- Andrea Dee Trent, Screamer Magazine, 1988
At first, the evening got off to a slow start. Fun House opened the show to a moderately pleased crowd.
The set change was mercifully prompt and the show began. The Guns N' Roses backdrop lowered as the crowd cheered in a frenzy. The charismatic W. Axl Rose, clad in a pair of tight pants, T-shirt and boots, lead the rest of the boys into ”It's So Easy,” from their ”Appetite For Destruction” LP. The sound was a little too loud in the beginning, which made it difficult to understand Rose clearly. Somewhere towards the end of the song, the sound engineer came to his senses and Rose became more audible. Guns N' Roses proceeded to play ”Move To The City” off their ”Live Like A Suicide” mini-LP and then the infamous ”Mr. Brownstone” which nearly brought the house down.
The show so far was going extremely well. Then Axl gave his spiel on an incident that occurred the prior evening at a local club which led the band into ”Out Ta Get Me.” Guitarists Izzy Stradlin and Slash really tore into this song and displayed fine teamwork along with Bassist Duff McKagan. They followed suit with the evertouching ”Sweet Child O' Mine.” The stage for this song was perfectly set with kaleidoscope lights and dry ice, setting the mood for Axl's soulful singing which he did so well, it could give a gospel choir a run for their money.
Next came a new song, ”Used To Love Her” which was well-received with the audience. ”My Michelle” followed with full force and power as did ”Rocket Queen.” In the middle of ”Rocket Queen,” the temp changes sent the audience into a zealous hand-clapping fury. Guns N' Roses had the house up in arms…literally.
The real tightness that the band possesses became evident in a fine rendition of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door” which they dedicated to the late Todd Crew of Jetboy. Axl was trying to make some valid points in relation to the responsibility of taking drugs, but some callous people in the audience kept interrupting him. Disgusted, Rose told the loudmouths to “Shut the fuck up!” which made everyone cheer.
It was at this point that the drummer Steven Adler (out of commission due to an injured hand) introduced substitute drummer Fred Coury of Cinderella. Coury did a fine job filling in, and Guns N' Roses continued with ”You're Crazy.” Then both Axl and Slash introduced everyone in the band and they did it perfectly, so not a single name was slurred or lost.
Slash spearheaded into a new instrumental song (title unannounced). This song enabled all members in the band to showcase their talent without any lengthy solos. Steven Adler joined Coury to share drumming duties on this very blues-influenced number. ”Nightrain” ended the set before the first encore. During the first encore, they played the very popular ”Paradise City” followed by a new song entitled ”Patience” (next LP released) and a cover of Aerosmith's ”Mama Kin.” The second encore gave us a song also on their next LP entitled, ”Don't Cry” and finally ”Nice Boys.”
Guns N' Roses played an outstanding two-hour set that was beyond comparison. A rejuvenation in the local and national rock scene has long been overdue and Guns N' Roses have risen to the occasion. A very real band not to be missed!
After the show I headed backstage to talk to the guys. There was already a sizeable crowd, and for some reason the temperature inside the club had taken a sudden nosedive.
Steven Adler was still upset because he couldn't play, but he managed to keep his sense of humor. He told me his favorite part of the tour was their time with Mötley Crüe.
Slash was firmly entrenched by a circle of friends, but I was able to find out that he felt the four night set in L.A. was his favorite part of the tour.
Izzy seemed to appear from nowhere. He liked the night in New York when he smashed his guitar, and also enjoyed their second night at Perkins Palace.
Rose looked a little tired, but was still on his feet and fencing questions from all sides. He like the New Orleans show with The Cult, but also liked the recent local shows they'd done.
It was a night to remember, and as I headed towards my car, in hopes of thawing out, I heard the songs still playing in my head. With talent like this, it's not hard to come up smelling like a rose.