HYPE ASIDE, GUNS N' ROSES A HIT
- Justin Mitchell, Rocky Mountain News, 7.12.91
With all the brouhaha preceding the Gun N' Roses appearance last night at McNichols Arena, one would've thought the Anti-Christ was headlining.
But after dire publicity about riots in St. Louis and a whiskey bottle lobbed at the band in Dallas, the Denver show featured more roses than guns. Security appeared only slightly tighter than usual, and the atmosphere was more ecstatic than edgy.
Yeah, the band's vocalist and focal point, Axl Rose, came close to blowing his stack a couple of times, but even his diatribes seemed somewhat tame considering the whole G N' R phenomenon has mutated into something beyond control or comprehension.
Five songs into the set, Rose interrupted (appropriately enough) Hell Gone Wild to have a guy in front thrown out for flipping the bird to Rose and the video cameras.
Other than that, how was the show? In the words of the typical fan: ''(Expletive) great!"
When Rose stops yapping and sings, and when Slash cuts loose with his virtuoso guitar work it's clear that, hype aside, Guns N' Roses is a top- flight working band.
The band began about 10 p.m., about an hour after Skid Row's 50- minute frantic, cliche-ridden set.
Opening with You Could Be Mine, from the Terminator 2 soundtrack and G N' R's upcoming two album releases, Use Your Illusion I and II the band slid effortlessly into the trance-dance shuffle of Mr. Brownstone. From there, it was into the blues-infected groove of Bad Obsession, featuring Slash on some stellar slide guitar.
Augmenting the band for this tour is former Boulderite Dizzy Reed on keyboards. Reed, who has gone from playing in grade-school and junior-high bands with names such as Hairy Bananas and Bootleg moved to L.A. about seven years ago after making his mark in Denver and Boulder with the Feds.