Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA
June 22nd 1991

Mark Roulley's Review

It was the summer before my junior year in college..Illusion albums had not yet been released, nobody had heard of the internet, most of my music news was received via radio or MTV..I had become a GNR fan while lifeguarding in the summer of 88 and had pretty much worn out my copied cassette with one side Appettite and the other Lies..I played them over and over at my pool trying to get to the volume when cuss words were coming up..I had a copy of Live at the Ritz on both cassette and VHS and had watched those hundreds of times that summer also while lifting weights..I don't recall exactly when I found out that tickets went on sale, but I remember borrowing my sister's credit card to buy the tickets via ticketmaster on a Saturday morning..I could not believe that I was going to see GNR..I had not seen that many concerts..I think I saw The Who in Pittsburgh and that may have been it..Anyway, I bought 8 tickets for $25 a piece..I was not that pumped up about Skid Row opening up, but the show was general admission, so I was smart enough to know that if we got there early then we would be close..I rounded up 8 guys..I remember Larry (Ponch) Tushman, Steve Mundy, Rusty McGuire, Steve Fenner (who looked exactly like Perry Farrell, and a few other guys who I can not recall at this time..We arrived at about 6:30 and walked in and took our place right in front of the stage and sat down..We had to sit down for about 1 1/2 hours until Skid Row came on..The stage had a runway out front and we were like 2 feet from the edge of the runway straight on..I was not a fan of Skid Row..I thought they were a little cheesy and when the crowd started to push at me, I decided that either I could go on a Wholike Cinncinati rampage and risk not being able to see GNR due to my incarceration, or I could move 15 feet diagonally to the right of the stage..I moved right into the L-shape just off to the right of the stage about 5 feet from the stage monitor..After Skid Row left GNR the crew began setting up the stage..I figured it would take 25-30 minutes and then viola GNR, but I soon learned Axl's itenerary..It must have been 10:55 before the lights went down..The place was electric..When I heard the fans and saw GUNS walking on stage in the dark, I was transfixed..To watch GNR for 3 years and now finally see The Tophat, albeit in the dark, about 5 feet from me was awesome..They came out to Perfect Crime (I am using a setlist from a website to refresh my memory)..They mixed in stuff from Lies and Appettite with stuff from the Illusions that I had never heard before..I had known every lyric and note from Appettite and Lies, so it was so amazing to hear new stuff in concert before I had a chance to listen to it on CD..(Cd's were supposed to be released a month before this but were pushed back to Sept or Oct..)I will never forget my introduction to "November Rain.."The entire time I was watching Axl play the piano (I had no idea that he was that talented at the time) and I kept on thinking he was saying "NOVEMBER 8TH," which anybody who knows me knows that date would later have a massive amount of significance in my life as I was supposed to get married on that date (that fell through though), it is funny because I had not remembered this until after we called the wedding off, but looking back it is quite ironic..Anyway, I remember I was right next to this HUGE black guy (like one of maybe 3 black people in the entire place) and we were talking about the show when two bikers started fighting right in front of us..The black guy started to hop in to break it up and I pulled him back and said "Are you crazy, if you so much as touch one of them, everybody in this place is gonna think you are involved and they are gonna beat your ass.." He looked at me for a moment and then was like "Damn, you are right.."The bikers were bloody as hell, but security got them out of there..Guns played 31 songs that night with it being about a 50/50 cut..I was SO shocked to find out that they redid "Live and Let Die" as I loved that Wings song..I think Terminator was already out, so the only song that I had heard from Illusions was "You could be mine.." The only complaint that I had and to some extent I still have is that of all the seven times I have seen GNR, the have never played "Rocket Queen.."Most of the time Slash was right in front of us, with Axl running up and down the runway right over top of us, on top of the right speaker system..Slash had a lot of interaction with the fans..Izzy kinda walked around like Keith Richards..He sang "Dust and Bones" The craziest part of the entire show and of all the shows that I have been to came at the very end..After Axl finished with Paradise City he walked back to center stage and did a running stage dive straight off the front of the stage exactly where we were originally standing..If Skid Row's fans had not been pushing me, I would have caught Axl..The sad part is I don't know why time has not altered the story to read that I DID catch Axl..