GUNS N` ROSES MAY BE HEARING METALLICA`S FOOTSTEPS
- Bruce Britt, Los Angeles Daily News, 7.31.92
The Guns N` Roses/Metallica/Faith No More tour will come no closer to Charlotte than Sunday`s concert at Columbia`s Williams-Brice Stadium. What will southbound metal fans see and hear? Here`s a review of the July 17 tour opener at Washington`s Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.
Welcome to the jungle, indeed. The highly anticipated Guns N` Roses/ Metallica/Faith No More was a blitzkrieg bacchanal that combined explosive performances with food fights and a sordid burlesque.
Headliner Guns N` Roses took more than 90 minutes to set up, which was more than enough time for the restless throng of concertgoers to make mischief. Fans pelted each other with cups, food and toilet paper during the lengthy lull.
Then matters got even weirder. Encouraged by catcalling male fans, some women exposed themselves for the big-screen television cameras.
But not everyone was amused by the debauchery or Guns N` Roses` tardiness. Some fans had to leave the stadium early.
Those who could stay were treated to the usual uneven Guns N` Roses set. The Axl Rose-led band started out with focused, blazing interpretations of ``It`s So Easy`` and ``Mr. Brownstone.``
Manic renditions of ``Civil War,`` ``Night Train`` and ``Bad Obsession`` followed. Most interesting was a blink-and-you`ll-miss-it rendition of the Misfits` obscure favorite, ``Attitude,`` sung by bassist Duff McKagan.
But things began to deteriorate midway through the set. The momentum was severely diminished by lengthy and pointless solos by guitarists Slash and Gilby Clarke, as well as drummer Matt Sorum.
The band never regained its footing, and the crowd slowly thinned. Some of the remaining fans were spied sleeping or just sitting, bored expressions on their faces.
If Guns N` Roses isn`t careful, this tour could sound the band`s death knell. As comparatively sluggish sales of the band`s two current albums suggest, fans may be growing weary of Rose`s brattiness.
Unlike Guns N` Roses, Metallica seems fully aware that this tour presents a marvelous opportunity. In a performance that could only be compared to Attila the Hun`s tour of Mongolia, Metallica storm-trooped its way into the hearts of the crowd. Their set was simply superb - more than 90 minutes of nonstop musical mayhem.
Lyrically speaking, Metallica is nowhere near as compelling as Guns N` Roses. In fact, Metallica`s lyrics often read like bad high school poetry. But musically the band goes toe-to-toe with any heavy-metal act, and that savage melodicism proved to be the linchpin of the performance.
Faith No More delivered a set that was energetic, but ultimately confounding. The band ambitiously stewed rap, heavy metal and absurdist pop influences, but the experimentation resulted in an infuriating, sputtering performance.
* Guns N` others Who: Guns N` Roses and Metallica with opening act Faith No More When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday Where: Williams-Brice Stadium, University of South Carolina, Columbia. Tickets: $27.50. Available at area Ticketmaster locations and SCAT ticket outlets.
Mark Roulley's Review
The Ticket situation for this show was the same as the last show..I purchased them through Ticketmaster from a pay phone at the pool I was lifeguarding at (try yelling at a pool full of kids, eying young ladies tanning, and checking pool passes (yeah right) all the while being chained to a pay phone) an apartment complex pool..I scored 4 tickets for this show (THE KICKOFF SHOW FOR THE FAITH NO MORE / METALLICA / GUNS N' ROSES tour)..The first two tickets were filled by my boys Def Jeff Betz and Todd Ramkey..This seemed odd to me because both of them were diehard rap fans and at the time that is ALL they listened to..Along with myself we made up 3/4 of Cold Bustin Productions, a low low budget rap group that is in the aformentioned link above..I think the only reason that they wanted to go is because they knew how much of a GNR fan I was and they figured that I would drive and they could get tanked..The final spot was filled by Kevin Dickens, the younger brother of my brother in law..Kevin was from the Tennessee/Virginia Border area and quite the heavy metal fan..We arrived at RFK Stadium and found out that we were in the WAY WAY upper level..Def and Todd quickly spotted two obviously underaged girls and sparked a conversation..Myself and Kevin decided to forge closer to the stage..We got down about 45 feet from the stage in the first row to the right of the stage..Faith No More seemed to get ripped off on the sound system..They played for 30 minutes and about 15 minutes after they got off Metallica came on..I had never listened to Metallica so their stuff was kinda fresh to me..This was presellout Metallica so they put a lot of energy into their show..I was not a big fan of their music because it all seemed like "DUGA DUGA DUGA DUG..DUGA DUGA DUGA DUG..KILL KILL.." Anyway, they started while it was still sunlight and I would imagine they finished at about 9:15..I knew GNR would not be on for a while, but something amazing happened while we were waiting..First of all, the cameraman started showing all the woman on the big screen and they started lifting their shirts (believe it or not that is not the amazing thing I was getting at)..There musta been about 100 different ones..This went on for about 20 minutes..Now comes the greatest nonpyrotechnical sight I have ever seen..Some genius decided to flatten his paper cup and toss it off the upper deck, then simotaneously about 45,000 others do the same..The entire stadium looked like a July snowball fight for about 15 minutes..Now at about 10:30 people were getting restless..At 11pm GNR came out to the most amazing rift.."The Lion Sleeps Tonight" came on the loudspeaker with custom GNR lyrics..It was awesome and then GNR hit the stage..I had taped the Paris Pay Per View concert on June 6th, and the songs and order were almost identical to the lineup on the 6th..The thing was, I had already watched the PPV about 20 times and had learned all the songs that Axl sung as intros (Sail Away, Mother, etc)..Both Illusions had been out so I knew every song and the order they were going to play them..I was singing along when everyone else was like "What the F is that"..Some kid next to me saw me singing and he said "Is that from Live Like A Suicide"..So I told him that I had just followed GNR throughout Europe and that they were playing it there (Sorry kid if you are reading this now)..A few fans were leaving when GNR was about 1/2 way through their set and I was wondering why, the next day I found out that the last Metro train was running at like 11:45..Anyway GNR played pretty much the same setlist UNTIL the ENCORE..I figured Paradise City was gonna be it, but Axl settled down at the piano and played "ESTRANGED!!!!!" I was in heaven because I think that is my favorite song maybe of all time..At the time it was not a big song (it was one of the last singles released)..They played 17 songs (as compared to 31 in Hampton, but the songs were longer and more involved)..The show was over around 1:15 am..I hooked back up with Def and Todd and found out that there were some indescretions taken with the young ladies..Todd and Deff were probably about 20 and the girls (well we won't mention their ages)..All in all it was a completely different show than the Hampton one.. Hampton was in an arena and it was straight forward GNR..RFK was very theatrical with a large horns section, giant inflatable monsters and massive pyrotechnics..Overall basically another incredible great show.