Fernando Hernandez Barragan's Review
After 14 years and 2 sold out shows in the Mexican cities Guadalajara and Monterrey, everything was ready for the long awaited show in Mexico City, this is the third time ever that the band play in this city and once again the concert was sold out. This is the closing gig of their world tour´s kick off in Mexico.
The Sports Palace located in the South - East of the city, builded for the 1968 Olympic games will be the scenario of one of the most important heavy bands at the time. The place surrounded with dozens of cops and not official merchandise sellers; allowed around 20,000 persons under it’s metal dome that night.
THE SUPPORTING ACTS
The gates opened at 6:45 pm, more than 2 hours later, the first opening act was a new Mexican band called “Nata” they did it quite good, they started a 25 mins show at 9:00 pm, when the band finished everybody believed that GNR was next but another supporting act started one hour later with another new band called “Maligno” who received booo´s and fingers from the tired audience because nobody seemed to be happy with their music. They played only 20 minutes and then… complete silence.
After 3 hours waiting (the show was announced at 9:00 pm) suddenly lights went out at 11:45 pm and a big noise started followed by the first notes of “Welcome to the Jungle” everybody got crazy, some motherfucker from the first rows throwed some beer to Axl and everybody was shocked thinking the worst, but Axl didn’t seemed to care much about that little issue and he continued rocking as in the old glory days…the audience continued screaming and singing celebrating the starting of a kick ass night “It`s so Easy” was the second rocket launched by the gunners followed by “Mr. Brownstone”, the audience exploited in a big scream between the songs, the next song “Live and Let Die” turned the place into a Warfield with lots of pyrotechnics. It was a great starting GNR seemed in a good mood doing their best on each song. On Sweet Child O´Mine” Axl weared a “charro” Mexican folk outfit specially made for him with a hat, the audience was very happy and that made one of the most special moments of the show. After that, they played Dylan`s “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” in a different version, in the middle of the song somebody throwed a Mexican flag to the stage and Axl picked it up and put it on his back, this fact created big ovations to Axl. “Patience” and “November Rain” started with big ovations from the crowd who sung as loud as the band´s sound.
The next songs the rocker classics “You Could Be Mine”, “Outta Get Me” “My Michelle” and “Nightrain”, turned the place in hell, nobody believed what they was looking and listening, it was a dream came true for the thousands of frenetic fans with an age between 13 – 40 years who supported the band all concert long, it was dream came true for everybody. Even for Axl who never imagined to have such a nice support no matter there is no new album and no matter the musicians are not the same. The starting of “Paradise City” announced the beginning of the end the song was fulled with pyrotechnics and special effects, Axl said goodbye in Spanish and after a few Guns and Roses chant the whole band went to the stage again to thank the nice crowd and throw some gifts like t-shirts bottles of water and guitar pics. As usual Axl throwed his microphone and he went backstage followed by the rest of the band. In a few words, it was a kick ass concert.
The 3 guitar players had their solo the first one was Robin Finck followed by the charismatic Richard Fortus and the last guitar solo was performed by Mr. Ron Thal with an instrumental version of “Don´t Cry” sung by the wild fans. A couple of Mexican folk songs where played as well making a special moment connecting the band with the Mexican audience. A piano appeared in the middle of the stage, and a piano solo by Dizzy Reed started, performing a very cool instrumental classic Rolling Stones cover called Angie, it was really cool, the public sung the song and gave big ovations to Dizzy the only remaining member of GNR besides Axl, Dizzy seemed to be really happy thanking to the crowd for the screams and support.
Even if most of the original members are gone, this new guys rocked that night, they showed they have charisma and talent, they played the old songs great and the new songs kicked ass, Richard Fortus maybe is the most charismatic and energetic member, Ron thal showed great technique on every song and the crazy Robin Finck showed everyone why he is on the band. Also the drummer Frank did a nice job with the percussions, a couple of times he started the chant “Guns and Roses” with the drums. The new bass player Tommy and Chris in the keyboards did also great.
Axl looked great on stage, he is on good shape, he weared a leather black shirt and jeans almost all the time, he used also a cowboy shirt with no sleeves and a cool brown leather jacket, he seemed very receptive with Mexicans thanking them for their support, he even weared a “mariachi” outfit specially made for him fot the concerts in Mexico and later he weared the Mexican flag on his back, Axl was great, he showed he still have a great voice and much to give to the fans.
THE NEW SONGS
4 new songs where performed by the gunners: Better, I.R.S The Blues and Madagascar impressed everyone, Mexicans showed nice support on each of them even for most of people it was the first time they heard them, Axl sung very well on each of them and the band played great.