Re: Orlando 7/29/2016
I had the great pleasure of seeing this show live and in person, and Axl was the best i've ever seen him. ANYONE who says he's washed up, just don't fuckin' get it.
Review of Orlando 2016:
First off, lemme just get this out of the way... Slash is GOD. Wanna know what the missing ingredient was those 20 years Axl couldn't pull his finger out? The top-hatted cousin It was always the missing piece. Not to take anything away from Duff, because even his backing vocals and harmonies were sorely missing from the songs that made GN'R, Guns N' Fuckin' Roses. That sound was restored last night. Despite the faster tempo, you could close your eyes and pretend it was 1992. The sound of Axl's primal voice, especially on songs like Jungle and the extreme anger he presented on Out Ta Get Me, mixed with Slash's undeniable guitar, a one-of-a-kind talent, Duff's unique punk-rock infused backing vocals and attitude, and even Dizzy's Stones-influenced piano, that sound blended all together to create 4/6th's of the Guns N' Roses of the 1990-91 band that recorded Use Your Illusion. I discovered the band at a very young age, right in there prime in 1991, when this lineup was the definition of G n' F'n' R's, and that was THE band. Obviously last night that version of the band was missing Matt Sorum and Izzy Stradlin, but the manic frailing of Frank "Thunderchucker" Ferrer certainly made up for it. Izzy... Izzy's a bit harder to replace. Richard Fortus at this point has become the Ronnie Wood of GN'R, but there was just something about that Mick Taylor-period 'ya know? Despite all that, the immense talent certainly complimented the band. To combine the forces of Axl, Slash, Duff & Dizzy on those specific tunes, although as ass-kicking as they could be on Appetite, and as much as they've seemingly re-invented Chinese Democracy... there real power was felt on the Use Your Illusion songs, which not surprisingly dominated the setlist. 7 UYI-era tunes in total were played, and not a fucking one of them sucked. If anything the power 4 really made their unison on stage felt, like bandmates of the past, on the UYI songs. You truly could close your eyes and pretend it was 1992. People used to say that during the new GN'R era, but I fucking mean it this time. Add in Melissa Reese's female backing vocals are specific tracks, and it really was felt. Gone was the fluff of Teddy Zig Zag or the unnecessary 976 Horn section, just trimmed down, sped up, no fucking bullshit. This band, these old comrades wanted to remind you why the fuck people cared about them so dearly by the time they were a headlining stadium act.
Speaking of which... I was standing in the merch line with a girl, who asked, "are there always this many people?" I scoffed and laughed and explained to her 5 years earlier, and a few blocks away I saw a band that called themselves Guns N' Roses at Amway Center in front of probably 6500 people with sections of the venue blocked off. This? Haha, it was a FUCKING NIGHTMARE trying to get into this venue (never again will I go to this particular stadium). Although the show itself was amazing, GN'R did not fail us. The entire area sits in a residential ghetto, with two-lane roads, and dated/aged crappy signage. Very few people directing traffic, and the parking lot staff was completely and utterly WORTHLESS. I know they probably aren't paid much to do what they do, but goddamn GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY if you're clueless. It took me an HOUR AND A HALF to get 1/4 of a mile down the road. I missed The Cult, which I really wanted to see, as one of my favorite bands. I did get to hear the hits while getting inside the venue, and of what I heard The Cult sounded great. Astbury's vocals were better than they have been in a few years, and he's still a one of a kind voice and frontman, and Billy Duffy's guitar hadn't aged at all, the guy was playing like a beast, and is still one of the most underrated guitarists of his day.
With the amount of people in the stadium, GN'R sure as shit wasn't hurting in the merch department. They had a far better selection of merch than in recent tours, and the whole operation was a far better ran operation than in years past. Even the merch bags were licensed and had special GN'R logos, and the whole thing seemed to be a far more well-oiled machine than in years past. Picked up exactly what I said I would. One of the throwback (and I love them for it), high-crown old-style black GN'R trucker hats. Love this hat. By the way, if you're interested, PICK ONE UP AT THE SHOW. They are actually significantly cheaper at the show than online. They were only $25 bucks at the merch table, yet are $40 fuckin' dollars each on the website. I don't know if they are counting shipping or what, but that's a significant price jump. Tons of those mother fuckers sold too, both the black and white ones. T-shirts were priced weird too. Big sizes were $45, yet on the website they're $5 cheaper. I didn't get one though. I picked up the Soundgarden/AIC/PJ-style Lithograph, which was a steep $50 bucks. FYI, they were Limited Edition of only 300 to those out there and they sold out quick. I shit you not, I bought, literally the last one in the fuckin' stadium. The display they took off the wall, #272 of 300. Little did I know that several people were in line, who I went all over the stadium trying to get one, and they kept selling out. I got the last one, and a few guys went apeshit and got in a bidding war to buy it off me. $100... $200... $300... $400 was the last offer. The J.R. in me was saying (sell it boy, pretty nice to have a free show, plus $200 paid for a few hours of your time to see GN'R). But I just couldn't. I've been looking for something like this for years. Artwork for not only GN'R, but being I actually live in the swamp, I now have a one of a kind GN'R artpiece that totally fit the surroundings of my outside. Love the colors, everything. Plus I have roses in the garden. And of couse the guns (shout out to monkeychow). And i'm the only fat-ass gator 'round here sunnin' all day. I didn't want to take the chance, and I regret nothing. I was meant to have it, and I got it. Plus I already had a 18x24 frame at home waiting on it, and was able to hang it on the wall before going to bed. So fuck off, it's mine, lol. I thought it was really cool that GNR's artwork for it was more reflective of the Deep South Florida (probably more Guns fans than most), than just another beach scenes. That poster was like Guns N' Roses meets Creedence Clearwater Revival. Pretty cool. Plus they also had a custom T-shirt with the some lithograph-art
Other than the initial Troub, Vegas & Mexico City shows, I stayed away from this tour intially. I wanted to experience it all fresh. Old school. And frankly with Google fucking my GPS over (they gotta fix that goddamn thing), I found my way there the old-fashioned way. So I wanted to experience it like it was 1987-1993. Less technology, less exposure. See it in-person, first hand. So this is my first song breakdown, piece by piece, judging it to a live audience.
LOONEY TUNES THEME Intro: Huh? Don't get why this is used. Maybe it's an in-joke with the band or something, but it seems to be a bizarre mood killer. They might as well have played Somewhere Over The Rainbow or something.
THE EQUALIZER THEME: A great momentum builder. Not "The Equalizer" Theme of my day (thinking of Edward Woodward), but the entire thing has this huge epic-feel.
IT'S SO EASY: Same energy as always. Great opener as well. Very old school, and still their ballsiest and most aggressive song. Watching Slash play it was a joy, but frankly ISE is still ALL about Duff. Duff was the missing ingredient during the 2001-13 period. Period. I'm convinced about it now more than ever, ISE is all about Duff "Rose" McKagan. If Duff ain't there, don't even bother fucking playing it. His backing vocals, frankly should be front-and-center, and the song just screams punk-attitude. Slash's guitar solidifies it. Axl's aggression compliments it. But yeah Duff is the star here.
MR. BROWNSTONE: FINALLY Axl is singing this RIGHT again. The mid-level vocal is throughout, and the Brownstone-part sounds right. All you have to do is talk this song. That's all it needs. Gone are the 2001-14 Mickey-isms that fucking buried it. Even in 2006, one of his stronger years, it was prominent. Axl hasn't done it this good since 1993. And of course Slash's guitar cements it. ONLY Slash should be allowed to play this. Frank's drums find someway to cross-breed between Steven & Matt. In person, it seems a bit more bombastic, and not as tinny during the 2006-14 era.
CHINESE DEMOCRACY: Totally and completely misplaced. I've said it before, and i'll say it again, this song is a momentum killer. The song rocked balls in 2006 when it was placed in the band's encore. Chinese between Brownstone & Jungle, just is fuckin'... out of place. The Slash re-record, opening the encore would kick ass, before going into a ballad. Speaking of which, of what I saw from the re-record, I liked. The entire song has much more of a feel of being a Slash solo song, with special guest Axl Rose on vocals. The entire energy, and techno-flavor of the 2001-02 shows (where it shined as an original composition) has been completely stripped out. The solo is good, but not very memorable. Seems to just be Slash noodling to give it something. Still leaps and bound better than anything from 2006-14. One of the few recordings that stands out from the 2001-02 period, but the modern Slash-version is no slouch.
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: Still Jungle. It's like pizza and pussy. Even when it's bad... it's still Jungle. Because it's the 4th song into the show, Axl seems to be a bit more vocally out of breath and seems to press on his vocals, creating this strain-sound. Not 1992, and not as too much raspy as 1991, but quality for damn sure. Slash sure as shit knows his way around it, and plays it with a frenetic energy that NONE of his replacements ever played it. Still pound-for-pound this song remains the 'ace in the hole' of the entire band. When all else fails, they can still play the fuck out of this... and they know it. Love the return of the UYI-era Slash outro. Always felt that brought them out of the song proper.
DOUBLE TALKIN' JIVE: What do I say? Watching Slash, live, perform this for the first time in my life was a spirtual experience. This song, regardless of Axl's vocal or a lack of Izzy... is all about Slash. Slash could play this as an instrumental and make it orgasmic. I still say the flamenco-inspired outro might be one of his best recordings in the history of the band. So glad they added this song back into the setlist, and Axl seems to sing it like he gives a shit, similar to the Appetite songs, something that was occasionally missing during the UYI songs, when they were rarely played, during the 2001-14 period. Again... if Slash isn't there, don't even bother playing this, and they were smart not to do it.
ESTRANGED: A masterpiece. Always has been, and still is. The fact of the matter is, the band plays this song BETTER today in 2016 than they did in 1991-93. What's even more shocking is that even more than having 3 lead guitarists on it from 2011-14, and Axl not singing it right, the song still was one of the better performances of the night. Still, subtract those 3 leads, bring back Slash, slap Axl and tell him to sing the fucker right in a mid-register, and play it a little tighter with Frank back there, and suddenly the song sounds as good as it ever has. Slash, despite not originally wanting to record these solos, seems to be throughly enjoying playing this again for the first time since 1993. It's some of his finest work.
LIVE AND LET DIE: This seems to be a song that Axl just doesn't sing like he used to. Mickey re-emerged, like always for this one, with some rasp. He seemed to sing it with a power similar to 2006, which is always a good sign, and the band seems to enjoy playing it. The audience (who gave up and sat down for Estranged), immediately jumped forward and starting singing LALD word-for-word. I don't get it. I think the song is BEYOND ready for retirement, but the audience seems to continue to love the fuck out of it, and that's why it's still there. Axl's screams are still killer.
ROCKET QUEEN: LOVE LOVE LOVE the new extended Intro's and Outro's to Rocket Queen. Has a real throwback feel to 1991-93, without the cheesiness of Tastes Good, Don't It. Axl's mixture of low and high seems to still fit the spirit of the song, and I might argue... they've never played it better. But there are times I sigh, and think Steven's groove would really bring it home, regardless of Izzy or Richard. Still, Slash was like a man possessed during this number. No bullshit, this might... have been the best performance of Rocket Queen i've ever seen. Fucking WOW.
YOU COULD BE MINE: Aaahhh, better. Better than the full Mickey I heard in 2011, that had me arguing for it's dismissal. Duff is again a real star here. His backing vocals, combined with Slash's guitar make up for the fact Axl has lost his way in singing it. Granted it's 2016, and Axl is older. So cut him some slack. He is singing it the best he has since 1993, but there was something badass magical about those 1991-93 performances. Still worth the price of admission to watch Slash be fucking Slash on the tune, and watch Axl do his damndest to refind his rasp. Axl sings to sing the end far better with far more energy than anything from 2001-14.
ATTITUDE: Glad I got Attitude, rather than Raw Power. Always preferred Attitude to Raw Power, and plus in a throwback UYI-way, I wanted to hear Attitude with Duff live in person. The "You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory" seems to be improved from The Spaghetti Incident's, frankly, cheeseball-style of vocals. Almost like Duff was making a joke out of his Johnny Thunders-tribute. Duff also seems like he's taken professional vocal coaching, because both were sung with more balance and competence than anything from the 1991-93 era. So yeah... these two have never been better.
THIS I LOVE: Ooh boy. Umm, where do I start. Vocally, Axl was on fire. Not quite the full rasp performance I saw in 2011, but Axl had a damn near perfect balance of rasp and helium, ala 2006. Seemed to fit the song better than full rasp, like he was trying to make This I Love, Chinese Democracy's November Rain vocal. Slash? Slash finally accomplished what all of us fanboys never thought we'd see -- making the song his own. Slash crushes ANYTHING Robin or DJ ever brought, but ESPECIALLY Robin. The solo never worked, and Slash finally brought it all together. Even Axl knows it, flashing shit-eating grins over his way, knowing in his head "this is what I always wanted". I truly don't think this song was ever even born until 2016 finally. I personally am throwing anything and everything that ever came before away. This is Axl & Slash's baby now.
CIVIL WAR: Speaking of the hits... while people were sitting trying to figure what the fuck This I Love is, as soon the opening narration from Cool Hand Luke started, people leap to their feet. I don't know if there was political motivation involved or not, but the entire band seemed to have an intent rage on delivering the song, and went out of their way to jam the fuck out of it with a look of determination, I haven't seen in awhile. Axl seemed to really want to nail the vocals, and did in a sense had the song existed in the 2006-07 setlist. Hearing Slash perform the Voodoo Child outro was a real childhood dream treat for me. Nothing like hearing it live.
COMA: Speaking of childhood dreams... Coma fulfilled it. I always wondered what it would be like to hear this performed like in 1992, and this was pretty close. Axl didn't have the voice he did in 1992, but you could see he tried his damndest, and that's all you can ask for. I was so focused on watching and seeing whether or not he'd pass out (good news, he didn't) that I completely didn't pay attention that Slash was killing it on guitar, as was Frank on drums. This might of been one of the performances of the night, and like Estranged was more on the deep cut side. You could see the casuals heading to the beer line, and i'm thinking "fucking Coma can't keep the posers in the seats... rock really is dead".
THE GODFATHER THEME: H-O-L-Y FUCK. Did I say how Slash is God? Imagine Bucket and his killswitch. Now imagine Slash doing that, but doing it manually with his fuckin' fingers on the chords. The fuck? What a beast. Slash took a throwaway solo, done a million times, and made it refreshing and a treat to see live for the second time.
SWEET CHILD O' MINE: For the casuals... the performance of the night. For me, although Axl sung it better than he has in the 2006-11 shows I saw... it still ain't the legendary 1992 performances with the Queen & Grand Funk intros. The holy moment for me is those imo. But Axl didn't show vocal weakness either, and showed off at the end, knowing he was hitting his power vocals. But for Slash? Slash is the star. This song is all about Slash, which is why I find it curious, for a song he's played a million times, of all the live performances i've seen, and now seeing it in person, he kind of fucks up the intro DJ Ashba style, missing parts. I don't get it. I heard Slash perform SCOM in 2011 with Myles, and he fucking nailed it. He's still solid on the main guitar solo, but he seems to be fucking up the intro on this tour. All the girls cummed in unison went this was played, but for me... good, quality. But some of the other ballads got me up quicker (Estranged, TIL, Don't Cry) than this.
BETTER: The fuck? WOW have they changed this song. The new intro was so bizarre, rocked the fucking shit, even I didn't recognize it. And it went on, and on and on. I started to think it was a new song. Then Melissa & Axl kicked in with the dueling vocals, and suddenly it was Better. The main audience didn't have a fucking clue what they were playing. Not a clue. Gotta be honest, love the new intro, love Melissa added female vocal prescence (I always though the harmony of the song needed something like this... she brings that), but the band... ehh, not sold yet. Better is one of the Better, straight-forward, radio-ready tracks of the Chinese-era, and despite my "Robin wasn't for GN'R" trepidation, Better is Robin's track. Robin got HIS solo, and even the added Bucket shred parts was the ace in the hole. Axl still nails the "I never wanted you to be so full of anger" with an OTGM venom, but i'm not sure Slash is feeling it. Might be time to retire this one, and maybe see what Slash could do to Street of Dreams or I.R.S. Still not a bad song, but the 2006 performance I saw with Robin was the definitive one even though I do like Melissa being there.
OUT TA GET ME: Holy fuck... what a beast this is. I remember seeing this twice in 2006, and feeling it was missing something. I remember listening non-stop to the 2001-02 bootlegs, and feeling it was missing something. Slash & Steven are the stars of this track. The previous Cinncinnati performance proved that. But Frank can pass, as long as Slash is there... or so I thought. I don't know what possessed Axl, but holy fuck something pissed him off, and he sang like a man POSSESSED. Axl sang OTGM with a venom I haven't seen since Ritz '88. Vocally he sounded AMAZING. Maybe the best of any of the songs. Either way, last night's performance with Slash & Duff, FUCKING CRUSHED anything I saw of this song in 2006. Goddamn. I always thought this was a B-side on Appetite, but I leap to my feet on this fucker by the end... mother fucker.
WISH YOU WERE HERE: Nice breather after a hardcore performance of OTGM. Slash seems to truly capture the Pink Floyd feel, like with Mother in 1992. He just has the right tone. One of the funnier moments of the night was a middle-aged couple, were Slash was playing WYWH, and yet this drunk husband was singing along... the words to "Wild Horses". I kid you not. The wife, obviously a Floyd fan, was singing the APPROPRIATE lyrics, along with the rest of the crowd, and finally just got a bellyful and jabbed her guy and said "you fuckin' idiot, it's Wish You Were Here, not Wild Horses!". Kinda funny. Richard really shines here, and seemed to start winning over the crowd of casuals... those who didn't realize he wasn't Izzy... or Gilby.
LAYLA Outro: What a lovely little moment. I really liked this. It was nice to see the entire band, along with Axl, all just jamming away at strictly an instrumental. No bullshit. No vocals, just feeling it and slamming it. The piano solo along with the band, created it's own energy and you could feel it. For all of GN'R to so an instrumental solo, and captivate a crowd of thousands really was a moment. Kudos to them. This is the stuff that I wish Axl would've had more confidence in himself on.
NOVEMBER RAIN: The band -- great. Seeing Slash perform the November Rain guitar parts and solo for the first time, like DTJ & Estranged was a spiritual experience and the fulfilling of a childhood dream for me. Axl... spotty for me vocally. He seems to have settled into singing it with a Chinese-era clean vocal, and that's not the way it was recorded. If he could at least sing it with the 'talky' vocal, like Estranged, that'd be enough. He has a nice low voice. But whatever rasp is gone. It's not bad. He definitely sang it with a power like 2006, which shows he's vocally healthy. He sounded like utter shit from 2011-14 on NR. Utter shit. The Appetite For Democracy performance was a low-moment for him in his career. This was universes better. And Axl doesn't struggle with the outro, make no mistake. He NAILS the outro. But frankly? A song where Axl's piano & vocals were the star, over the last 20 years, Slash has become the star. Slash saved the performance imo. Very proud that I got to see DC, NR, Coma, CW, KOHD, Estranged, and all of the epic (and a new extended RQ) in the same show, so credit where it's due, but I find it odd Axl can nail Coma & Estranged and fuckin' This I Love, but struggles with NR.
KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR: Wow, a new beast in a way. GN'R found a way to blend the 2011-14 extended acoustic performances and Axl's church hymn vocal with the 1992 performance, featuring Richard Fortus & Slash. Does that make any sense? The song seems to not plod along quite as bad as 2011-14, Slash really brings something special, but Richard gets to shine here as well. Axl mixes his church hymn vocal from 2001-14, with his 1992-93 vocal, creating a new beast. I like it. Whereas i'd like to see LALD dropped, much to the casual fan's chagrin, KOHD seems to still have a power, and I very much enjoyed getting to see Slash and cowboy Axl kick it all school.
NIGHTRAIN: Vocally, one of Axl's better vocals. Axl seems to be trying harder with this song again, noticeably like the brief 2009-10 performances. Add in Slash's undeniable guitar, and Nightrain is as good as it's ever been. Bottom line, is for all of the great Bucket guitar solos from 2001-02, Axl was never good vocally on that track during that tour. But at least Axl is good vocally now + Slash. So right now, since 1993, the band is performing it as good as they have since then. Again, like ISE, Jungle, OTGM... just fucking timeless.
DON'T CRY: I was really hoping that I would get an alternate show where DC was played, and not Patience. Patience is a slower, more acoustic tune, and as a kid who came in during 1990-91 and Axl, Slash, Duff & Dizzy being still present... I wanted an Illusion tune. And with all of the other big 'uns from UYI being played, I definitely would opt for DC. And what a moment. Getting to see Axl & Slash perform it together side-by-side for the first time, and watching Slash hit that solo for the first time, along with all the other solos, just capped the night for me. Yes PC was there too, but to get to go to a show in 2016, and see "the fuckin' Trilogy" from UYI in the same show... what a moment.
THE SEEKER: Okay, I get it. I know everyone thinks another AFD, UYI or even CD track could be here instead. Anything you could think of. Think About You, My Michelle, Used To Love Her & You're Crazy as two alternates, The Garden, Dead Horse, Yesterdays, Street of Dreams w/ Dizzy up front on piano + an intro solo, another attempt at TWAT... I get it. BUT... gotta be honest... The Seeker kicks ass live. It's just one of those tunes you have to be there to "get it". First off, Axl vocally sings it damn near perfect. The song's vocal is perfectly suited to his voice in 2016. Secondly, Slash & Richard enjoy playing the fuck out of it. You can tell they both grew up fans of The Who, especially Slash. Slash was jamming the fuck out of the tune, and considering the song comes so late into the show, and to see Slash with such energy, so late, he obviously loves it. Third and finally, the band, THIS band... they fucking own it. They've made it there own. Even though the Appetite For Democracy version from 2012 isn't bad, the new version with the REAL Guns N' Roses, puts it to bed. NOW I like having it in the setlist. For damn sure. So for SG, yes... Slash is God, but i'll counter that with telling you to get the fuck off The Seeker's back. It rocks.
PARADISE CITY: WOW. Axl vocally might not nail this as good as he did in the heyday, but not only does the band (Slash) more than make up for it, but the finale performance is coupled with a fireworks show that is easily KISS '96 reunion/Superbowl-Halftime show-level. Holy fuckin' shit, what energy this had. Maybe the strongest of the night. I do agree during the guitar outro, one of Slash's finest moments, Axl would be better keeping quiet and letting him shine, but at the same time Axl is trying to sing it like the studio-version, so you can't fault him for that. Certainly capped the night off with a "HUGE!" moment, and was an appropriate end to the greatest show i've ever seen.
Don't know if i'll ever go back to this venue. Inside the venue, and at the gates, everyone was wonderful, helpful, funny, and just added to the experience. It was getting there (Orlando is VERY poorly marked) and the parking that was just a fucking joke. Bad directions, poor signage, too much venue in too small an area. Getting inside, and BEING inside, it was a GREAT show. I was in the mid-tier, and had a nice side-view of the stage. Being there was no enforcement, people just started randomly smoking, and with the heat, the entire smell turned into a mixture of pyro smoke, 2nd-hand smoke, spilled beer, and human sweat, and I thought how intoxicating. THIS is how a fuckin' rock show is supposed to be. To compare seeing GN'R in 2011 at Amway Center to seeing them in a fucking STADIUM packed to the gils, to quote Axl, "Damn there's alot of you fuckers here tonight!", and there sure fuckin' was. That + Slash = a real Guns N' Fuckin' Roses show. Being in the states, it's the close you'll get to one of those old school legendary stadium shows from back in the day, except with a band that's tighter, more professional, sober, and definitely on (or possibly off) their meds (hey Axl!), leading to a definitive Guns N' Roses experience.
I haven't been to Orlando since the attack. Even driving into the city, you can tell there was still a tenseness in the air. An uncomfortability, yet a unity. The wound was still very fresh. It was different seeing every other sign, including the "Welcome To Orlando" being covered in the Gay Pride flag and rainbow colors. Guns N' Roses prepped the show by using neon Rainbow colored lights to color the stadium, as well as playing nothing but the Queen catalog to prep the show. To see all of this, along with people singing along to Queen, gay guys handing out free hugs (I got one! haha) and watching people by people from the gay community in the stadium free drinks just to do something nice... was just an all around moment. There seemed to be a real sense, a real feeling of community, solidarity, happiness, friendliness with strangers, and overall a feeling of love. I thought... why can't it always be like this? Guns N' Roses decided to end the show when they bowed by coloring the GN'R logo in rainbow colors, and wrapping it in 49 roses and a hashtag of #WeAreOrlando in order to tribute the victims in a silent, straight-forward, non-controversial way. I thought it was quite the nice little moment. Something touching they didn't have to do, but they got, and did it in THEIR own way, along with playing nothing but Queen to start the show. Queen & GN'R? I ain't complaining in the least. I just wish i'd made it inside to SEE The Cult, as opposed to just hearing them. My only regret. Make no mistake there, there were alot of hotties with BIG hair, young, all trying to relive the LA Glam era and that was really fucking cool. Sexy.
For anybody on the fence about these shows, worldwide. There's no Steven, there's no Izzy. Fine, stay the fuck home. Most of the casuals in the audience who don't know anything past Jungle, SCOM & PC (trust me folks, there were people going to the beer line during the UYI deep cuts, just as much as the CD stuff), I heard a couple times when Frank was pounding the shit on the drums and showing off, mumblings from the men (man... Steven sounds GREAT!) and usually their girlfriends correcting them and saying, "I don't think that's him... I think this guy is black" I actually heard that in two different occasions, and yes... I rolled my eyes at people who said "Izzy looks great!" So good job working out 4tus. It just goes to show you the casuals who screamed for Slash for years and years see the band as STRICTLY Axl & Slash and maybe to a slight extent Duff, but Axl & Slash were really the ONLY band members that most focused on and screamed for. That's the truth. So on one hand, it's great to see GN'R in a massive stadium, with unrivaled energy, and they are making alot of money doing it, but the hangers on and posers were certainly there, make no mistake. I think Faldor mentioned it, and I agree that in some ways, the arena shows from the 2001-14 period kinda spoiled us. Half-price, 1/3 the audience, and being able to get tickets on the day of show right beside the stage in a far more intimate setting. BUT... there is NOTHING like seeing this in a full stadium. HOLE-Y SHIT. Night and day. The difference between a band posing as Guns N' Roses, and umm... the ACTUAL Guns N' Roses. Last night I was reminded of WHY I fell in love with this band in the first place. What made them cool to me. What made them a cut above. And what's sad about it all, despite how much I love Duff, the truth about the matter is that there is something magical about Axl & Slash. They truly are the sum of their parts. They are not the same away from each other as they are together. Seeing them together, on that stage, I truly saw the magic that made Guns N' Roses different from every other fuckin' band. Music snob critics talking about how irrelevant GN'R are, because they've only released one original LP in 25 years, and basically how no one cares in the music scene. Yet GN'R puts on a better show than any of those acts. Which brings me to my next point, the sad fact is the majority of people at the show were in their early 40's or older. Yes... there were some younger ones, but the overall majority were of the age of being in high school and/or college when GN'R were in their heyday. Many of them looked at it as GN'R didn't even exist from 1994-2015. What concerns me is the lack of youth at these shows, that seeing this show last night, felt like watching the last act of a T-Rex of a rock band. There are no new rock acts on the way, the business has completely changed to a "free first" mindset, touring is the only way to make money, yet even Metallica aren't really doing numbers like this in the States, and you start to think how much more life there is in... the rock act. Will we even see this in 20 years? Doubtful. Even right now, GN'R might be the only American act playing stadiums, and that's only because they've got the momentum of the reunion right now. I loved it and I felt sad too. There are people who will NEVER experience the greatness of this. And even the people who were there, 75% of them had their fuckin' cellphones up and were watching the whole show through their cellphone/tablet. I didn't. I wanted to do something I never got a chance to do, experience a Guns N' Roses show in 1992. Not only did they deliver, they still had a few tricks up their sleeves. Still unpredictable. Still G n' F' n' R's!
This sums up my experience. This poster could be Axlin's backyard. Truly my experience.
Re: Orlando 7/29/2016
GREAT FUCKING REVIEW Axlin16!!
Funniest part was the dude singing wild horses during Wish You Were Here. Hahahaha.
Anyway, I went to the Atlanta show and basically have the same feeling walking away... I agree, Slash is a fucking God. In this environment he is the greatest player on the planet. What a great production this tour is.