18 June 2006

guns n roses touring again

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guns n roses was simply the greatest rock and roll band that ever existed. they had the perfect frontman in axel rose. slash and duff mckagen played their parts well too. original drummer steven adler was awesome and so was izzy stradlin. the best part was that we got to live those years too. sometime in the summer of '87 appetite for destruction was released. this was the same summer that "here i go again" by whitesnake was popular and we were lucky enough to have seen whitesnake earlier in that july when they opened for motley crue at shreveport's {or sleezeport as vince neil referred to it that night,} hirsch memorial coliseum. this was the tour (girls! girls! girls!) that tommy lee and his drum kit cage was mounted on a boom and during the concert in his drum solo part they lifted him out over the audience he even played upside down and spinning head over heel and side to side. 1987. phew what a summer.

fast forward to saturday 28 august 1992. in the spring of '92 it was announced that gnr and metallica would tour together. later it was confirmed they would play in louisiana, at new orleans, in the superdome of all places! the second tickets went on sale we were standing by the telephone with credit card in hand (this was before the internet before when you had to call a 1800 number) we ordered our tickets which [the seats] were in a riser which was really screwed up especially later when friends deciding to go at the last second got some tickets the day before the concert and they were on the floor! like in the 7th row!

hurricane andrew had just roared through about that thursday and as our little caravan rolled down to new orleans we noticed between baton rouge and nola many trees snapped in half and things blown around by the hurricane. there had been some fear that the concert might be cancelled but during the show axel mentioned as his lead in to welcome to the jungle that flying in they had witnessed "mr andrew" trail of destruction. so we got to new orleans and found a radio station and for that weekend it was playing nothing but back to back guns n roses and metallica.

we checked into the hotel and made it over to the superdome we got inside and was going up to find our seat the superdome is awesome, it was our first time there and we couldnt resist to go out between levels and take a peek at what is the new orleans saints field we see all the time converted to a concert venue. talk about country come to town lmao.

as you probably guessed the concert was reserved seating so it was no way we could have hot seated anyway. besides the fact there were guides everywhere to "assist" us in making sure we went where we where supposed to. we finally made it up to our seats and got settled in. turned out our seats werent that bad anyway. the stage was set up and faith no more opened the show and played for a little while. faith no more was this one hit wonder band from back then and we would have preferred to have seen ice-t who was opening some of the shows. they finished and metallica came out. they were great and this was a few weeks after the 08 august accident in toronto when a pyrotechnics accident burnt jim hetfields arm he still had it wrapped in a bandage. lars ulrich got to put in his two cents and did a drum solo.

after metallica played it took what seemed like an hour or more to change the stages around. the house lights were up and someone from the show started walking around with a hand held camera showing audience members on the big screens. eventually people started calling for the girls to "show us something" lol and a few did too. then the lights went down the show started with the playing of an intro of aerosmith's "sweet emotion" at the end of the second sweet emotion a spotlight came on and there was axel standing at the edge of the stage in all his glory. he immediately started with live and let die. whenever he would sing "die" there would be flames and explosions lol it was way cool. its always gnr's custom to sing bit of a cover of some other song for the intro to sweet child o' mine. in one concert they did "one" by u2 "you say love is a temple love a higher law love is a temple love a higher law you ask me to enter and then you make me crawl and i cant be holding on to what you got when all you got is..." at new orleans axel sang "you're all i ever needed baby you're the one." by elton john before crashing in to sweet child o' mine.

at november rain there was the sound of a hog revving up then up through the stage came axel and his grand piano. axels piano seat was the harley motorcycle lol.

it was a great show and they finished up with paradise city they might not have done an encore because everyone was wore out by then lol it was past midnight and the crowd was making their way down to bourbon street. we had a great night out listened to some jazz taking in ancient bourbon street talking and listening to others about the concert. someone even said that they saw slash and axel get out of a limo and go into some club. we couldnt find them though lol.
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Written by The Rock Radio staff, June 2006 © The Rock Radio

"It's good to see you. It's good to be back at the legendary Hammersmith" said Axl Rose after the new incarnation of Guns N' Roses stormed to the stage performing Welcome to the Jungle and It's So Easy. "No sleep til Hammersmith. Let's stay up all night" he added and he sure meant every word of it.

In true rock n' roll style the band turned up very late and by the time the set had finished at 12:58am, all London underground trains had stopped running. Inevitably, almost all of the 5,000 fans who packed the auditorium had to either sleep in Hammersmith, walk all the way home or wait for hours and commute using several night buses to get home. Special guest in the audience Queen guitarist Brian May had no such a problem as he arrived and left in his chauffer driven limo.

It was October 18th, 1987 when a relatively unknown hard rock band from America blew Londoners away during the Appetite For Destruction Tour in Hammersmith. In the 19 years that followed, they released 2 more classic albums, became the biggest band on the planet and then vanished from the face of this earth following the departure of most of the original members.

Few had great expectations on Wednesday, June 7, 2006, although the majority happily splashed 100 British pounds on eBay (about 180US or 180EUR) to get a ticket for what was a pre-Donnington warm-up gig. Slash was missing, Izzy was missing, Duff and Matt were missing; and so was good-old Steven Adler.

But when Guns N' Roses eventually showed up at 10:41pm local time, they were phenomenally good for three reasons. Firstly, because Axl's voice was as good - if not better - as it used to be 20 years ago. Secondly, they played a killer setlist that included most of the hits - exactly what fans wanted to listen to. And, thirdly, the musical interaction between the GNR members was very good. Shame about the uninspired guitar solos that served no purpose other than force fans to rush for more beer.

All in all the gig was very enjoyable. But make no mistake. GNR without Slash is like a World Cup football tournament without Brazil.

- The version of Knockin' On Heaven's Door which was masterfully executed and stood out from all the other songs.
- Dizzy Reed's exquisite piano solo
- Sebastian Bach of Skid Row fame joining vocals with Axl for My Michelle
- The naked flames during Live And Let Die and the rocket pyrotechnics during Nightrain


Welcome To The Jungle
It's So Easy
Mr Brownstone
Live And Let Die
Sweet Child O' Mine
You Could Be Mine
Knockin' On Heaven's Door
The Blues
Outta Get Me
November Rain
My Michelle
Paradise City