all the redneck republican Hoosiers swaying around and singing about the evils of war.
“Better” is possibly my all-time favorite song. So, much like “Estranged”, it was great to finally hear it in person. Also, unlike some of the other “Chinese Democracy” songs, I could hear the people around me singing along. Maybe the single made more of a dent in this area than I realized.
Axl is such a showman that he kept my attention for most of the night, but almost every time a solo would stand out to me, I'd look over and see Bumblefoot with his knees bent, his head back, feeling his way through it. On the other side of the stage, DJ was quite the showman himself. You could tell he was pulling out all the stops for the home state crowd – Even bringing a 5 year old up onto the stage to strum his guitar during one song. He's definitely becoming GNR's second biggest name.
As for Axl, he was performing like a man possessed. After the history he's had with Indiana and all the things that he's said about his home state over the years, I wasn't sure what kind of crowd was going to show up (or if one was going to show up at all), and I got the impression that he wasn't so sure either. By the time he got through “Jungle”, “Easy”, and “Brownstone” though, all doubts had been erased. The crowd couldn't have been more on his side. I noticed a few people leaving around 1:00am, but the ones who stuck around were completely into it. You could tell that Axl was visibly taken aback - at one point, saying “Geeze!.. Geeze!!.. Did I say say 'Geeze'?!”. Both before and after, he also made a point of saying that “It's good to be back home in Indiana. Especially to such a warm reception. And we'll be back much sooner next time”. That's going to be the enduring highlight in my mind. The give-and-take between Axl and the crowd was something to be experienced.
It was the first GNR concert that I'd ever been to, and I couldn't have had more fun than I did. Can't wait to do it again.