Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, OH
June 4th 1991

- Mark Faris, Beacon Journal Publishing Co., 6.5.91

After a 45-minute bender with Skid Row and another half-hour of the traditional social intercourse that accompanies intermission (i.e., baseball card trading, gum chewing and the occasional knock-knock joke), the big, sweaty crowd of about 16,000 was locked, loaded and itching to cut loose.

It was TuesDAY, night in Richfield y'all, and the gang still was in a snit about Monday.

But it didn't last long. Not once the object of their affliction stormed into the spotlight, shortly after 9:30 p.m., and laid to with a nasty session of bullwhip rock `n' roll guaranteed to retire any thoughts of warm milk and early beddy-bye.

The stimulation was applied by an ensemble of L.A. rockers doing business as Guns N' Roses. And they do it with the sort of raw, unchained passion and power that can bend minds and ring ears ... or is it the other way around?

Whatever. It works.

At least it did Tuesday.

Some folks resent that an outfit little more than four years into the groove can muster such staggering success. (Its first two albums sold more than 17 million copies.)

But watch the outfit work. Listen to the rockers play. And there can be no denying the fire -- a whole blast furnace full.

Powered by the resounding percussion of Matt Sorum (he replaced Steven Adler) and the incendiary guitar work of Saul Hudson (call him Slash), lead- singer William `Axl' Rose and the rest of the Gunners assaulted the assembled mass with a 90-minute-plus onslaught of withering, hammer-and-tong rock that seemed to build with each offering.

That's saying a lot, too, considering the way the show opened, with a dizzying burst from the band's still unreleased Use Your Illusion album.

`We've never played the song before,' screamed Rose, after the fact, `and we wanted to see what the ---- it sounded like.'

Actually, it sounded like hell, which pretty much is the whole idea with GN'R, as so vividly illustrated by the follow-up, a maniacal pass at Welcome to the Jungle.

So moved by the tune was one devoted young man that he immediately placed a hand over his heart as if listening to a reading of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Shucks, a nearby woman took matters a step further, lifting her shirt to her shoulders and not bothering to put anything over her heart. It appeared to be a sizable heart, too.

The only problem with the show was the sound, which was loud to the point of being unintelligible.

Still, you get the point.

Some more folks will get it tonight, too, when Guns N' Roses returns to the Coliseum for an encore. Skid Row will be there, too. Think 8 p.m.