As an early Christmas present to myself, I bought tickets to the GnR concert in Seattle last Friday, December 16th. I have to admit, I had pretty low expectations. I mean, really, it has been over 20 years since Use Your Illusion 1&2 was released.
Besides the time lag, none of the original band members (except Axl) are even in the band anymore. They haven't played together since the early 90s. Combine that with all the rumors of Alx spend millions in the studio and never releasing "Chinese Democracy" for over 10 years - and you set your bar pretty low. But come on! Its Guns N' Roses! I never got to see them back in the day. Even though the LP (that would be the debut "Appetite for Destruction") was released in July of 1987, my first listen to this album wasn't until winter break from college in December of 87. My buddy from high school, Ed Fox, was still working at our old record store, Sound-A-Rama.
Every brake from college, I would go home and help out in the stores (we had 3 of them) as the Christmas season was always packed with shoppers (ah, the good old days!). Anyway, while at the store I used to work at in Chester, Ed said."dude, these guys rock!" and threw on side 1, song 1 from Appetite: "Welcome to the Jungle".... What else had to be said, I was hooked!
Back to the show. Well, the first hint at a great night was the opening act. A bank called Loaded. In case you don't know who Loaded is, it is the new band from ex-GnR bassist Duff McKagen! Yes, Duff was going to open for Axl! This was going to be great!
In addition, the week before, the Rock & Roll Museum had just announced that GnR had been inducted for 2012, so the timing was great! Axl had to be still jazzed, right?
The anser is YES! The show was awesome! Axl played for over 3 hours, Duff played with the new GnR band on a song, Axl let the new band solo and show their chops (they really are excellent musicians and performers!), they worked in some classic Pink Floyd, The Stones, Elton John, Frank Sinatra and Baba O'Riley!
There were pyrotechnics!
But, best of all, Alx was totally into it! He sounded great, he had tons of energy and he was really gracious with the croud, the band and Duff! Congrats Axl. You made me proud.