Guns N Roses thrill Toronto crowd with vintage set, far cry from Vcr experience
- Angela Pacienza, Canadian Press
TORONTO (CP) - The 1980s returned to Toronto on Friday night in all their pyrotechnic, metal-rock glamour - albeit nearly an hour late.
Led by an energetic Axl Rose, Guns N' Roses stormed onto the stage at the Air Canada Centre - the band's first trip to a Canadian city since the riot in Vancouver on what was to be the band's opening night of the Chinese Democracy world tour - answering the all-too familiar question: "Do you know where you are?"
With green flood lights swirling wildly, Welcome to the Jungle kicked off a vintage Guns N Roses set of songs taken mostly from Appetite For Destruction and Use Your Illusion I and II.
For a while it seemed the show would not happen. Rose and the clan were 50 minutes late getting to the stage. Cameramen tried to keep the audience occupied by displaying crowd shots of what seemed to be a Toronto version of Girls Gone Wild - hot young women in cleavage-revealing tanks tops flashing their breasts - on the two big screens on either side of the stage.
It's raunchy appeal seemed to wear off after a while, the crowd's chants of "G and R" grew dimmer and at least one scuffle broke out in the aisles.
But the approximately 14,000 fans thought the wait was well worth it, clapping and singing along for the majority of the show.
A charismatic Rose, 40, wearing a Maple Leafs hockey jersey, put on a vigorous show filled with lots of frenzied rock 'n roll energy. He sprinted from one end of the stage to the other, his long braided hair whipping through the air in a show all its own. His notorious wailing was on full display, although the enthusiastic crowd often drowned his voice out chanting along with every word.
Vintage hits were trotted out throughout the two-hour show including Live and Let Die, Knockin' on Heaven's Door, Sweet Child O Mine, You Could Be Mine, Mr. Brownstone, Patience, and Paradise City.
November Rain saw Rose playing a grand piano under a waterfall of fireworks.
New songs from the upcoming Chinese Democracy album included the title song.
The multi-tiered stage, allowing Rose lots of running space, sat on top of a large red circle with Chinese symbols. Multi-coloured flood lights worked overtime. Explosive, old-school fireworks pumped up the crowd and brought '80s-style glamour rock to the arena.
It's the band's first North American tour since 1993.
Rose has been busy trying to finish the new album since 2000. It's expected to be released in February.
After a falling out with his band, Rose formed a new crew for the tour, retaining only keyboardist Dizzy Reed.
New additions include former Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, bassist Tommy Stinson from the Replacements, ex-Primus drummer Brian Mantia and avant-garde guitarist Buckethead.
Wearing a white mask and a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on his head, Buckethead's solo - which also included playing the Star Wars theme song and several minutes of waving numchucks and break-dancing - was clearly a crowd pleaser. Judging by the reception to his performance and the fan in the second-row who wore a KFC bucket throughout the show, Buckethead is quickly establishing a cult-like following on the tour.
Much has been said about Rose's chops not aging well but a shaky sound system made it difficult to know for sure. It should be noted that five teleprompters, in clear view, were scattered on the stage, scrolling through lyrics for Rose.
The rocker, however, has remained confident about his abilities.
"To the ones who are negative and want to see either myself or the new band fall on their faces, personally I can't pass up an opportunity to upset so many of them in one quick swoop. I get misty-eyed just thinking about it," he said prior to the tour.
Regardless of the sound, the lively crowd enthusiastically bopped up and down to the music, enjoying the old-school flavours released with every rock-steady anthem performed. Cigarette lighters were whipped out and flames proudly displayed during all the ballads.
The scene was a far cry from the riot in Vancouver on Nov. 7 after the opening show of the band's North American leg of the world tour was cancelled when Rose missed his flight.
Thousands of fans rioted for about an hour outside GM Place in downtown Vancouver. Police used pepper spray to disperse the rioters.
It wasn't the first time chaos has erupted at a Guns N Roses show.
At a concert in Santiago, Chile, in 1992, 10 people were hurt and 178 people were arrested. The group's departure from the country was delayed for about nine hours while authorities searched their private plane for drugs. Nothing was found.
In 1991, Rose precipitated a riot in a St. Louis suburb by jumping off the stage and attacking a fan videotaping the concert. Sixty people were hurt and the Riverport Amphitheatre in Maryland Heights, Mo., was wrecked.
Several lawsuits were filed and Rose was charged with assault and property damage. Rose never surrendered to face the charges and was arrested a year later by federal agents at Kennedy International Airport in New York as he returned from a European tour. He was eventually put on probation for two years and ordered to donate $50,000 to five social service organizations.
The rockers entered the music scene in 1985, earning fans with their punk-infused heavy metal sound. The band's heydays were between 1987 and 1992 when Welcome to The Jungle, Paradise City, Sweet Child O' Mine and November Rain dominated the airwaves.
The band has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide.
Guns N' Roses returns -- but only Axl remains
- Jane Stevenson, Toronto Sun
TORONTO -- Guns N' Roses, those missing-in-action, hard-rock kingpins from the late '80s, are touring again for the first time in nearly a decade.
Actually, make that lead singer Axl Rose is touring again, without any of his original bandmates, including dueling guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin.
Rose -- now 40 -- still managed to draw about 14,000 fans to the Air Canada Centre last night, with a lineup of seven musicians including longest serving GNR member, keyboardist Dizzy Reed who came on board for 1991's Use Your Illusion I and II .
The rest, guitarists Buckethead (who lived up to his name by wearing a KFC container on his head) Robin Finck and Richard Fortus, keyboardist Chris Pitman, drummer "Brain," and bassist Tommy Stinson, have all been working with Rose and Reed on the long-awaited new GNR album, Chinese Democracy, whose release has been delayed repeatedly.
For now, fans had to make do with Rose and Co., trotting out mostly oldies with a set list that favoured songs from GNR's monster 1987 breakthrough debut, Appetite For Destruction.
Opening with the anthemic Welcome To The Jungle and wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey (No. 26), black track pants and white sneakers -- the band didn't allow photographers -- the long-haired-and-braided Rose proved to be a real crowd pleaser. Even if it was kind of sad to see teleprompters, at least two located on the mini-catwalks on either side of the stage, displaying song lyrics.
To his credit, Rose didn't let down in the energy department, literally running around the stage for just over two hours when he wasn't doing his trademark moves -- the side-to-side dance, and the rhythmic stomping of one foot -- or letting loose with primal scream-worthy wails.
Highlights included a spirited cover of Paul McCartney's Live And Let Die -- complete with explosions, firebursts and a major crowd singalong -- and a more toned-down version of Bob Dylan's Knockin' On Heaven's Door.
But the real barnburner proved to be Sweet Child O' Mine, with the boisterous crowd drowning out Rose's vocals, and the encore number Paradise City which got some added value from numerous explosions, fireworks, firebursts and confetti.
Runners-ups for audience favourites were You Could Be Mine, Out Ta Get Me, November Rain and Patience.
As for the musicianship, the guitar attack of Buckethead (who had his own dance moves and solo moment, which included the Star Wars theme) Finck and Fortus proved to be formidable along with the thunderous drumming of "Brain."
Even Rose showed off his chops, goofing around on piano before getting serious on November Rain.
The stripped-down stage, meanwhile, was decorated with Chinese symbols, on both the red flooring and white banners which served as a backdrop, to reflect that forthcoming album presumably.
Last night's show was certainly far better than the disastrous start to the GNR tour, which saw thousands of fans riot in Vancouver earlier this month outside GM Place after promoters cancelled the show at the last minute when Rose's flight was delayed in L.A. due to bad weather.
The most controversial thing about last night's performance was the parade of exhibitionist-happy women in the audience who -- whenever the video camera zoomed in on them -- flashed bras, breasts, bums, and the occasional thong, or made out with each other.
It was basically a ploy to distract the crowd from the fact that Rose and his band were 50 minutes late taking the stage.
Guns 'N Roses T.O. concert cohesive, powerful
- Dominic Patten, CTV.ca
TORONTO — The fact that they actually showed up and the fact that there wasn't a riot would deem Friday night's Guns 'N Roses show at the Air Canada Centre a success.
Not that the hoards of police and the strict ACC staff were going to take any chances. The police were outside and inside the arena and they made their presence very visible to anyone who might have been thinking of repeating the riot that took place at the cancelled show in Vancouver earlier this month.
The ACC turned off the taps at 9:30 p.m. ET because it had been decided the crowd was liquored up enough. A fight that broke out in the upper stands was quelled by security so fast there wasn't even a second punch laid.
And while the tunes being played over the sound system were like listening to your dream punk rock mix CD, people were getting antsy. I head a few guys behind me muttering to themselves.
"You don't think they've bailed do you?"
"Naw, dude that's just Axl being Axl. He'll come on when he feels like it."
Well, the GNR frontman and his crew didn't take the stage until almost 10:40 p.m. ET, by which time even the mulletheads and the geezers had gotten bored of watching pretty girls in the audience gyrate and flash their breasts on the giant video screens set up around the stage.
But as soon as the opening chords of the band's classic "Welcome to the Jungle" started and Axl, in a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, screeched in to the mic "Do you know where you are, you're in the jungle baby" all was forgiven.
Throughout the band's two hour set, that love and dedication from the 16,000 plus audience forgave a band that is still finding its touring legs.
This was the 12th stop on the band's North American "Chinese Democracy" tour, which Axl has said "is going to go off and on for the next two or three years" and will see the band release at least two new albums worth of material. Let's hope the band doesn't hit too many bumps in the road, because they still have to work out how to put on a show.
Axl Rose is the only original member of GNR in the band today. Since the mid-nineties, through lawsuits, busts, and slagging from his former bandmates in the media, Axl's been retooling the band to meet his musical vision, going through producers and players to find the perfect line-up. The current band is the result.
The new band, described by surprisingly chatty, can no doubt play. The mysterious Buckethead's guitar solo that turned into a stunning Wagnerian rendition of the Star Wars theme proved that.
But in that example also lays the problem. Buckethead's solo was so long I watched the first part of it, went to get a drink, came all the way back to my seat and he was still playing. People were looking at their watches, and most of these fans love that type of stuff.
There is a real core of a really good, down and dirty rock 'n roll band in former Primus drummer Brian Mantia, former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, and guitar player Richards Fortus. Time after time last night, the three locked into grooves that were tighter than a vice.
In comparison, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman, and dueling lead guitarists Robin Finck, formerly of Nine Inch Nails, and Buckethead were too remote, too clean. Most of the time, it was like these guys didn't want to break much of a sweat.
Sure, they had all the pyrotechnics and sure they played all the hits and almost all of the band's 1987 major label debut "Appetite For Destruction" and sometimes they really cooked in that way that reminds you that GNR were once the most dangerous and probably best rock'n roll band in the world. But last night's the show lacked focus and because of that the energy lagged.
It was a collection of little things. Numerous technical problems and inconsistent sound levels. The stage going dark between every song, which essentially pulled the plug on the crowd's roar. Or Axl oddly leaving the stage during every instrumental section of every song. Was he going back to sip tea for his throat? Who knows. Or Buckethead's wandering around the stage between solos like he didn't know what to do with himself.
Maybe Axl has to let the new guys off the leash more, or maybe they get kind of bored playing other people's songs. I think the latter might be the case, because when they launched into the as yet unreleased new songs like "Chinese Democracy" it all became much more cohesive and powerful.
Was it a great show? No. Was it a good show? Yes. And would I say go see them again? Yes. You know why? Because once the usual GNR controversy of riots and temper tantrums dies down and they are just a working band on tour, and once people start to hear and know the new songs, well, then Guns 'N Roses, this Guns 'N Roses, will truly kick. And that will be a sight to see.
A bucket of sad nostalgia
- Ben Rayner, Toronto Star
GNR a cover band of its former self
A white-trash rock 'n' roll howler nonpareil, the mercurial - and, by many reports, raving mad - W. Axl Rose once had the most respected, successful and feared American rock band on the planet behind him.
Guns n' Roses' savagely dissolute 1987 debut, Appetite For Destruction, was a modern-day classic with an unexpected mainstream impact comparable to that which Nirvana's Nevermind would have four years later. And even though the whirlwind of booze, drugs, violence and Caligulan debauchery that clung to the Gunners wherever they went established them as an all-too-real embodiment of rock mythology and speedily ushered in their ruin, they were also a far more complex and ambitious unit than the outward shambles suggested.
Axl's single-minded drive to turn everything he does into an indelible statement for the ages, however, lent 1991's perfectly decent Use Your Illusion twin-pack just a bit too much pomp and bloat, eventually sent the entire original membership packing and is generally considered the reason why GNR hasn't made a proper album in more than a decade. It's also why, after nine years off the road - seven of those spent in the studio with an unstable rogues' gallery of collaborators - Rose has mounted a new Guns n' Roses tour named for a missing-in-action new record, Chinese Democracy, that no one ever really expects to hear.
There wasn't much progress on that front evident in Friday night's GNR performance at the Air Canada Centre, anyway. All the time spent prepping Chinese Democracy and drafting the perfect 21st-century Guns n' Roses lineup - a seven-man affair that includes former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, avant-guitar freak Buckethead, drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia, irksomely showboating Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck and Use Your Illusion-era vet Dizzy Reed on keyboards - has apparently culminated in three new tunes Rose deems fit for public airing and the world's most proficient Appetite For Destruction cover band.
Setting an appropriately old-school tone, Rose and Co. took the stage 45 minutes behind schedule after placating 14,000-plus potential rioters - steeled for a no-show like Vancouver's ill-fated Nov.7 tour opener - with a parade of bare breasts (and one brawl) on the big screens. And from the first jagged chords of "Welcome To The Jungle" to the consummate arena-rocking anthemics of "Paradise City" two hours later, in the past they remained.
Quite competently, it must be said. All but two Appetite standards made the cut, with "Nightrain" and "Out Ta Get Me" attaining most of their old ferocity and "Sweet Child O' Mine" its rough-hewn sensitivity. "November Rain" was an epic mimic, with all three guitarists contributing to a reasonable facsimile of Slash's mighty guitar solo. "Patience" had banger couples swaying and holding hands. And the stout, 40-ish Rose could still hit most of the high notes between mad dashes to the Teleprompters, even if he often relied on Stinson to hold the notes.
More evidence of forward momentum, though, might silence the critics Axl derided from the stage for calling his material "dated." Or maybe not: The new "Chinese Democracy" was sub-"You Could Be Mine" riffing scrabbling for a hook, while two endless slow numbers in the Use Your Illusion vein - one unveiled at this year's MTV Music Awards and accompanied Friday by footage of Martin Luther King, Jr. - silenced the otherwise supportive crowd during fruitless quests for melodic direction and A Deeper Meaning. Perhaps Rose is right. Perhaps the new stuff isn't ready yet.
Either way, Axl's failure to come in hard with a solid barrage of fresh material left Guns n' Roses, Mk. II looking a waste of potential.
For all the new band's lofty credentials, only the John Zorn-approved Buckethead bothered to do anything more than energetically emulate the source material.
He's a bizarre, masked entity who was given license to mangle Star Wars scores, pass out toys and canter about the stage like the offspring of Jason Voorhees and Billy Bob Thornton's character in Sling Blade during a surreal mid-show guitar-solo/performance-art segment. His impossibly incongruous presence onstage beside Rose and his mismatched band mates consistently lent the night a kind of tragic weirdness that reached a fever pitch when his ghoulish image was superimposed over King's on the video screens, and made the whole affair far more interesting than it probably should have been.
Probably not what Rose had in mind. No frontman, after all, wants to be upstaged on his own "comeback" tour by a guy wearing an overturned KFC bucket on his head
I was staying at a friend’s house in Toronto who is also a big GNR fans. We went to both concerts together. We arrived at the Air Canada Centre around 8h30. Mix Master Mike was just starting his set. I’m not really into DJs and all that and I don’t know much about it either. I expected to be bored to death but I wasn’t. It was entertaining, and although I’m not about to change my taste in music, it was cool to see him perform anyway.
For this concert, I was on the floor in the 14th row, in the right section. GNR came onstage at around 10h35. Now before I go on talking about the show, I have to tell you about the security people there. I’ve been to a lot of shows in Montreal in venues just as big as the ACC. And I’ve NEVER seen anything like that. When the show started, my friend and I rushed to the front of the stage. But the security guys wouldn’t let us stay there and we had to go back to our place. After that, I was standing one foot in the alley right beside me cause I couldn’t see anything: I had a six feet tall guy in front of me. Another security guy came to me and asked me to go right back in front of my seat. I told him about the guy that was tall and he told me I only had to look at the screen if I wanted to see. I was like “Huh, I don’t think so…I didn’t wait 10 years, drove 5 hours and paid good money to look at a screen all night!”. And I stayed right there. He didn’t bother me after that…but I just don’t get it! I’ve never been to any rock concert before where we can’t rush to the front row if we have the chance or stand on our chairs or even have a foot in the alley! Anyway, now that’s it’s off my chest, let’s go back to the show itself.
Like a lot of other GNR fans, when I first heard about this new band, I was sceptical, to say the least. Then I heard MP3s of their performances, but it’s so hard to judge anything from a live MP3. But after seeing two shows of this band, I’m now totally sure they’ll be around for a long time! For this concert, I have to admit I had my eyes on Axl almost all the time. I had seen GNR live in 1992 but I was so far away in the stadium. Seeing Axl this close I couldn’t believe what an amazing frontman he is. He’s running around all the time and his voice is really good. In fact I think it’s even better than before. It’s certainly stronger in the sense that it’s clearer. It sounds just as good live as it does on the records, which is something not every singer can do.
Axl was in a good mood all evening. He made his little joke song on the piano before November Rain, he talked about a lot of different things like sports, reporters and he mentioned Montreal when he asked the crowd “How many of you were at that infamous Montreal show in 92?”. He asked us what was wrong with us in Canada, rioting all the time…he said something about that Vancouver riot and the fact that the people there were rioting even before he even arrived there. He also said something about a riot in Columbus after a sport event (GNR played Columbus on November 25th) and that when he saw that he thought he was late or something. He ended that speech by saying “Anyway, we’ll have to talk more later about that Montreal show and my good friend Lars”, speaking of Lars Ulrich of course. But he didn’t said anything else about that subject after that.
Another funny thing is when Axl introduced the band. Brain got up and blew his nose in a tissue. He seems to do something different every show!
The show was about 2h15 long. Here is the set list:
Welcome To The Jungle, It's So Easy, Mr. Brownstone, Live And Let Die, Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Think About You, You Could Be Mine, Robin’s Solo, Sweet Child O' Mine, Out Ta Get Me, Axl’s Piano Solo, November Rain, Band Members Introduction, Buckethead’s Solo, Rocket Queen, Madagascar, The Blues, My Michelle, Chinese Democracy, Patience, Nightrain.
Encore : Robin’s Solo, Paradise City
Andrew Angus' Review
I guess, after coming home from tonight's show, I will try to write the first Toronto review.
This was my 2nd show on this leg of the tour (the first being at Auburn Hills). It's funny, I thought that was a great show (despite no encore), however, this show was much, much better. I got to the place right at the end of Mixmaster Mike. I was annoyed because I figured we'd have over an hour of nothing to do. Luckily, the girls here were better looking and more adventurous than in Detroit (all spare all the female readers of the lust I had for this girl who looked like Anna Kournikova but with better *features*).
The band finally went on at around 10:40pm. I must say, the lights and the music before the show go on is great. It has a nice eerie feel to it. The set was the standard set, so I won't bother writing it all out. Axl did much more talking than the Michigan show, which was great. He talked about how he doesn't understand how we're able to concentrate on hockey because we have so many beautiful women here. He talked about how a newspaper writer wrote that the old songs sound dated. He agreed and said they are dated, but how on this leg of the tour, they're just having some fun with the old songs. He then mentioned how there is nothing worse than being a newspaper writer. He said how bad is it that your job is writing about other people's lives. Finally, my highlight, earlier in the show he said that some girl asked why some girls get backstage and others don't. He said that they get David Lee Roth to go through the crowd and pick out the hot girls, because he has good taste and he has nothing else to do. The last Axl talk, I believe, was after 'My Michelle', he said he saw a girl in a school girl skirt and that is the perfect example of 'My Michelle'. I think that's all he said on the night. I'm sure if I have forgotten something, someone else on this list will point it out.
Axl wore two Leaf jerseys, a Raptor and Jays jersey and another one which I couldn't make out. He seemed to be in a great mood all night. He even did a joke song before November Rain (I think he did that somewhere else).
Each time I go to the show, I love watching the band play too. My friend walked away saying how the highlight for him was Buckethead. The whole band is great. I also love Richard Fortus, but they're all great in their own way.
Finally, the place was almost packed. I was surprised about this. I would guess there were about 16 000-18 000 people there.
That's enough for now. I'm tired and I need to get some sleep, so I can I do this all again tomorrow night.
Toronto was great, our seats weren't all that hot, section 102 which is straight on with the stage and about 20 rows up. There were four guys right below who had old school KFC buckets on their melons, and everybody in the area were really digging Buckets playing. I heard a lot of 'Slash who?' and similar comments. I got in about 10:15pm, and was dissapointed to find out that they stopped serving beer an hour ago becuase the play was getting 'too rowdy'. Hmmm, it's a freaking rock show, not a library. People seemed to be freaking out because they weren't on yet, but we all know they don't go on until late anyway which is why I stayed at home and drank instead of waiting and watching 'Show Us Your Tits' which believe it or not gets kinda old after a while. I was a little disappointed to see people sitting, infact during the new stuff, almost everybody in my section was sitting. I was definitely the only one singing the lyrics, which I kind of expected. All in all a great time.
Andrew Down's Reviews
Some notes on the Toronto show:
Welcome To The Jungle, It's So Easy, Mr. Brownstone, Live And Let Die, Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Think About You, You Could Be Mine, Robin Solo, Sweet Child O' Mine, Out Ta Get Me, Axl Piano Solo, November Rain, Band Intro, Buckethead Solo, Rocket Queen, Madagascar, The Blues, My Michelle, Chinese Democracy, Patience, Nightrain
Encore: Robin Solo, Paradise City
Audience: Pretty much sold out. Axl mentioned at one point "I'm here with 16,000 friends." I'd say that's about right, maybe 17000.
New songs were very well received.
Quotes by Axl:
Mentions how hard it must be playing hockey in this arena with all these girls walking around. "Are you going to be focussing on a stick and a puck, or, well, on..."
Started to ripping into reporters. Mentions how he read a review of one of the shows and the journalist said that the songs were "dated." Axl looks at the crowd, pauses, and says, "NO SHIT!" Then proceeds to bash reporters, saying how "they make a living off disucssing what people do." That they do what they do because they couldn't get a real job. (Don't expect any good reviews from any Toronto newspapers Axl).
He then asks the crowd, "So how many of you were at that Montreal show." Starts shaking his head. He then went on to talk about Columbus and made the same joke as in a few other shows that he thought he was late, hence the riot in Columbus. He then begins to talk about Montreal a bit, not too much details (I've forgotten a bit), but then says, "we'll have a talk about Montreal and our good friend Lars a little later." Unfortunately, he never did speak upon the subject again. Anyone going to London tomorrow might get a good rant.
After My Michelle, Axl noted about how the song was fitting with some girl he saw walking down the stairs who was wearing a very high skirt.
When Axl introduced Chris Pitman, he mentioned something about "someone who swore would never wear this suite ever..." and began to laugh (so did Chris).
He also said something about CKY or what someone from CKY was mentioning to him, but I seem to have forgotten it.
Axl was pretty talkative and in good spirits. I think he was pumped with the fact that the entire venue was filled.
I'll write a full review tomorrow. The sound was not as good tonight as I had a hard time hearing Axl some times (they really need to hire a new soundman). I feel really sorry for those who went to the Detroit show because Paradise City was amazing. What a way to close the show!'
Well, off to bed. Expect a real review tomorrow with my ratings break down of the band. Still have no idea what Chris Pitman does. As I got a view from my viewpoint (I was right along the side), the guy just plays with his right hand the whole night and moves the damn keyboard around). It was nice seeing some of you before the show (Angel, Jossee, and Elena). Hopefully we might be able to meet up for tomorrow in London.
So it's the day after the Toronto show and I'd thought I'd post my review. All in all, a pretty good show, as there was plenty of energy to go around with the Air Canada Centre close to a capacity crowd. Again, I didn't bother seeing MixMaster Mike or CKY, as I still have four more shows to catch their acts. Got there around 9:15, a little earlier than I wanted to. This was due to information from Angel that the vcurfewd strict curfiew policies and would fine the band severely if they played past 11:30. Despite the fact that I know Axl wouldn'curfewa damn about curfiew policies, I got there early just to make sure. First complaint, the bar closed way to early (9:00). If I'm waiting an hour and a half for the band, I want the time to go by as quickly as possible. So big boo on that one. It was funny to watch the staff at the ACC run around with worried faces, as news spread that the "star" of the show had not arrived yet and it was 10:10. I had to inform many of them that this was the case at most GNR concerts and that Axl would be there. I think thoughts of Vancouver occupied many people's heads. This included the crowd, who became quite impatient as 10:30 rolled around. I told many that if the band was not out by 10:40, start to worry. Sure enough, around 10:35, the curtain dropped and the band kicked into Welcome to the Jungle. One bright spot was merchandise prices. Granted, still very high, most items were much cheaper in Toronto than they were in Detroit. The long sleeve shirt with the dragons running down the arms was $80 Canadian. In Detroit, that shirt was going for $100 US. Which means when I purchased the shirt, I saved $70 Canadian ($1 US = $1.50 Canadian). Pretty sweet.
Anyway, on with the show. As I mentioned earlier, this show really rocked. I feel bad for anyone who saw the Detroit show but couldn't make it for the Toronto show. Paradise City was worth the ticket price in my opinion. The band started around 10:35 and played a great two hour plus set (left the building around 12:50). Here are my ratings for the show:
Axl - 9/10
I guess I'm being a little hard on the guy, but his voice wasn't as good as it was in Detroit. Granted, a lot of it had to do with the sound system and the mixing guys, but you could definitely tell his vocals were not as on as they were in Detroit. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that the tour is well underway and his vocal chords could use a good rest. But he still sounded amazing, and his vocals held up most of the night. During Madagascar, Axl didn't elevate his singing as he now usually does ("If we ever find it's true..."). This was sang the same way he did at Rock in Rio. Just some evidence why I thought his vocals weren't as "tuned" as they were in Detroit. Oh, attire for the evening: Two Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys (One home, the other away), a Toronto Raptors jersey, a Blue Jays jersey, andLacrossestingly enough, a Toronto Rock jersey (Toronto's Lacross team). I would have thought he'd wear an argo (CFL) jersey, but he chose the rock instead. Black baggy pants and white shoes (looked to be skateboarding shoes).
Again, this guy rocks. But he seriously creeped me out during this show. He loses marks for his rendition of patience (you couldn't hear him). I would say that Patience is the one song where the old band played it a bit better than this new one. I also was wondering what was happening during Paradise City, as he brought out his puppet like creature. For most of the song he'd walk this stupid thing around the stage, then act like he would talk to it, then beat on it with his guitar and kick it around. Very creepy. His solo was extremely enjoyable to watch, as it was a nice break in the show. Overall, good job buckethead, just leave that freaky puppet backstage.
Robin - 6/10
The more I see this guy the more I don't like him. Someone mentioned earlier how Buckethead and Robin were the fan favourites in their section, well, not in mine. Everyone that stood around me did not like Robin one bit, and for the most part, I have to agree. His solos are truly brutal. Man, I thought his intro for SCOM was bad, I couldn't believe his solo before Paradise City. It sounded as though someone was just plucking away at a guitar with no real purpose or any idea as to where they're going. His performance during November Rain wasn't too bad, and his solo during SCOM was pretty good too, but I can't stand his intros.
Stinson - 8/10
Again, not a major hitter on this team but does excitement job. I get the feeling however that his energy on the stage is transforming from excitment to arrogance. Perhaps I'm being harsh on the guy, but he had a cocky way about himself. During one point, he was walking backwards and kind of stumbled over himself, but played it off as though he meant to do it. Afterwards, he turned his back on the crowd and started laughing towards Dizzy and the sound guys at the side (I was sitting on the left hand side of the stage so I could see all this go down). I suppose it's not a big thing, as he still rocks. But he's trying to play it too cool sometimes. That's my only negative remark about the guy, because otherwise, he puts on a great show. His bass was on the money and his punk feel to the songs really liven them up.
Forgetting Buckethead, i think this guy is the best guitarist on the stage. Kept the rythem going quite well throughout the whole show. He knew when to take charge and when to let Axl and the lead guitarist at the time to take over. No real screw ups that I could tell, and his slide guitar work during Rocket Queen is really, really good. Overall, gexcitement on Axl's part to get this guy in the group. He never brings the band down as he only adds to the excitment.
At this show I was able to get a better appreciation for Brain. His style is definitely looser than Matt's (which I like), and he does a good job of keeping a steady beat but not boring the crowd to death. I forget which song it was but he did miss the beat once or twice, but overall, a good job.
Dizzy - 8/10
This is probably one of the hardest working guyphenomenalhe show (after Axl). It's hard to see, but the number of keyboards this guy is using at the same time is phenominal. His rendition of the Blues was up to par and his keyboard work during the rest of the show was well done.
Chris Pitman - n/a
I still don't know what to rate this guy because I don't know what he does. Last night I noticed he doesn't do much, that's for sure. As I mentioned in my earlier email, the guy plays mosjudgmentith just one hand. Even when Dizzy was playing the bongos, Chris didn't do that much in terms of Keyboard work. Hence I hold judgement.
Overall, a good show. "Show us your boobs" game is becoming a slow fan favourite I've been noticing. I suppose it's fun for about 20 minutes, but it's appeal dies down a bit as the wait continues. For those who care, definitely more skin at the Toronto show thanmagnificentroit show.
The only other noteworthy thing to report was that when Axl went to introduced the band, he referred to them as the "magnificant seven," and then proceeded to whistle the theme song to the movie. Pretty cool.
Overall, I give this show a 9/10. Performances aside, what really brought this show down a small notch was the sound mixing. It was noticeable when they weren't doing a good job in promoting Axl's vocals. Too heavy on the guitars, and honestly, I thought the show could have been a bit louder.
I also want to mention that although this review sounds a bit negative, that's only because everything else was great. For the few things that weren't amazing, there were a hundred things that were top-notch. My marking scheme is that I give the show a perfect mark and then start deducting points for things that need improving. Plus, as long as this review is, it would be much longer if I were to list out everything great about the show. If you're going to London tonight, you're in for a treat.
Tonight two girls from Montreal had their dreams come true. They saw a FULL GNR show!!! :-)
Andrew Downs and Andrew Angus' reviews were accurate, but we'd like to add the following:
- while waiting for GNR to go onstage, the camera was zooming in on girls in the crowd and many of them flashed - some kept their bras and many didn't. Must have been exciting for the guys, but for the girls.. I personally didn't enjoy seeing girls' tits! I see mine all the time!
- the camera also caught this old guy smoking a joint. They kept going back to him and it was just hilarious!!!
- the proper rant about Montreal was: ''How many of you were at this infamous show in Montreal in 92? (pause; audience cheering) What's wrong with you people in Canada? A couple of weeks ago in Vancouver they were rioting and I wasn't even there? And then they rioted in Columbus and I thought 'Oh no I must be late'.'' Of course, Axl said this in good humour.
- There was a total of 10 pple in the crowd wearing KFC buckets on their heads. Buckethead did his nunchucks / robot dance and then gave out toys (action figures). He also did his solo (big white guitar with red lines, I thought of the KFC logo) and people really liked it.
- All the other band members gave a good performance. I liked Robin's solo right before SCOM, Axl's funny piano intros to November Rain and Brain's nose-blowing skill! LOL! :-) Brain's drumming was really good - don't know why people say he isn't good? Axl was running around on stage and sang very well - wasn't out of breath or anything. He seemed to be in a good mood and in shape. He received from the audience one red rose and later a bouquet of white roses.
- The show was 95% sold. People cheered after each of the new songs performed in consecutive order in the later half of the show: Madagascar, The Blues, Chinese Democracy. Needless to say that Josee and I were the only ones that knew the songs/lyrics. Age group varied from teenagers to about 35. I'd say the majority was in their 20s for sure. Rhiad and the Bedouins was left out.
- Security in the entrance was tight. They frisked everyone and asked the women to open their purses. I think they told some people they can't bring their cell phones in... On the floor the security was FUCKING ANAL! They didn't let people move one inch to the left, right, back or front - nor were we aloud to stand up on our chairs. I've never been to a rock concert where you're treated like you're in a fucking prison or kindergarden ''No, you're supposed to stay in your seat, the hallways are supposed to be clear, what's your seat/show me your ticket, go back, do this, do that, bitchin bitchin bitchin''. Then, to my surprise I saw two cops walking around. I was starting to wonder if I was in a rock concert? Felt like the enthusiasm of the crowd was taken away because of the fuckhead security pple and the cops. If there's a tall person in front of you, you're not allowed to move so you can see the band members onstage - instead it is strongly suggest to ''just watch the screen''. The fucking screen dickhead? We paid FULL price for floor seats to watch a VERY anticipated show (needless to say the wait has been 10 years!) only to be told you're not free to dance and move, remain calm and ''civilized'' in your seat and watch the fucking screen???? Wish I could rant onstage! Maybe I should have flashed him so he could back the fuck off!
- Patience was the before last song - last one was Nightrain. All songs were performed smoothly and on the ball. There was only one small mix-up in the song Think About You. I think Axl sang the wrong lyrics at the beginning of the 3rd verse. But he was quick to salvage it.
- Paradise City was the encore - confetti and all. Axl threw the whistle in the crowd. Everyone was into the show from beginning to end which was really cool!
- When the lights went on and people were leaving, we saw a big black bodyguard type with two other latin-looking bodyguard types - with all access backstage passes - selecting girls from the crowd, asking them to sit in a certain 100 section. It seemed that these girls had two things in common: low-cut shirts and tight clothes and could not have been more than 22.
So that's about all. Next stop London.
I had planned to post both my Toronto review and my London review at the same time, but since I’ve got a few hours to kill, here’s my review of last night’s show at the ACC. Just for the record I haven’t read any of the other reviews of the show yet, I wanted to put this down first.
If you want to skip the next few paragraphs and head to the GNR stuff, go for it. The next bit is all pre-show stuff.
Arrived at the venue with a bunch of friends towards the end of CKY’s set. We were patted down and run over with a metal detector, so I’m not sure if we’ll be seeing any bootlegs of this show. Then again the search wasn’t THAT thorough. Got in, checked out some T-shirts, but I’m not up to spending 45$ on one when they’re half that elsewhere (yes, I’m cheap).
CKY – from what I saw of them, they sounded like a modern rock/metal band. Didn’t stand out, but I didn’t hear any boos during the two songs I heard. Maybe they decided not to bash the town they were playing in this time? I might see more of them tonight.
We got to our seats – about 25 rows back in the middle of the floor. The place was only about half full or two thirds at that point, but it would fill up later. In the meantime we chilled and waited for Mix Master Mike. Some fun stuff to note, when they were setting up MMM’s stage props, one of the balloons seemed to malfunction and went off half inflated. One side of the arena, in the lower bowl, there was an entire row of Buckethead fans, each with a KFC pail on their head. Pretty cool.
Mike came on, and was a huge disappointment. Honestly I went into it with an open mind. I hit clubs every so often, and a DJ/MC doing some scratching can be decent. But the arena setting just wasn’t right. To his credit, he played a lot more rock (I think) than people reported in past shows. But that actually hurt his set – a lot of those songs don’t sound right scratched, it just doesn’t work. And Linkin Park scratched? No thanks. He got the best reaction when he just let songs play while going to switch records. Except then he’d come back and scratch more just when the song was getting good. He tried to get the crowd going, but they just weren’t into it. Towards the end of what seemed like over an hour, he started getting some boos. The biggest round of applause was when he finally left the stage. He also got a few cheers for his Jam Master Jay tribute, and while I appreciate it, it wasn’t very good. He basically mixed two vocal excerpts, so it went like this: “Jam Master Jay – Rest In Peace”. He repeated it about six times. Would have been better off just playing a RUN-DMC track. His Beastie’s scratching was good, but that’s his own shit, so it had better be. I saw Beastie’s at Lollapalooza when the Pumpkin’s played – go see them. Skip Mike when he’s on his own.
After MMM, the wait set in. The LONG wait. I think Mike was done shortly after nine. Within minutes, the chick watch began. I’ll say this – there are some hot chicks in Toronto. I know ‘cause I’ve lived there a long time. But damn, they’re timid. A lot of teasing, but no flesh. This is the horny bastard in me speaking by the way. Anyhow, for the first thirty minutes, the biggest cheers were for a guy caught on camera taking hauls off a joint. They put him up every few minutes. He looked pretty trashed and it was pretty funny. One of the camera men got on the mic, and said “I’m gonna say this once – guys, keep your shirts on. Girls – bring ‘em out!”. A couple of jokers had been showing off for the camera, which is what brought it about. Anyhow after that half hour and a lot of hot gals teasing, one finally got brave enough and flashed. That got some others going. I’d like to thank the girls for the entertainment, and especially the ones bold enough to make out with one another and the one gal who loved the camera and dropped her pants as well – they made a long wait (nearly an hour and a half I think) bearable. One scrap did break out, but it calmed down pretty quick. Seriously, I get why we need the flesh show now – otherwise, boredom would just lead to mayhem. Oh, and on a humorous note – “security” on the floor for the most part was a couple of female ushers who were old enough to be my mom and looked pretty embarrassed during the flashing. I felt kind of bad for them – fish out of water. The big beefy guys stayed up by the front, and the cops stayed in the background.
One other comment – chairs on the floor SUCK. They were close together and gave little room for dancing/moving/whatever. I know people complain about moshing at a GNR show, but I’d much rather have that than the fucking seats if it means an open floor. I kept jamming my knees on the seat in front of me.
By 10PM the place was filled. I’m guessing 15,000 plus. Close to a sellout. Even the nosebleeds were packed. I could see the one section they released tickets for that day, and by the time GNR took the stage most of it was filled. Which happened to be at about 10:30. At that point, the people with seats beside the stage – who were able to see behind the curtain – stood up and started cheering. At which point everyone got up and started cheering. The lights went out, and after a few minutes the curtain dropped. The opening riffs of Jungle started, and everyone jumped!
No exorcist intro or any other intro, just the “new” jungle intro that they’ve been doing throughout the tour (which sounds really cool imo, with the reverb or whatever). They actually played the riffs a couple times before everyone was set and Axl took the stage. And then they tore into it. Crowd went nuts.
I don’t have an eye for fashion, so I’m going to skip the “what did they wear” part of the review that seems to have become tradition. Except to say that Axl started out wearing a Leaf’s home jersey (white with blue lettering), #26 (I think that’s Healy’s number, he’s a callup, I don’t know why they didn’t give him someone good, like Sundin or Tucker or Mogilny). Halfway through he switched to the Leafs road jersey (blue with white lettering), generic with no number. He wore that until Paradise City, when he came out in a Raptors jersey (#15), then a Blue Jays Jersey, and then another one I didn’t recognize – maybe our Lacrosse team, or arena league football team or something. Three shirts in one song – the old Axl is back! Assume that the rest of the band was wearing clothes.
Anyhow, the setlist goes something like this:
Welcome to the Jungle It’s So Easy Mr. Brownstone Live and Let Die Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door You Could Be Mine Think About You Sweet Child O’ Mine Out Ta Get Me November Rain Rocket Queen Madagascar The Blues My Michelle Chinese Democracy Patience Nighttrain Paradise City
That’s probably a bit out of order, I wasn’t writing it down or anything. They didn’t play Rhiad. Madagascar live gave me fucking chills. The light display they use during it is REALLY cool, and it sounds really sweet. Also, the Blues, I’ve been liking this song more and more, and it kicked ass live last night. Axl used his gravely voice that he doesn’t bring out all too often anymore, and that got a big cheer. In fact, every scream he let out got a big cheer.
As for vocals, he was on all night. No fuckups, no wrong verses that I noticed, except in My Michelle, I think he forgot to turn the mic on at first, because I didn’t hear the first line at all. At the end of the song, he mentioned seeing a really hot chick in the stands wearing a schoolgirl outfit – uniform skirt and shit – and said that had him particularly motivated during that tune. He said “I think maybe that’s what Michelle looks like” or something. Sound was good from where I was, although in the first few songs the vocals could have been louder. They got the volume on the mic up after Live and Let Die.
The first five songs they played straight through, I was almost ready to start chanting “speech”. After Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Axl finally started talking. I’ll give you a rundown of all his comments (he didn’t talk too much).
First, he said there were a lot of hot women in Toronto, and wondered how the fuck the Leafs and Raptors can concentrate on playing the game with so many chicks around. Then he said “Who wants to watch a puck and a net when you can see the girls” or something like that. That brought about some jeers (Toronto bleeds hockey) and he said he was just joking “with 16,000 or so of my closest friends”. That got lots of cheers, and he laughed and said he “took that from David Lee Roth’s little book” or something to that effect, because David Lee Roth isn’t doing fuck all these days. It made more sense last night, but my memory is shot. David Lee Roth annoys me so I was laughing my ass off.
Later, he did that Columbus bit again. He said “So we had an “incident” in Vancouver... and then I went to Columbus, and Ohio State had won and they tore up the town and I was like what, am I late already?”. Something like that. Got a good laugh. He seemed in a good mood all night.
His best speech, I think, was about the critics. He talked about people saying the songs were dated – “Well no fucking shit”. Said sometimes you have to draw things out for people. This is the first leg of the tour, the eleventh show, and they’re doing old material. That’ll change. Then he talked about critics themselves, being pretty fucking sad having a job writing about other people’s lives because they don’t have one of their own. “Sometimes they give thumbs up, and sometimes they have their thumb up their asses”.
He brought up Montreal – asked how many people were at the “infamous” Montreal show – and said he’d talk about Lars a little later. Only he didn’t. Maybe tonight? I hope. I used to be a Metallica fan. Since they turned into a bunch of greedy fucking assholes, I haven’t listened to any Metallica CD once. This is my own personal rant here. Fuck them. They were a band who got their fucking record deal BECAUSE of music piracy, because people went to their early shows and bootlegged them and passed them around to friends and the band got a huge buzz going surrounding it. So if they want to complain about people using MP3s, fuck em. I bought Kill ‘Em All and And Justice For All and the Black Album and I’ll never buy anything Metallica is involved with again. Been pissed about this for years and I rant about it whenever I can...
Back to GNR. Buckethead stole the fucking show. Some idiot behind me yelled Slash when he was introduced, and literally like six people around him told him to fuck off at the same time. That shut him up. Bhead’s solo was amazing, it’s one thing to hear and another thing to watch, and everyone seemed generally impressed. When Axl introduced the band, Dizzy got the biggest cheer, and Buckethead was introduced last. Axl’s words – “the last person you ever thought I’d pull out of a hat – no pun intended. Left by aliens in a chicken coop... Mr. Buckethead”. He really awed a lot of people with that solo. Gave out his toys again. I will say that looping those notes during the solo when he gives out toys – not such a great idea. It confused some people, they were like “you mean he wasn’t playing”? Most of them figured it out or someone told them what the deal was.
The one letdown for me was November Rain. The intro he did was really cool – I’m hoping its a new song. But they’ve divided the solos up now. Richard does the first one, and he was off. I really didn’t like it. Robin’s was decent, and Buckethead did the final solo. That owned. But they should let Buckethead solo for the whole song. Richard has other places where he shines. He runs around like crazy, and the new solo at the end of The Blues that he does is really sweet.
Rocket Queen & Nighttrain are the best live songs of the list. They really got everyone going. A LOT of people screaming for Patience also. All three new songs got a decent response. It’s too bad Axl didn’t introduce them. Chinese Democracy had the pyro going, from 25 rows back I could feel the heat. Dunno what Buckethead must feel like standing there in a mask next too ‘em.
Paradise City had people going nuts. All in all it was a good show. I would have liked that have heard Axl speak a little more, or a change in the setlist, but I think it’s going to be standard until at least MSG. Although I’m hoping for Rhiad tonight – and a comment about our friend Lars.
This is getting long so I’ll wrap it up. One thing. Axl’s right about the critics. Whoever the morons are who wrote the band doesn’t have chemistry, they just stand around or play with Axl – bullshit. Bucket and Robin dueled, Richard and Robin seemed to have a lot of fun together, Tommy was around with everyone now and then, Bucket went up on the risers with Brain and Dizzy and Chris – they’ve got great chemistry. Seemed like they were all into it. Axl played around with everyone also, and Buckethead moved a LOT more than people have mentioned in the past. Ran around a bit. Pulled the dummy out at the end. And his nun-chukkas and robot dance were really sweet.
On first Mix Master Mike , he was alright crowd didnt react that good but they werent booing, next was CKY I did not see them i was going around with my girlfriend Kira, she was tall blonde hair, anyhow we where walking and some guy just barfs out of no where im like what the fuck and the guy kept walking and Kiras like pointing at barf yet people walking threw it.
Anyhow we get back to our seats and they are showing cameras of chicks flashing and shit, Axl said guys keep it on, girls take it off on the mike from the back. ANyhow lots of flashing I was bye two fuckin hippy guys and two chicks who where shown once on the screen they where dancing all night. Anyhow setlist I cant tell you it was basically the same, ill go by the shit i know
Order I Know Songs They Played:
Welcome To The Jungle
Its So Easy
order fucked up here
**Encore** Paradise City
Songs they played I dont know where they go:
November Rain(with the asshole song intro, and a long version of the leeds festival thing)
Live and Let Die
Think About You
Knocking on Heavens Door(orginal)
Out Ta Get Me
You Could Be Mine
I might have missed some shit but ya!
Axl came out with a Home Leafs jersey number 26, black sports pants and white shoes, Later he changed to a Away Leafs jersey with no number, then Raptors jersey, then Blue jays and finally an unknown jersey..
Dizzy Reed, Turquiose wife beater and brown cordish pants!
Brain, Blue Tartan shirt and black buckethat.
Robin Finck, Black outfit no make up.
Buckethead All black except for the f**k**g blue cape apron.
Richard Fortus, Suzuki shirt and black leather plants, later he took off Suzuki shirt then just tshirt black.
Tommy Stinson, Tartan Red suit, later took off blazer for white wife beater.
Chris Pittman, cant remeber but he put a hat on and off, a couple of times.
Axl did a rant on the press how they are bashing him for playing the old songs, he said well no shit hes playing them , this band just got started. Axl also got numerous flowers from the crowd and smelled them then gently placed them on the stage thing. He talked about earlier before the press rant about toronto having the best f**k**g girls and how he isnt saying that like some people , he should send David Lee Roth out to get them for the people, he did a girly voice on the subject of how you get backstage.
Oh ya lots perverts where grapping my girlfriend Kiras ass, it was disturbing to say the least about the perverts, and they showd this funky old weed guy numerous times on the screen! I fucked my voice up screaming riot, we started a chant ouch it hurts but ya! awspp,me show i was in 109 row 28 seat 22!
Anyhow a really good show, solid all the way through, ACC was fuckin packed I didnt see any empty seats, it looked like a complete sold out 16000ish it was fuckin awesome!
Sorry about my spelling and shit im wired!
Well, I guess I'm the first to make a review of tonight's show. Well, I'll try to remember everything. Here goes...
First off, the show was awesome. Axl was in a fantastic mood and all members of te band were really into it. I got there around 6:30. CKY went on stage around 7:30. I have to say that they're not my cup of tea. I will, however, say that I admire their effort. They have a sound all of their own, but it just doesn't click with me. But hey, to each his/her own.
I don't have a whole lot to say about them as I was hungry for the main course. Around 8:30 Mix Master Mike hit the stage. I'd have to say that he was cool to hear for about 15 minutes but then it kind of became monotonous. He mixed Zeppelin, Rush, Rage, etc. I got bored of him pretty quick. He finished up around 9:30.
By this time, the Air Canada Centre was about half full. I was worried if there would be any more people to come. Well, they did as the "Show us your tits" festival came on.
A guy came out on stage and said "I'll only say this once, guys, keep 'em in, girls...haul 'em out!" Girls were teasing the camera. Anyway, eventually they showed there chests, then a few showed their asses, a couple of girls made out with each other, while one girl licked the breast of another girl...all of this being displayed on two big screens. Later on, a fight broke out but that fire was quickly put out.
Then at about 10:30, the arena full with about 19,000 people, WTTJ comes on and the place goes totally apeshit. For me to describe the presence of the band cannot be put into words...the best thing for me to say is to go see it for yourself. I can't remember the setlist but I knew the order as it was coming on as it is the standard format.
Throughout the show, Axl wore two different Maple Leaf jerseys (number 26 on one while the other was blank), a Raptors jersey, and a Blue Jays jersey. The stage was full of pyrotechnics, and lights. The sound was awesome. The ONLY, and I mean ONLY, flaw in the whole night was a slight screw up on "Think About You". Other than that, the night was perfect.
Axl smiled the whole show, the place went nuts for Buckethead and Robin Finck. Buck's guitar solo ROCKED. I could tell that Axl was having a blast. He mentioned the Montreal incident by asking how many people were there, then he mentioned Vancouver, and jokingly asked "What is it about Canada?" The crowd loved it. He displayed his piano abilties by playing the "asshole" song...it was hilarious.
Dizzy looked great, he looks like Edge from the WWE. Buck threw toys out to the audience. Madagascar, the Blues, and Chin. Dem. were the new songs played and were well received by the audience. People were staring at me as I was the only one in the area who knew the words. I picked up a t-shirt that set me back $45, but it's well worth it. Paradise City rocked with lots o' confetti and fireworks.
I was shaking the whole time. The sound was tight and they played like a true band. If anyone saw the MTV VMA's, forget 'em....the sound at this performance has proved to 19,000 people that Axl is one of the greatest frontmen ever, Guns N' Roses are back, and the new band WILL prevail. Anyway, I'm sorry if I have forgotten anything, but I am extremely tired and in need of sleep. If I think of anything else, I'll write back in the morning. But the bottom line is the show was awesome.