Jšahalli, Helsinki, Finland
August 13th 1991

Kaj Haggman's Review [posted 8.14.91]

GnR apparently began their European Tour in Helsinki and they are supposed to do another concert tonight, in the same place. I believe both concerts are (were) sold out.

The "Special Guest Star" Skid Row started at 8:15 pm. I've never been a fan and I didn't become one last night, either. There was a lot of Skid Row fans in the audience, though. Well, lots of energy, but they were pretty dull and the mixing was bad. Only the two encores "I'll Remember You" and "Youth Gone Wild" sounded OK. They played for about an hour.

Time for another hour of refreshments, wandering around (checking out some nice objects :-) and waiting for "the real thing".

Finally, at about 10:30 pm GnR appeared. They played songs from their upcoming album(s) "Use Your Illusion" (which should be out on September 17th, according to Axl) and some of their old stuff as well, as covers of Wings/McCartney's "Live and Let Die", and Bob Dylan's "Knockin on Heaven's Door" (Dououououououour :-)

Izzy played a lot of (good) solos and so did the drummer Matt Sorum. Axl played piano on a couple of songs and all in all the sound was VERY good. Skid Row was much louder. The lights and video-screens were great, too.

"Mr. Brownstone" was , well, interesting. The band started and the crowd was shouting and clapping their hands. The band continued and the crowd was shouting and clapping their hands. Uh, uh, no Axl? The guys in the band looked around, at each other - and continued playing. Time for a guitar solo, a drum solo, a bass solo, a couple of songs I didn't recognize (without Axl) and more guitar (good, though). Finally, after, I don't know, maybe 15-20 minutes all the memebers of the band appeared on stage and started playing "Mr. Brownstone" again. This time Axl appeared and started singing like nothing had happened! I don't know if Axl had to take a shit, or what, but it sure didn't look like they guys in the band knew what he was doing!

The encores were "Sweet Child of Mine" and "Paradise City" and the show ended at 00:45 pm, so the set took about 2 hours 15 minutes. Maybe a 2 hour set and 15 minutes of "absent Axl".

Both bands (well, Bach and Axl) use a kind of limited vocabulary (who am I to complain). It almost sounded like this: "Hello f*cking Helsinki, it's f*cking great to be f*cking here! Are you (f*cking) having a f*cking good time? The next f*cking song is called...". Just concerned about all Finnish kids...

Anyway, worth every FIM (165 actually, about USD 40)!