Axl Rose Impresses Vegas With His New Guns N' Roses
-- from Allstar news
After making fans wait seven years and amidst much speculation over how Axl Rose has aged and how this new band would sound, Axl Rose made a triumphant return to the stage with a brand spankin' new Guns N' Roses that shocked, pleased, and at times perplexed fans.
But, unlike what many expected -- maybe even secretly hoped for -- the source of the shock and amazement didn't come in the form of a bloated, overweight, washed-up rock star whose infamous bad attitude was the cause of many an aborted show. Rather, it came in the form of an unmistakably new W. Axl Rose. This was a physically fit, youthful-looking Rose who sounded exactly like he did 12 years ago, but who has seemed to shed the prima donna rock star persona that so many have loved to hate him for.
And the show? After hearing that the band wouldn't go on until 3 a.m. (doors opened at 1 a.m., and they actually took the stage at 3:38 a.m.) and were planning on playing every song they know, the preconceived perception was that this would be one self-indulgent show. Instead, the sold-out 1,800-person House of Blues club in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was treated to a perfect two hours of classic GNR songs and just four new tracks.
After a funny, short animated video (see Miss Truth for details), the set, obviously mapped out with the fan in mind, kicked off with a rapid-fire assault of such GNR staples as "Welcome to the Jungle," "It's So Easy," "Mr. Brownstone," and "Live and Let Die" before even venturing into new material, which included the warmly-received "Oh My God." The debut of four other new songs -- "Blues," the title track to the upcoming album "Chinese Democracy," "Silk Worms," and "Oklahoma" -- were met with less excitement and upon first listen lacked the direction and hook-laden style of the old stuff.
Rose played it understandably safe -- the songs sounded exactly as they do on record and one could literally close their eyes and believe it was the original lineup playing the Troubadour in L.A. in 1989. The only risk Rose has taken was in choosing his band members -- each of which has his own distinctive style almost like the Village People. Instead of the cop, the cowboy, the Indian, and so on, the new GNR has the few lone rockers, the alien, the new waver, and the freak. So, without further ado, meet the new version of GNR:
1. W. Axl Rose: Looked great, sounded great, returned as a humbled man with a brand new attitude of self-deprecating humor (see Miss Truth for the story on that) and generosity to his fellow bandmates. Sporting a healthy glow, long lighter red (or even light brown) hair, Adidas pants, and a button-down Chinese dragon shirt, Rose was back and better than ever.
2. Robin Finck: The guitarist's alien look with his black and white space-age suit and hair and makeup straight from the planet Romulac might make sense for his former band, Nine Inch Nails, but it seems out of place for GNR. Finck and Buckethead were clearly in competition for who could freak GNR fans out the most.
3. Buckethead: The avant-garde Bay Area guitar prodigy wore his trademark Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on top of his long, wavy hair and a white mask with black eyes, while doing robotic moves and freaking the crowd out along the way. He's sort of the Wes Borland of the band.
4. Paul Tobias: (a.k.a. Paul Huge, PHT, Rose's old friend from Indiana) Rose gave his old friend the most generous introduction, calling him "the original guitar player" who "worked hard to get here." He certainly held his own up against the more experienced players in the band. Solos and lead guitar parts were spread-out fairly evenly amongst the three guitarists.
5. Tommy Stinson: Replacements bassist at age 13. More recently, he sang and played bass in the ill-fated L.A. band Perfect. While his usual duds of a retro plaid suit and new-wave suspenders looked way out of place onstage, he possessed eerily similar mannerisms (and same spiky blonde haircut) to original GNR bassist Duff McKagan. Regardless, Stinson, who sang the bulk of backing vocals, was a crowd fave and was one of the few band members Rose interacted with onstage, albeit briefly.
6. Brain: (real name: Brian Mantia) The former drummer of Primus was low-key in an outfit and cap straight out of Fred Durst's closet and held down the fort just as well as Steven Adler or Matt Sorum.
7. Dizzy Reed: Unchanged since joining GNR as the keyboardist in 1991, the only blast from the past played keyboard, bongos, piano, and sang some backing vocals.
8. Chris Pittman: He's played with Tool, Lusk, Replicants, and Blinker the Star. Dressed in a biker hat and jacket, the second keyboardist also played some percussion and sang backing vocals. He's just a touring member, and a seemingly unnecessary one at that in a band already consisting of seven players.
Regardless of the weirdness of it all, the audience -- which was comprised of a younger, hipper crowd (ranging from drag queens to club kids, with just the occasional mullet-head or old school rocker mixed in) -- welcomed back Rose and his new boys with unbridled joy. On songs such as "Live and Let Die," "You Could Be Mine," "Sweet Child O' Mine," and "Patience," the audience's vocals drowned out the visibly elated, smiling Rose. Chants of "Welcome Back" kept that smile on Rose's face throughout the evening.
The only real dip in this joyous occasion came toward the end of the set when Rose was gracious enough to allow Buckethead to entertain, er, confuse the crowed with a performance art piece in which he twirled what appeared to be a baton or Chinese nunchuckas to a percussive beat. He followed that with a bit of robot and an unwelcome guitar solo. Aside from a few muffled boos, and a lone shout-out for Slash, the audience was actually pretty tolerant of Buckethead's eccentricities. At the end of his shtick, he handed out what looked like chocolate roses out of a KFC bucket to those up front.
Given the fact that the Thursday prior to the show (Dec. 29) was the first time Rose performed a set with this band (he never really sang at rehearsals over these past several years), the show was amazingly perfect. Rose and his new gaggle of freaks delivered the goods beyond most people's expectations.
Diehard GNR fans should check out Miss Truth for more details on the show.
Guns N' Roses set list:
1. "Welcome to the Jungle"
2. "It's So Easy"
3. "Mr. Brownstone"
4. "Live and Let Die"
5. "Oh My God"
6. "My Michelle"
7. "Think About You"
8. "You Could Be Mine"
9. "Sweet Child O' Mine"
10. "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
11. "November Rain"
12. "Out Ta Get Me"
13. "Rocket Queen"
14. new song
15. "Chinese Democracy"
(Buckethead performance art and guitar solo)
17. new song
19. new song
20. "Paradise City"
Miss Truth, gossip on GN'R
-- from Allstar news
So much to say, so little space. For those who didn't get enough minute detail of the first Guns N' Roses show in seven years on Monday (Jan. 1) at the House of Blues in Las Vegas in our review in news, here are a few more tidbits to satiate your appetites:
Opening Video: At about 3:35 a.m. the huge video screen behind the small stage at the House of Blues showed a two- to three-minute animated video (similar to the animation seen in the Heavy Metal movie) showing Axl Rose looking very '80s and poking fun at himself. The video opened with Axl saying "Hi kids. It's Uncle Axl." The sound of the clip wasn't great and it was hard to see, so here's a few bits we were able to make out: he wished everyone a Happy New Year. Images in the video included a bedpan, a Diet Coke, and a sexy nurse. He said something about being "asleep for seven years" and about "cleanliness is next to, well, you get the picture." Actually, we didn't really get the picture, but whatever.
He seemed to have been poking fun at himself, which he did later in the show as well in a little spiel about how he figured the crowd expected a tantrum out of him and then we'd have something to write about the next day. But, there were no tantrums. Axl was happy, funny, endearing, and just downright perfect.
Paul Tobias: What's this guy's name? Tobias? Huge? Well, it's both. Axl first introduced his old buddy -- and one of the three guitarists in the band -- as Paul Tobias. Then he later referred to him as Paul Huge, and then finally as PHT. So, there you have it.
The Stage: Simple setup, various TV screens and lights. Stage right sported a small, white tombstone that said, "R.I.P. Here lies the bones of Henry Jones." The only Henry Jones we've heard of is a jazz saxophone player, who's played with Louis Armstrong.
Celeb Spotting: From our vantage point, there was Taime Down (Faster Pussycat, the Newlydeads), Robby Takac (Goo Goo Dolls, which played a separate set at the club earlier in the evening), and Chris Vrenna (ex-Nine Inch Nails).
Random Comments: After Axl told the crowd that this show was just the second time he played this set with his new band, he said, "I have a little bit of an emotional problem doing the old stuff." Axl also introduced the title track to the new record, "Chinese Democracy," with a bit of an explanation about this new fascination with China. He explained, "This isn't pro or con about China... China symbolizes the most oppressive government in the world..."
Guns N' Roses return to stage
-- from Launch
Guns N' Roses made its long-awaited return at the Las Vegas House of Blues early Monday morning. The eight band members appeared onstage just after 3:30 a.m. PT, giving fans a preview of their June release, "Chinese Democracy," with five new songs in a set that lasted until 5:45 a.m. The only two faces around from the last time GNR was onstage were singer Axl Rose and keyboardist Dizzy Reed. The rest of the band included former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, former Primus drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia, guitarists Buckethead and Paul Tobias, and ex-Nine Inch Nails member Robin Finck. The band also featured the keyboardist Chris Pitman, who previously worked with the Replicants.
New Guns N' Roses Gets Right Back in the Jungle
-- from Los Angeles Times
Axl Rose resurfaces with a different lineup, sounding as if he never went away.
By: Steve Appleford
LAS VEGAS--"Good morning," Axl Rose declared with a grin New Year's morning at the House of Blues during his first live performance with Guns N' Roses in more than seven years. "I've just woke up. I've been taking a nap for about eight years."
If waiting all these years for the return of what was the most explosive hard-rock band of its generation wasn't enough for fans, they also had to wait until nearly 4 a.m. for Rose and the new Guns lineup to take the stage.
But drama seems an inescapable part of Rose's world.
The most suspense Monday revolved around the show itself.
Eight years away from the action is an eternity in the fickle world ofpop-rock, so the question on the minds of the sold-out crowd, many of whom came from Los Angeles and paid far above face value for the $150 tickets, was whether Rose's new material and bandmates would satisfy their appetites.
The performance--whose scheduled 1 a.m. starting time was pushed back because a Goo Goo Dolls concert at the venue didn't end until after midnight--began amid a storm of flashing lights and the familiar staccato guitar riff of "Welcome to the Jungle," the band's 1987 breakthrough hit.
Rose, appearing superbly confident, then marched abruptly to the stage, his red hair back down to his shoulders, his wailing vocals easily hitting the old screeching high notes. For all the mystery and uncertainty that has surrounded him in recent years, it was like he'd never left.
Guns N' Roses first exploded out of the Los Angeles '80s metal scene with a sound mixing classic rock melody with real grit, raunch and dementia. If those hard-rock excesses sometimes drifted into cliched excess, the band was never less than genuine in its bad habits, which in later years degenerated into infighting and self-destruction.
By the early '90s, Guns N' Roses seemed the rightful heirs to a certain brand of potent, defiant, straight-ahead, big rock 'n' roll, epitomized by the Rolling Stones. The inability of the original Guns N' Roses lineup to hang together and build on the monumental stature was a tragic failure of potential and nerve.
With the likes of Rage Against the Machine and Korn crafting a new, dynamic metal blend, Rose will never again enjoy that kind of influence, but his appearance here could mark the beginning of a new period for him as a surprisingly forceful player of contemporary rock, not unlike the resurgence experienced by Aerosmith in the late '80s.
At the House of Blues, Rose and the new Guns N' Roses band focused largely on familiar material, which was played with unexpected fire and precision.
It was an unlikely cast of characters sharing the stage, including (in the sidekick role of Slash) the eccentric guitar virtuoso Buckethead, known for his robotic stage movements and for wearing a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket as a hat. The band also included former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, guitarists Robin Finck and Paul Tobias, former Primus drummer Bryan "Brain" Mantia, and keyboardists Chris Pittman and Dizzy Reed, a longtime Guns sideman.
The band was extra tight musically without being mechanical, clearly feeding off its first time in front of a live audience. Buckethead and Finck were never showy as they traded sharp guitar leads during "Sweet Child o' Mine," while the crowd sang along.
The best news in Las Vegas for Guns followers was that the new material frequently held up against the band's older work. The title song for "Chinese Democracy" (the album is scheduled for a June release) was lean, quick-paced and dramatic, constructed along dark, modern riffing and Rose's impatient vocals.
Another new rock ballad, "The Blues," was rich with melody and romantic torment. The singer also revealed a taste of the electronic-based experiments of these last several years with a song riddled with frantic beats and panicked vocals, landing somewhere in the vicinity of Prodigy.
Fans began lining up outside the House of Blues several hours before the scheduled 1 a.m. show time, many of them proudly dressed in vintage Guns N' Roses T-shirts. Waiting patiently at the front of the line were a pair of Los Angeles 20-year-olds, Armen Gevorkian and Garen Garabidian, who bought their tickets online via EBay for $300 apiece.
Both first discovered Guns N' Roses as children, not long after arriving as immigrants from Iran, and they expect to attend the band's next gig, at the Rock in Rio festival later this month in Rio de Janeiro. Gevorkian had to skip work on Sunday to be in Las Vegas. "My boss was OK with that because he knows I'm crazy," he said with a laugh. "And I was going to quit the job."
Like many others in line, he said he was only slightly disappointed that the band on stage would not be the original lineup, saying, "Guns N' Roses is all about Axl."
That sentiment was echoed later in the show, when the crowd spontaneously began chanting: "Welcome back! Welcome back!" It was a disarming moment even for the notoriously strong-willed frontman, who could only smile and turn his head, seemingly speechless. "Now you're embarrassing me," he said.
Maybe so, but the most memorable aspect of Rose's long-delayed return to the stage is that the singer never came close to embarrassing himself or the legacy of Guns N' Roses.
Rose's New Guns Unveiled In Vegas
-- from MTV
It was over seven years in the making, but the general consensus is that it was well worth waiting for.
Axl Rose debuted his new Guns N' Roses lineup at Las Vegas' House of Blues in the wee small hours of New Year's Day, belting out an array of old favorites and introducing a handful of new tunes to a capacity crowd of 1,800 ecstatic patrons.
GN'R kicked off the show with "Welcome to the Jungle" and finished with an equally rousing "Paradise City," delivering other GN'R classics such as "Mr. Brownstone," "Sweet Child o' Mine," "November Rain," "Patience," "My Michelle" and "Think About You" in between.
The band also rolled out a handful of previously unheard songs, including "Chinese Democracy" — the title track off the band's long-long-long-awaited album (see "Guns N' Roses To Release Album In June") — and "The Blues," "Silk Worms" and one untitled track, GN'R management confirmed.
GN'R also offered up a version of 1999's "Oh My God," their contribution to the "End of Days" soundtrack.
Rose was "a little emotional" at the event, according to his longtime manager, Doug Goldstein, who added that the singer hugged his close friends in attendance and thanked them for their support.
The concert featured the expected lineup: guitarists Buckethead, Robin Finck and Paul Tobias (a.k.a. Paul Huge); keyboardist Dizzy Reed; former Primus drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia; and former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, who inspired Rose to joke, "'The Replacements' would be a good name for this band."
Keyboardist Chris Pittman, perhaps best known as a member of the Replicants and for his work on Tool's Aenima, also joined the group onstage.
"Axl really looked happy to be playing with those guys," said LeAnne Eden, a GN'R fan who flew in from Los Angeles for the show. "That's something that didn't seem to be happening with the old band — during their last tour, anyway."
Onstage, Rose alluded to how he had begun rehearsals with his new bandmates a few days prior to the show, another situation that rarely happened in days gone by. (The band usually rehearsed without Rose in attendance.)
"[Rose] looked young and healthy. He was slimmer than when I saw him sit in with Gilby last summer," Eden said, referring to Rose's only other outing in seven years: an impromptu performance with former guitarist Gilby Clarke in June.
The two-hour show got underway at 3:30 a.m., after the club cleared the house following a performance by the Goo Goo Dolls. GN'R started an hour later than expected, although the club's publicist said the group never intended to go on much earlier than 3:30 and that Rose's fabled tardiness was not a factor.
Rose was "awesome" and totally at ease with the HOB staff as well as with the audience, the publicist said.
Concertgoer Jeff Sheldon, who flew from Chicago for the show, said that Rose made a point of crediting guitarist Tobias with getting him through the past seven years, conveying that the two had played together since they were 12 years old.
Tobias — described alternately as a Kurt Cobain lookalike and as a paler, nondescript version of Rose himself — stuck to rhythm duties, concertgoers said, while ex-Nine Inch Nails member Finck, sporting eyeliner and black lipstick, faithfully revisited ex-GN'R member Slash's guitar parts. New twists and turns were added to the sonic texture by Buckethead, who wore his customary white facemask and Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket atop his head.
Even though the audience was positioned directly before the stage, the band's backdrop was a JumboTron-style, 25-foot, floor-to-ceiling video screen augmented by a number of smaller monitors.
"It looked like they fit an arena-sized show into this club," Eden observed.
Security was incredibly tight, so fans may be hard-pressed to find live MP3s or photos on the Web. "Not only were they confiscating cameras," Eden said, "they were even going after cell phones."
The band's performance was preceded by an animated feature that poked fun at Rose's media-perpetuated persona. The mercurial frontman was depicted in bed — presumably having spent the last seven years in Brian Wilson-like seclusion — carrying on conversations with Buddha and the odd alien, with a music magazine used in lieu of toilet paper following a bedpan sequence. Footage depicting a journey through a birth canal was also presented, among other esoteric endeavors.
Next up, the band heads to South America, where it will play the gigantic Rock in Rio festival on January 14.
Axl Rose: Whoever Said Appetite for Destruction?
-- from New York Times
By Neil Strauss
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 1 — One had to feel a little sorry for Axl Rose when he performed his first concert in more than seven years at the House of Blues here at 3:30 this morning. The problem wasn't his voice; he ran through Guns 'n' Roses warhorses like "Welcome to the Jungle," "Mr. Brownstone" and "Paradise City" with note-for- note perfection. And the problem wasn't the band; though Guns 'n' Roses has been converted to an odd-looking eight-person outfit with only Mr. Rose and the keyboardist Dizzy Reed remaining from former incarnations, it was an impressive, albeit different, live machine. The reason to pity Mr. Rose is that although he has spent most of the last seven years locked in a recording studio working on new songs, in a two-hour show he felt comfortable squeezing in only a few of them.
To watch the new Mr. Rose — simultaneously serious, self-mocking and self-conscious — perform was to watch a man trapped, perhaps more by himself than by his fans. "I have traversed a treacherous sea of horrors to be with you here tonight," he told the small audience, which had bought tickets ranging from $150 on up. For most of the last decade Mr. Rose has been putting himself in competition with the rock stars who replaced Guns 'n' Roses in the hard-rock limelight (from Nine Inch Nails to White Zombie), working with a revolving door of talented producers and musicians in an attempt to remake his sound and teach himself more about guitar, studio production and electronic instruments. He has done everything from re-recording the "Appetite for Destruction" album to coming up with modern electronic-industrial songs. But early on New Year's Day, when Mr. Rose and friends performed their new songs, it was with doubt and hesitancy, as if they were pleading for acceptance. "You can write home to everybody about how it just doesn't work," Mr. Rose said in one moment of insecurity (even though it was all working just fine).
The new members of the band included Tommy Stinson (formerly of the Replacements) on bass, Brian (Brain) Mantia (of Primus) on drums, Chris Pitman (of the Replicants) on keyboards and, on guitars, Paul Tobias, Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails) and Buckethead. The classic Guns 'n' Roses image of Mr. Rose and a top-hatted Slash on guitar was replaced by Mr. Rose and the masked, mysterious, fast-food-container- hatted Buckethead, a funk-metal enigma who break-danced, spun nunchaku and brought a more liquid, avant-garde upgrade of soloing to Guns 'n' Roses.
But only in the first song of their encore, a hard-driving electronic rave-up that sounded like a Chemical Brothers remix of Guns 'n' Roses, did the audience get a glimpse of the music that the band really seemed to want to play. And it was the glimpse of a completely different beast than Guns 'n' Roses (with a new frontline of a beefy Mr. Rose, a mimelike Buckethead and a stormtrooper-outfitted Mr. Finck), which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
-- from nme.com
Here are the first shots of GUNS N' ROSES frontman AXL ROSE onstage under the US rock legends' banner for the first time in seven years.
And as NME.COM's exclusive stills from the gig show, he is every bit the rock heavyweight. Gone are the flaming scarlet locks, replaced with a darker mane, and he is clad in a black shirt with a Chinese dragon logo, black shiny sports pants with red stripes, trainers and requisite rock 'n' roll shades.
Despite looking considerably beefier than in the band's halcyon '80s days, fans reported that he had slimmed down since he made a fleeting appearance on stage last year, with guitarist Gilby Clarke.
As we reported yesterday, the band's two-hour gig at the 1,800-capacity House of Blues in Las Vegas on New Year's Eve was rapturously received.
And even Axl himself, in an upbeat and relaxed mood, sided with the critics who have been slating the "comeback" of the eight-piece band which features only Rose from the original line-up and keyboardist Dizzy Reed from their last incarnation, joking: "The Replacements would be a good name for this band," referring to their bassist Tommy Stinson, an ex-Replacements man. The rest of the line-up comprises Primus drummer Brian Mantia, Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, guitarists Paul Tobias and Buckethead, who played the gig with a KFC bucket on his head. Additional keyboardist Chris Pittman, formerly of The Replicants and Tool also played with them.
The band, whose next appearance will be in front of a rather larger crowd at the Rock in Rio festival on January 15, debuted material from their forthcoming 'Chinese Democracy' album, slated for a June release. The band's management confirmed to www.sonicnet.com that these included the title track, 'Silk Worms', 'The Blues' and another as-yet untitled track. They also played 1999's 'Oh My God', from the movie 'End Of Days'.
The set was dominated by classics, however, starting with 'Welcome To The Jungle' and roaring through 'Paradise City', 'Sweet Child O' Mine', 'November Rain', 'My Michelle' and 'November Rain'.
Manager Doug Goldstein told Sonicnet that Rose, who had confessed to the crowd that he had only begun rehearsing with the band four days before the gig, was "a little emotional".
Guns N' Roses in Bloom Again
-- from nme.com
GUNS N' ROSES unveiled new material from their forthcoming 'CHINESE DEMOCRACY' album at their first gig for seven years at LAS VEGAS HOUSE OF BLUES on NEW YEAR'S EVE.
The two-hour set began three hours late at 3.30am, kicking off with 'Welcome To The Jungle' and according to fan reports on the unofficial website www.gnr.com.ar, the set was primarily drawn from the 'Appetite For Destruction' album, while five new songs were aired. They were called 'The Blues', 'Chinese Democracy', 'Oklahoma', 'Oh My God' and 'Silk Worms'.
One fan, Auston, posted a review on 2000 Intentions' unofficial site messageboard, saying that with the exception of 'The Blues' most of the new material "wasn't very musical," but the gig overall was "fantastic, worth every penny".
New guitarist Buckethead played the entire gig with a KFC bucket on his head and a white Phantom Of The Opera-style mask on his face. As the stage wasn't very big, the backdrop was minimal, with a video screen projecting images including war atrocities and swimming dolphins.
The set also included the majority of the band's classic tracks, including 'It's So Easy', 'Mr Brownstone', 'Live And Let Die', 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door', 'Sweet Child O' Mine', 'Nightrain', 'Oh My God', 'My Michelle', 'November Rain' and 'You Could Be Mine'.
The only original members of the band who remain from its previous incarnation are frontman Axl Rose and Dizzy Reed on keyboards. There were a few technical glitches, with a relaxed-looking Axl declaring that they had only begun rehearsing for the show the Thursday before (December 28). During a technical hitch, when the piano wasn't working properly during 'Patience', he sat on top of it and the crowd began to chant "welcome back".
At another point during the show, Axl admitted he felt weird about playing old material with the new band, which includes Tommy Stinson, ex-Replacements on bass, Brian Mantia of Primus on drums, and Chris Pitman of Replicants, Paul Tobias (Buckethead) and Nine Inch Nails' Robin Finck on guitar.
Exclusive Report! Guns N' Roses Rocks Hard In Vegas!
-- from KNAC.com
Axl Makes Triumphant Return To Concert Stage For The First Performance In Eight Years
"Everyone needs some time on their own, everyone needs some time all alone." He sang with such passion, it was as if he was explaining his absence from our lives for so long. And the audience sang with him with such an intensity as if they understood...
"Good morning! I just woke up. I took a nap for about 8 years!" That's what Axl Rose told the crowd of onlookers still in awe at the fact that this rock n' roll icon was actually standing right before their very eyes. What a way to bring in the New Year!
Axl Rose and the new Guns N'Roses line-up burst onto the unbelievably intimate stage at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, NV, like a force not to be reckoned with. 3:30 AM, January 1st, 2001 will go down in the history books (screw the new millennium) and mark Axl?s return to the fans that have loved and missed him for too many years. "Do you know where you are? You're in the jungle baby," he screeched during the opening song and carried on with such an impeccable perfection it made you feel like he was welcoming you into his jungle for the first time ever!
During the powerhouse two hour set, GN'R cranked through practically the entire Appetite For Destruction album with confidence. They snuck in a few songs from Use Your Illusion I - "Live & Let Die," "Don't Cry" and the epic "November Rain" featuring Axl's return behind the piano. Mixed in were hits from Use Your Illusion II - "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" and "You Could Be Mine," as well as one track from GN?R Lies - "Patience." They broke out a few new tunes including the previously released track "Oh My God," the new title track to the long awaited album, Chinese Democracy and a song entitled, "The Blues," which kicked some serious ass and was well received by the audience.
Axl's back with a vengeance; and he's taking no prisoners. After an incredibly long break that, he sarcastically yet sincerely said, was necessary to deal with some emotions he had in reference to singing the old band's music. And thank the heaven?s above that he finally got over it, 'cause the world's been missing out on and foaming at the mouth just to hear him again.
He may be with all new players, but trust me, there were times if you just closed your eyes, you felt the same way that you did over a decade ago. Yeah, everyone misses the old line-up and it's gonna be hard to get used to the new, but change isn't always a bad thing. The "new guys" held their own. After all, those are some fuckin' tough shoes to fill! Fans loved every single member of the old GN'R. True. And every single one of them will be missed, but kudos to the new guys for stepping in. And kudos to Axl for finally bringing it back to us. Like the old members, the new all have their own individual identity on the stage. And they're all amazing musicians. You can't condemn them just because they weren't part of the band since the beginning. It's not their fault and they're in the band now. So you either accept it or not. It's your call, but they sounded pretty damn good to me.
The introductions of his new lineup went smoother than expected. The audience greeted them rather warmly (with the occasional cry for Slash), but by the end of the night, the crowd seemed to grow more accepting of the band. It'll take some time getting used to, especially since Guns N' Roses was always known as a "true band," but as Axl said onstage when he introduced bassist Tommy Stinson, he comes from a band whose name is synonymous with what this industry is known for. . .The Replacements. GN'R proved they can still make it work with the "new guys:" Stinson, Brian (Brain) Mantia (former Primus) on drums, Chris Pitman and Dizzy Reed (old gunner) on keyboards, Paul Tobias, Robin Finck (ex-NIN) and Buckethead on guitars. (It would be different if the old band was trying to replace Axl, that would be impossible! No one can be Slash, no one is Slash, or Izzy or Duff or Steven or Matt, but they came pretty damn close. Let's face it, no one can be Axl or even come close.
Axl's a rock star. Plain and simple. He's a frontman like no other with a set of pipes that can easily blow anyone off the stage. He wailed, he inhaled, that "yowser" sweet inhale that only he can do, and he sang with such a passion and force that it sent chills down your spine, to the point where you had to pinch yourself just to make sure you weren't dreaming.
Not only did he sound amazing, he looked amazing. All of those rumors of a balding, bloated Axl can be put to rest (although most of them were dismissed after he surfaced back in June to jam onstage with Gilby Clarke at the Cat Club in Los Angeles). His hair's a bit shorter, but still full flowing and shiny enough to be in a Pantene commercial. He looked comfortable onstage with a pair of black Adidas - like jogging pants with red stripes down either side and a black (and later white) button down shirt with a dragon painted on it. He swayed the "Axl sway" and spun the mic stand around ferociously. His energy level was different though. There was a new found maturity and stealth to his undeniable presence and movements. Not as erratic or as hyped up as he was before, but hell, this was his first show back! (And he still had the audience by the balls the entire time!)
He's still got the attitude and edge we've all grown to love. But that's also different. There were no rants, no raves, no smashing, no bashing, no real threat of not knowing when he was going to fly off the handle. There was a sense of lightheartedness on the stage that made you feel comfortable and at ease. When the piano didn?t work at the beginning of a new song they were about to expose to the crowd, there was moment of tension in the audience. For a minute, you almost expected him to explode and thought that heads would be rolling, but to everyone's surprise (including Axl's), he chose to move onto a different song while the problem was fixed and decided to practice a little "Patience" (the song he picked to play). With a great sense of humor, he mocked his notorious past onstage outbursts and opted against throwing a "tantrum." At one point, Axl even prided himself on the fact that this time around was unusual. He confessed that he actually attended practice, rehearsal, and soundcheck and claimed that was a first in 15 years!
At times, he joked around with the other members, laughing and smiling. He treated his crew with an unprecedented amount of respect that made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Axl and the new GN'R seemed to have a genuinely great time and so did the audience. He connected to each and every one of them gazing at them with the same awe in which we were gazing at him, seeming to enjoy playing the music we've longed for, as much as we enjoyed listening to and watchin' it. It was hard to take your eyes off him.
As he sat on the piano gathering up his "Patience," the room burst into a chant, "Welcome Back...Welcome Back..." It was a time for goosebumps and welled up eyes. The room exploded with love and an invitation for Axl back into our hearts. The smile on his face was absolutely indescribable. He thanked the audience with a genuine amount of pride to be right back where he belongs. He admitted that he was beginning to blush and said, with a shyness that rarely comes out on a stage that he's always in complete control of, "now you're embarrassing me." And then he sang the words to that song that we've all whistled to a thousand times before, "just a little patience...yeah, yeah, some more patience..." It was as if Axl was thanking us for waiting for him to come back. Deep inside, it felt like he was connecting and telling a bit of an autobiography some how, some way. And when he roared his final line to that song, "oooohhhh I need you, ooohh, I need you, this time," you almost felt like screaming back, "we need you too!" The show was an emotionally draining experience that was flabbergasting, breathtaking and exhilarating all at the same time. "It's a feeling that I know, I know I'll never forget."
- A DIE HARD GN'R FAN
Set List: (May not be in exact order)
Welcome To The Jungle
It's So Easy
Live And Let Die
Oh My God
You Could Be Mine
Think About You
Sweet Child O' Mine
Knocking On Heavens Door
The Blues (New Song)
Brain Drum Solo
Buckethead Guitar Solo
Out To Get Me
Chinese Democracy (New Song)
Silk Worms (New Song)
Axl to Grind
-- from Entertainment Weekly - ew.com
Guns N' Roses play their first live show in seven years. EW.com is in Las Vegas as Axl Rose debuts his new band
by Brian M. Raftery
While most New Year's celebrants were busy heralding 2001, a group of revelers at Las Vegas' House of Blues were experiencing a scene straight out of 1987: rock & roll wild man Axl Rose leading Guns N' Roses through a two hour live set to an audience decked out in their finest faded GNR T shirts. The high profile, high cost gig (tickets were $100 and up) -- the first GNR show since 1993 -- comes after years of industry and online gossip portraying Rose as either a reclusive genius or a misfit nutjob. And while Sunday's show -- which featured Rose fronting a new lineup that played four songs from the upcoming ''Chinese Democracy'' album -- didn't answer all the questions, it did clear up a few longstanding GNR lies.
MYTH NO. 1 GNR have been reduced to Axl Rose and a bunch of interchangeable backing musicians.
Granted, the monomonikered members of the past -- Slash, Izzy, and Duff -- have left, but the new band is hardly a bunch of hired guns. In addition to keyboardist Dizzy Reed, who joined the group for its ''Use Your Illusion'' double album, GNR include former Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, Primus drummer Brian ''Brain'' Mantia, experimental guitarist Buckethead, and bassist Tommy Stinson of the Replacements, whom Rose introduced as ''the man who comes from the band with the perfect name for this organization.''
MYTH NO. 2 Thanks to Rose's increased interest in groups like Nine Inch Nails and KMFDM, GNR have developed a techno/ industrial/ whatever sound.
If the four new songs previewed on New Year's are any indication, Rose has indeed expanded his listening interests -- though don't expect to see him dressed all in black and covering avant garde German dance acts anytime soon. While one untitled number did showcase a far more aggressive sound -- combining a throbbing bass line with ferocious industrial age guitar riffs -- the real crowd pleaser was a melodic piano and power chord anthem called ''The Blues,'' which could have been a ''Use Your Illusion'' outtake.
MYTH NO. 3 The new GNR want to avoid playing the old songs.
No f!@#in' way! Though Rose half jokingly described having ''a little bit of an emotional problem working through the old stuff,'' the House of Blues show was practically a greatest hits medley, opening with ''Welcome to the Jungle'' and moving through most of 1987's ''Appetite for Destruction.'' (A few familiar covers -- ''Live and Let Die'' and ''Knockin' on Heaven's Door'' -- and a handful of other cuts from ''Use Your Illusion'' were added for good measure.) Most versions remained faithful to the originals, though a beefed up arrangement of the sparse acoustic ballad ''Patience'' felt bloated.
MYTH NO. 4 In the past few years, Rose has become a bona fide rock & roll eccentric.
We may need a little patience answering this one -- if we ever find out at all. But Rose addressed the talk of Howard Hughes like lunacy by opening the show with a crude cartoon depicting an animated Axl storing his urine in a jar and hanging out with a crew of spiritual advisers. As for his appearance, the trademark bandanna and aviator shades may have been missing, but Rose has kept the long hair and serpent like dance moves intact. It would be hard for him to cruise the Sunset Strip -- or a Van Halen reunion party -- unnoticed.
hi everyone here at the forum,
i just get back from las vegas a few hours ago and quickly came on the internet to check out all the reviews from music sites, and from the people who were actually there.
from what i have read so far, almost every review is accurate and well done, especially the los angeles times one.
my review won't be as detailed or professional as that, because i am very very tired, and still very very shocked. i was able to get all the way to the front/center of the stage, and had my chest up against the baracade (which my body is still feeling the effects of today, very sore and bruised, but oh so worth it). i was able to make eye contact with axl the whole night and if that wasnt enough, axl saw and acknowledged my guns n' roses use your illusion 1 tattoo on my left arm. it was during "rocket queen" and as throughout the night, axl and i made eye contact, and this time i motioned to him to look at my arm. he did and he saw my tat and he gave the famous axl grin/laugh, nodded and gave me the thumbs up sign. he kept the smile at me and he walked backwards still smiling -talked into tommy stinson's ear, and then they both walked up to the front of the stage together where axl pointed me out to tommy, and i showed tommy the tat and he grinned and nodded his head. i then screamed a thank you to axl -which im sure he didnt hear, but i know he knew how much that meant to me.
ok personal stuff aside, i have to say that the vegas show was the most amazing concert i have ever been to , not to mention have ever seen -both live or on video tape. not just because i was front and center and less than 10 feet away from axl the entire night, but because the energy that was coming off axl and the rest of the band was so intense and so real, i just had chills the whole night.
the show started with a cartoon of axl -which was sort of poking fun of his old image, or of what critics and so called fans have come to describe him or want to think of him. then a video started of a bunch of dark creepy images, with a creepy man's voice saying a bunch of cool creepy things/chants, and then the lights went out, and then it began!
robin finck came on stage first -or was the first person i saw anyway. he began to play the intro notes to "welcome to the jungle", in a slow, dark and almost gothed out way. he was then joined by tommy, paul tobias, brain, and then buckethead. each musician slowly began to join in, adn then the song started and then axl came walking on stage, looking amazing!!!! walking confidently and intensely across the stage, holding the mic on the mic stand. i'll never forget the look on his face, especially since i was about less than 10 feet away from him. though he was wearing sunglasses i could see the confidence on his face, and it was as if he was saying "let's get this motherfucker started" and so he did by screaming "you know where the fuck you are????!!!!!!" and the crowd responded intensely. and that's what started off an amazing night.
every song that was played was amazing in my opinion -i cant even put it into words. im gonna use teh word amazing a lot and i know it's annoying but i know of no other way to describe it in words. the band was so tight and so in synch with one another, you would have thought they were playing together for years. robin finck did an incredible job on guitar, as well as buckethead. it was my first time seeing buckethead perform live, and the man was freaky, but so kick ass! and when i say he was freaky, that says a lot -cause im a huge marilyn manson fan -and buckethead freaked me out! i know i dont make sense to a lot of people by saying that -especially when in appearance it probably look as if robin is 100x more freaky than buckethead, but buckethead just looks like a serial killer! i think it's the mask that does it, (michael meyers halloween mask) and also his gestures. for the first few songs he just stood stiff as a board, almost like a robot, with only his fingers moving. he actually looked like a statue on stage,-i seriously found myself staring at him in amazement, wondering if it was a real person playing the guitar. and he meant to do all this, this is his stage antics/presence -which were great in my opinion. robin was fucking great as always -in my opinion one of the best live guitar plaYers out there today, not just musically but the way he performs in front of a crowd. he truely plays guitar like it is an extension of himself -it's as if the guitar is his third arm. he just gets so into it and is so intense, that it really is beautiful to watch.
i was really impressed with tommy stinson -not that i expected any less than a great preformace by him -the guy is a legendary bassist to many people. but he was kick ass -and dont get me wrong -i love duff -but watching tommy that night - i almost wished that he had been in the band in the early 90's for the illusion tours. like i said, i love duff and duff is a great bassist and is just brilliant, but tommy really won me over.
paul tobias was kick ass on rhythm -though i thought he got lost in the shuffle with the two lead guitarists, but he did a great job on every song, especially on november rain -where him and robin finck were really feeding off each other. brain was very impressive as the new drummer. he was truely a mixture between adler and sorum -able to play the really fast songs and give them that punk/hard rock sound that the appetite songs had, but also make the quick change to the heavy drum fills and beats that are needed on the songs from the illusion albums, but at the same time putting his own spin on it. especially at the end of november rain -he kept the same style of drumming as in the original song, but added a new sound and type of version to it. im sorry if that doesnt make sense-it's hard to explain in words -but as every musician did that night -they all interpetted the songs in their own way -and that made every song sound fresh and new and so kick ass -without taking away from the way it originally sounded. axl even made a comment after november rain saying "now that was some kick ass brain drumming" or something to that regard. as for the new songs, they sound AWESOME. "chinese democracy" sounds great, and axl gave an emotional 5 minute speech before they played the song, where he commented on what is going on in china, and the movie kundun, and how lucky we are to live in a free country. a lot of it i couldnt hear cause there were a lot of assholes in the crowd who were yelling retarded things at him during this. another new song that i loved was "the blues" -which leads me to dizzy reed. dizzy was fuckin kick ass. he got very very skinny -i mean the guy was never fat, but just a little chunky, but now is very skinny and has a goatee, but enough about his physical apperance -his piano and keyboarding playing was awesome the whole night -especially on "the blues". it starts off very november rainish and then gets heavy, then slows down again then back to hard again. very very kick ass song. also on a side note, before the band kicked into this song, axl told the crowd they were gonna play something new and i saw the piano come out, so i screamed out "this i love!??!!?" and axl turned and laughed, and then said "nah this is called 'the blues"
there were two other new songs which were not introduced so i dont know the titles, but so far all the reviews i have read have called one of them "silkworm(s)?" -it was very hard and very electronic influenced, as was the other new song that was played during the encore.
all i can say about this show is that i was truely blown away by it. it was everything i had hoped for and it was a very emotional night for me, being such a die hard fan and having been through everything with this band and with axl. seeing axl take the stage that night was something i'll never forget. i was so happy for him -he was so triumphant. i am so proud of him and what he has done with his career and all the hard work he has done to keep guns n' roses alive. and i am so glad he got such a great reception from the crowd-especially when we started chanting "welcome back" -i was right there and i could literally see in the man's throat when he sang -no shit-that's how close i was -so when everyone started chanting "welcome back" -i could see the reaction in his eyes-and it was one of great emotion -and that meant a lot to him. he has changed also -and i think for the better. i dont mean he was a bad person years ago -in fact i thought he was and still is a great person - even during the early 90's when everyone wanted to hate him for what he was doing on and off the stage. what i mean is that i think he has changed both physically and mentally. he has matured -if that is the right word. he seems to have a new attitude and a new way of carrying himself. i wouldnt say he is completely happy with everything in his life -professional and/or personal -but i just got a feeling seeing him live that night, that he has reached a certain point emotionally that he talked about in interviews -especially the rolling stone interview from 1992. he seems to have his life in order, and has really reached a point where he is in control of things and situations that have hurt him in the past.
ok i am going to end my little "review" now -sorry if i just repeated what everyone has said already, or if it makes no sense, it really is hard to explain into words- cause you just had to be there to truely understand what a magical night it was. and i need some sleep -5 hour flight from vegas to new york took a lot out of me-especially since i havent slept more than an hour for 3 days! oh also on a side note, i was talking to a lot of people before the band hit the stage -including robert john, gene kirkland, and one of the cameramen filming the show.
the show was filmed professionally by about 5 cameramen throughout the club -and according to one of the cameramen -tracy- who was really cool- told me it was going to be broadcast in japan and overseas. when i asked him if it would be released here in the states he said he doubted it. so the good news is the show was taped professionally, the bad news is it will only be shown probably overseas, but hey that's what ebay is for right? hopefully in a few weeks it will air there, and then we can all get a copy of the show. i especially want it not only because it was the best concert ever in my fuckin life -but because it was so personal and emotional for me. after axl gave me the smile and nod at my tat- and then brought tommy over to show it to him, the cameraman tracy got a shot of it -a real close up of it -and then slapped me five! then after the show he said "yo man axl dug your tattoo man -congratulations". also gene kirkland got me one of brain's drum sticks that he was throwing into the crowd. it was just an amazing night for me-everything was just perfect, and i am not ashamed to say this -i was so emotional that i cried during the concert -i believe it was after rocket queen -after axl pointed me out in the crowd to tommy and showed him my tat- i just couldnt believe i was there experiencing this magical performance. i am so happy for axl and for guns n' roses and for all the fans who have stuck with him through all the shit over the years -you know who you are. his return was a triumph, and i know it is just the beginning of what is to come in 2001. ah i cant wait for rock in rio! only 11 more days!
sorry this post is so long! oh and i met a lot of cool people at the concert, but i forgot a lot of names, but remember faces, and im not sure if i met anyone who posts on here but i could be wrong.
Derek's Review: [Metal Sludge trip winner]
I have never been more physically and emotionally drained in all of my life. Let me start at the front. I arrived at the House of Blues at 6pm, knowing full well doors did not open until 1am. There was already a line forming to get in the doors, so I took my place and was ready to wait.
The Goo Goo Dolls went on at 10 pm before Guns, and to say that we were all making fun of these people would be an understatement, half of the people that went to that show got free tickets for gambling at Mandalay Bay and the other half who the hell knows? As the hours passed, and as we waited for the GOO GOO Dolls to get off the stage, we had fun by watching hundreds of fans pour out of the GOO GOO Dolls show only 30 minutes in to it, I guess they Played "Slide" and "Iris" at the start. At 1:30 am and after 7 hours plus waiting in line we got in the venue. HOB has a nice set up and the roadies were hard at work setting up the stage. It had lots of lights and TV monitors stacked on top of each other at around the stage. Very Nice and pretty extensive for such a small stage. They also Had T-shirts, 1 had GNR in the corner of the front, and on the Back had all the names of the Bandmates. The 2nd on had GNR at the top with a soldier tying a headband and on the back had "The Chinese Democracy starts now" the irony in that is huge.
I knew Axl liked to be late but I still figured he would hit the stage by 2:30am, well I was close, after 2 more hours of standing on My feet listening to Rap music while the stage was set up. At 3:30 am. A cartoon began It was A cartoon Axl on a Bed with a girl asking for a Bed Pan and talking about "Cleanliness is next to well...you know, Enjoy the show show" Then the other Band members hit the stage. I thought I was at the wrong show? For those who have never seen Buckethead, you are in for a treat. He was wearing mask, almost Michael Myersish, with the KFC Bucket on his head and the COL. statue behind him. The others had a kind of trendy " Look we are in a rock Band" look. They Kicked Right in to " Welcome To the Jungle" Axl walks on Stage and does the intro, I honestly was expecting some sign of Age and wear on his voice from 7 to 8 years of smoking and sitting on his ass only doing Kickboxing. Plus after listening to Live Era CD, which he sounded like shit. Axl sounded tight, Hitting all the notes and doing the classic Axl Rose Stage moves, He looked like he was in very good physical shape, clean shaven and wearing sunglasses. Lots of flashing lights and showing pictures of what we saw in the "Jungle" Live video. They went in to "It so Easy" and "Mr. Brownstone" after that he took off the glasses and smiled at the audience and did an intro for Live and Let Die".
The rest of the set list was to be expected and not in the order "Sweet Child O Mine", "Oh My God" a very Mellow which he said it is a "new version for the 2001 era " with out all the "Hey HEy HEy's" "Knockin on Heavens door", Rocket Queen", "November Rain","Patience" "You Could Be Mine", "Night Train" "Paradise City" as the ending of the show I know I missed maybe one or two songs. They played 3 new songs off the New album, that Axl Said "Well hopefully get done" and then he laughed, The titles were "Chinese Democracy", "Blues" and I did not catch the name of the 3rd. But let me say that it was as close to to Classic GNR sound as you could get with out Slash, DUff, and the rest of the boys. He smiled laughed and made a lot of jokes. He said "I had tough time with some off these songs emotionally" . Some other things that jumped out that he said " I have been taking a nap for 7 years."
When he was introducing the Band he said "and this Guitarist comes from The band The Replacements, a pretty good name for this Band" Probably the best event was when Axl was visibly moved when the crowd chanted "Welcome Back" He was sitting down and leaned back and smiled and Said "Thank You, you are making me blush" He also said he made Warm Ups, set list, and Sound check for the first time in 15 years, and he hoped that he would not jinx the concert because of it. The show came to an end at 5:30 am and after waiting for a cab and Sitting on a casino floor or standing for 12 hours I made it back to the room. I hope all the Sludgaholics enjoy this. I will say this, GNR, if AXL don't fuck it up, The new album will put them back at the front of the pack. It will be huge.
Nelly's Review: [Metal Sludge trip winner]
Guns n' Roses or AXL's Project?
The show of the year (of course, it was the first fucking show of the year, literally!!):…Axl's return from a deep coma that lasted 8 years…!!! (sounds like a fuckin' soap opera…doesn't it?). He woke his ass up right in Las Vegas at 3:30 am.
THE WAIT: New Year's Eve…standing in line, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel…waiting to get in… Some people were in line since 6 pm so they could be right there in front…My husband and I were there at 10:30pm and already we had 100 people ahead of us…Damn it!!…The doors opened at 1:45am…because the Goo Goo fuckers didn't finish their show until 12am or so… Interesting thing: many people got their tickets at E-bay….almost everybody around us…that was fuckin' crazy!….and of course, no cameras were allowed because Mr. Star…would walk out if he saw a camera (the usual Axl shit!!!). Well people who were caught taking pictures were escorted out!!! Or literally picked up by their ass and lifted out of the fuckin' show…Well, I said, "fuck it, if he doesn't want pictures taken, fuck him"!, and didn't take any, even though we had the camera on us….Didn't want to risk it!!!!!
ONCE INSIDE. Well, once inside, I was happy I was close to the stage. But imagine this, I'm a woman, and I'm fuckin short (this is when I hate being both…need to become one of those body builders and beat everybody's ass)….so we waited for the fucker until 3:30 am…Everybody at this point was fuckin' drunk and getting irritated by the minute… We would scream "GUNS N' ROSES…" "GUNS N ROSES…" "WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?"…He comes out; everybody goes nuts…and all 400 people want to be in front…AVALANCHE!!! Mother fuckers…!!! Good thing I was wearing snickers and old jeans…Imagine poor little me…I was like a kite, man…flying all over…Started out with Welcome to the Jungle…I didn't last the whole song…Couldn't handle it…since I was small and short…and everybody around me were like skyscrapers…I said: fuck this shit and went to a safer place…I'm still pissed at myself for not taking it!!!
THE SHOW. The Old Stuff. They sounded great, and if you turned your back to them, you would think that the original members were playing, (but it ain't the same as the originals!!!), but if you turn around and face them…you would freak out…The sound was exactly the same, but the stage was full of fuckin' weirdos.
The new stuff was nothing like the old GNR, that's why I think he should call it something else…It's definetely AXL'S BAND. The new stuff is way too industrial for my taste. Although one song, a ballad, "The Blues", is closer to the old stuff than the others. The other shit is a bunch of noise, his lyrics (who knows what the fuck he's saying???) have no choruses…
His voice is better than ever, one good point for the mother fucker.
The Members. Three guitar players with 3 different looks: …
1) Buckethead, who was wearing a white mask, totally expressionless, during the whole show, a KFC bucket and a yellow raincoat, (how weird is that????) ..who made the weirdest movements when he played guitar (robotic shit, imagine Slash doing that, fuck, it was weird!!!) and when he didn't play he stayed motionless as some fucking statue. But you know what??? as freaky as it was, it was interesting to watch…since nobody knew what to expect…It calls ATTENTION. In the middle of the show, the lights go off…and this character shows up while a video of himself is playing, stands in the middle of the stage and shows off his martial arts shit with a Chinese nunchuckas and when he's done, he just throws it at the crowd (probably hitting some poor mother fucker on the head) (Is this the Circus????????????). This Buckethead dude was some kind of character.
2) Robin Finck, weird ass mother fucker, painted white face (KISS???), dressed in some Star Trek outfit…walked around the stage as he had a problem in his ass…shaking his legs weirdly…to the rhythm of the music, though. I was stunned to see all of this, because I WAS (and am, and will be) a fuckin' loyal fan of the old line-up, and at the time I saw these characters, I couldn't accept these bunch of weirdos…I'm getting used to them by now…BUT IT SHOCKED MY ASS…Even Axl's outfits shocked me. He's so much into that Chinese Democracy crap, that he lives and breathes that shit. The outfits:….Chinese print black shirt with some red dragons…black addidas pants with red stripes on the sides of the legs…snickers, black and white, sunglasses which he took off later.
3) Paul Tobias, a long time friend of Axl's, dressed normally, nothing unusual, leather pants and some shirt or t-shirt , a Jon Bon Jovi look. The drummer, the bass player, the keyboardists…well who got time to pay attention to them when you have the other weirdos moving around, even if the new keyboardist, Chris Pittman was wearing an old military uniform???
Welcome to the Jungle
Think About You
Out Ta Get Me
Oh My God
It's So Easy
Sweet Child O' Mine
Live and Let Die
Knockin' On Heaven's Door
The Blues (new song)
Chinese Democracy (new song)
(Buckethead performance art and guitar solo)
Untitled (new song)
You Could Be Mine
Silk Worms (new song)
*the setlist may have been in a different order...(can't remember every fuckin' detail!)
OVERALL. Good show. I have mixed emotions. I certainly missed the old GNR, I felt that those were the good old days, and those days are gone forever. I had hopes before this show that they will have a reunion (NOT!!!!). The new GNR (the GNR logo: nowhere to be found) is so different that they should be called something else…The weirdos, the freaks, the SpaceCadets 2001, who the fuck knows?…but should not be called GNR. If Axl wants to do this new shit, so BE IT!!! Will die hard fans accept this shit? Who the fuck nows? Will he get new fans? Who the fuck knows? We have to wait and see when he tours with the new album when it comes out in June 2001 (if it comes out!!!).