Okey, so I'm finally home from Gdańsk.
First, I wanna say that after all the initial excitement I felt a bit dissapointed with the reunion tour having watched the you tube videos and before the show I was even regretting I didn't sell the ticket and go on some longer vacation instead or whatever. Well, what a mistake!
Starting from the beginning - I personally found the organization of the show quite horrible First, we took a taxi to drive us to the stadium. And although I kept telling the driver we needed gate 5, he was old and deaf, unfortunately, so he didn't hear me and drove us to the other side of the stadium, where the traffic was smaller. Well... It occurred that they won't let you into the fenced area around the stadium through any other gate than on your ticket so you have to walk around the entire block of streets to find the right gate. I think it was farther than if I had walked from the hotel - lol. Anyway, it took forever to get there, the people working at the show barely knew any whereabouts, fortunately the police were relatively well-informed and after what seemed an eternity we were at gate 5 which, unfortunately was already closed, cause in the mean time the early entrance people got inside. So we started looking all over again for gate 8. Making a long story short, we finally managed to get in, got the GCEE wristbands and walked inside.
Support bands. Jesus Almighty - they were just horrible. Doda I won't even talk about, I have no idea who let her in there - probably Slash fancied her boobs or something. This bitch is more than emabarassing. Fortunately, she stayed really short. I was hoping for Killing Joke to be a bit better but no... It was awful. The guy was screaming like a madman about the beauty of life, trees, forests and rivers and I was covering my ears thinking where the fuck am I - is this some goddamned environmental conference or a rock show? Then he started appologizing for Brexit and screaming about the beauty of the European Union, at which point I seriously wanted to die. The bad thing is this was much longer than Virgin and it was a true exercise in patience, especially that the sound for the support bands was quite bad. I actually was pushing pieces of a hankerchief into my ears, since I had no earplugs. What seemed quite extraordinary to me is that both bands had almost the entire space of the stage for themselves (except the back with the drumset and shit) and none of them moved their fat assess to either side or whatever. They just stood there in the middle, waving their naked, gelly assess or thumping their feet, respectively. Pathethic. You're opening for Guns N Roses and you don't even bother to take a few walks, let alone run around.
Luckily, it did end, to my greatest relief. Some more waiting (the waiting was much better than the support acts) and THEY came on! It was like magic. Suddenly the stage was full, Axl ran around like crazy, so did Slash and Duff, the sound was amazing, Axl sounded great and within minutes I realized how stupid I was considering the selling of the ticket and that I'd rather sell a kidney to be here.
I was in a good spot, at the very right side of the stage, at the rail, right in front of the right end-of-stage barrier so that I had them really close while they came there and still saw them very well at the "cat walk" at the center. I was positively surprised with the quality of Axl's voice. After all the discussions in the forum I really tried to hear the horrible Mickey sounds but I couldn't, cause they just weren't there. He didn't rasp all the time but in real life his clean voice is not as clean as on the recordings and it is strong, melodic and really good. I didn't make any recordings but my friend did. And what I can tell you is that all these sounded really good on the phone and still do. But as soon as I uploaded those files on the computer, the processing somehow smoothed them and flattened them out and took a lot of edginess from Axl's voice and Slash's guitar. And while with the guitar it is not tragic - though I like the raw sound much better than the smooth, velvet one, it harmed Axl's voice mercilessly. Taking away that sharpness and rawness and some little raspy finish from it, it changed the voice so that it sounds flat and Mickish. I can imagine many of you won't belive me but if so, you're heartily invited, the flights are cheap these days, you can come to me and I will personally show you the difference.
Axl. Axl was great. He was extremely energetic, runnng like crazy, smiling, looking at us all excited and behaving like idiots and mimicking our gestures and laughing. I realized that some of the strange faces he makes and some of the stupid gestures is just him mimicking the excited and crazy fans, which is funny. And he does it in a friendly and pleasant way, so it's really fine. He pays attention to particular people, they all do. They react, try to understand what we scream, try to answer and this is so great. Most other bands play for the audience as some undistinguishable mass, these guys play for the particular individuals. Axl doesn't talk shit about the beauty of the forests but reacts to what is happening there and responds. Duff does the same, he actually talks to people. It creates an amazing feeling of being with them as people, not just some unreachable stars that come, do their thing, bow and leave. It's more like being personally invited to their party and it makes this so special. The atmosphere is really amazing.
Coming back to Axl though - he seems very much at ease, very happy and really pumped up with this and just in the right place. I was at the show in 2006 and to me he's like a different man. He is finally the Axl I know instead of a guy who's not sure for the most part of what the hell is he doing on that stage. As for him and Slash. He looks at Slash a lot. Very often he stares at him when Slash is soloing, keeps smiling and you can see he is really enchanted with what he is hearing and just happy to have him there. I also saw him smiling wide or saying some few words here or there while running past him, passing him or whatever. There were quite a few moments when he approched Slash, embraced him, leaned on him etc. The feeling between them seems really warm, easy and fine. There was no tension there watsoever, to the contrary, there was a lot of friendliness and warmth. One of my favourite moments were when they stood next to each other - all three of them - during the slow fragment of Coma. I always liked this even on video but live it's even far more impressive.
Slash. Slash is very focused. He is concentrated on the guitar, hidden behind those glasses, so you can't tell whether he's looking at you or not, I guess he really is shy, most of all, though, he is so focused, he is in his own world for most of the time and only once in a while he sort of comes back, smiles and you can see hes back in your world and happy. But he's so concentrated it happens rarely, sometimes Axl just pulls him back to earth, lol. This is no boredom though, has nothing to do with boredom. One needs to be an idiot to consider this boredom, the guy is just focused beyong belief and he's making those sounds that make you have the greatest musical high or orgasm or whatever you call it but it is totally unequalled experience, God I want to hear this again. Duff, on the other hand, he waks in his characteristic way and looks at the audience, makes worried face expressions when he sees too much moshing and pushing, shakes his head with concern, or he talks to people, answers their questions, tries to hear what they say or encourages them to be more active, depending on the situation - he's such a serious, responsible, warm father figure these days or so he seemed to me. Slash was more like naughty child a little too engaged in his toys but, other than that, very happy while Axl was this crazy, running, happy kid, going nuts and enjoying himself to the fullest.
The rest of the band I barelly noticed, Richard came to the right of the stage only once, I believe, and what I noticed mostly, was that he's very small somehow. Melissa bounces like an idiot but I only looked at her for half a minute altogether probably. Dizzy I didn't even notice, lol, but he played nice, I have to admit.
As for the songs. CD songs, at least in Gdańsk, were no buzz killer at all. They were well received, well cheered and nobody was going for any piss. Also, they sounded much better and more interesting live than on the video. Chinese was a real energy booster, the intro to Better is absolutely great, TIL was probably the weakest, this one I enjoyed more on some of the past videos. Coma was a song I almost died at, since I love it so much and it sounded just godly. Axl live did it really amazingly well, the guitars were an orgy, the mood, the atmosphere - I have no words to describe it. I was in heaven. Generally hearing the real sound of the guitar on songs like Coma, Estranged or NR is just... no words to describe it, sorry.
All the songs to me sound much better live than on the album, so I was totally amazed. I loved the covers - BHS was amazing, I totally loved Layla and Wish You Were Here, also I didn't mind the seeker at all.
All in all it was paradise. I finally even managed to get Axl wave back at me, lol. It was the best of the best evenings of my life and couldn't compare to anything I saw before. Just a different league. I could still write a million things but I guess I have to finish somewhere. If anyone ever reads through this shitloads of text, thank you for your endurance and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask!
Oh, and coming back to the organization - well, after the show we walked another few kilometers to find the nearest gas station where we spent two hours in our thousands trying to reach any taxis by phone which was almost impossible cause there were like 10 thousand too few of them. I finally made it back to the hotel which was 3 km away (had I only known in which direction, I would have walked) well past 2 am, though the show finished at midnight. But that was some good laugh as well, just to look at those freaked out faces of the gas station employees, lol.