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GNR Brings 'Chinese Democracy' To North America With Marathon Winnipeg Gig


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DATE: Jan. 14, 2010

SOURCE: Rollingstone.com

Guns n’ Roses Bring “Chinese Democracy” to North America With Marathon Winnipeg Gig

1/14/10, 9:34 am EST

Sometimes with Axl Rose, all you need is just a little patience. Other times, you need a little more than a little. Guns n’ Roses’ Wednesday night concert in Winnipeg, Canada — their first North American date (and fifth show overall) since the release of Chinese Democracy in 2008 — was, thankfully, a case of the former.

After making the world wait nearly a generation for his sixth studio album, and then keeping fans on hold for more than a year for a tour, Rose wasted little time getting down to business in the Great White North. The frontman and his septet took the stage shortly after 10:40 p.m. — practically a matinee for the notorious Rose. And once they got down to business, they certainly made up for any lost time, treating 7,500 fans at the city’s MTS Centre to a high-energy three-hour marathon of new material and classic G n’ R hits.

Following the basic template laid out on the band’s Asian dates in December, they kicked open the doors with the title cut from Chinese Democracy, followed by the one-two-three punch of “Welcome to the Jungle,” “It’s So Easy” and “Mr. Brownstone” from 1987’s Appetite for Destruction. From the moment Rose opened his mouth to scream, “You know where you are? You’re in the jungle, baybeeee!” it was clear his corroded air-raid siren of a voice had lost little of its range, rage or power. Likewise, the rest of the band — guitarists Richard Fortus, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and DJ Ashba, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman, drummer Frank Ferrer and bassist Tommy Stinson (formerly of The Replacements) — hit the ground running, tearing through most of Appetite and Democracy, with a few cuts from the 1991 Use Your Illusion albums (including covers of “Live and Let Die” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”) sprinkled in for good measure.

Although he appeared to be in good spirits, between songs Rose kept fairly quiet, offering little beyond the usual thank-yous and how-is-everybody banter. In fact, for a guy who wields such a commanding musical presence, he spent much of the evening shining the spotlight on his bandmates, bolting from the stage during every instrumental break and introducing nearly every player for a solo segment (best of the bunch: Stinson’s suitably snotty bash ’n’ pop version of the Who’s “My Generation”). Rose also posted a backstage photo on his Twitter, and wrote, “Excited 2 get this rolling. In r off time we’ll b helping Mounties flush out Al Qaeda. (What’s that aboot, Eh? jk)” in one of his first three tweets since the new year began.

The gigantic three-runway black stage and high-tech production — which included all the requisite video screens, moving light trusses, pyro, percussion bombs and confetti cannons — also commanded plenty of attention. But not enough to overshadow Rose’s and co.’s triumphant return to North America. Now, you just have to wait for them to make it to the States. All you need is just a little … well, you know.

Set List:

“Chinese Democracy”

“Welcome to the Jungle”

“It’s So Easy”

“Mr. Brownstone”

“Shackler’s Revenge”

Richard Fortus Spotlight

“Live and Let Die”


“If the World”

Dizzy Reed Solo

“Street of Dreams”


“You Could Be Mine”

DJ Ashba Spotlight

“Sweet Child o’ Mine”


Axl Rose Piano Solo

“November Rain”


“O Canada” / “Pink Panther” (Bumblefoot Spotlight)

“Out Ta Get Me”

“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”




“This I Love”

Frank Ferrer Drum Solo

“Rocket Queen”

“My Generation” (Tommy Stinson Spotlight)


“Paradise City”


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DATE: Jan. 14, 2010


Guns N' Roses Kick Off 'Chinese Democracy' Tour

It Happened Last Night

By Rob Williams on January 14, 2010

It took Axl Rose 17 years to finish Chinese Democracy, so to only have to wait a year or so to hear it live is a relatively brief delay in the world of Guns N' Roses.

And it's not like he and his current version of the band haven't been touring. Since 2001 they've hit the road for four legs of the Chinese Democracy Tour, supporting an album that didn't really exist, with the exception of the few tracks that leaked online over the years.

Wednesday night, the band kicked off the Canadian leg of their 2010 tour at Winnipeg's MTS Centre with a full-out rock'n'roll spectacle that requires 15 semis of equipment and eight buses for the band and crew. There are explosions and confetti, along with seven video screens and a massive mobile lighting rig.

The show itself featured more than 25 songs, covering most of the new album and almost all of the band's greatest hits over the course of two-hours and 50 minutes.

At 10:45 PM, a series of fireworks shot into the air to signal the beginning of the Gunners set before the opening chords of "Chinese Democracy" kicked in and Rose ran on stage zigzagging his way through his seven-piece band. He was in constant motion throughout the song, dressed in jeans, a white shirt and fedora, which he later removed in favor of his characteristic bandana.

More explosions marked the end of the opening number before the familiar riff to "Welcome to the Jungle" rang out and a huge roar erupted from the crowd of 7,500 as Rose screeched: "Do you know where you are? You're in the jungle, baby. You're gonna diiiiiieeee."

His distinctive nasally whine is still in fine form, as he displayed on the swaggering "It's So Easy" and the drug ode, "Mr. Brownstone," two classics from the band's 1987 debut, Appetite for Destruction.

At 47, Rose looked and sounded as good as ever, relying on TelePrompters to help out in case he forgot some lyrics. He even appeared to be enjoying himself, flashing the occasional smile and offering up some between-song banter with the crowd:

"It's nice to be with you tonight. It's nice of you to turn up the heat for us while we're here," he said, referencing the freakishly warm weather the city has been experiencing, before launching into the new "Shackler's Revenge," which gave his three guitarists --- Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, Richard Fortus and DJ Ashba--- a chance to show off some riffs ex-guitarist Slash didn't write and allowed Rose to head backstage, something he did often throughout the night.

Massive flames shot in the air and concussion bombs exploded for the band's wall-of-guitars cover of "Live and Let Die," before they slowed things down with "Sorry," "If the World," and "Street of Dreams," three new songs that show off Rose's two best-known emotions: ticked off and tender

Then out came some more old faves, including "You Could Be Mine," "Sweet Child O' Mine," and "November Rain," featuring Rose playing a grand piano at centre stage. Each song was given extra heft by the seven musicians on stage, each of whom got his own solo.

The paranoid bluster of "Out Ta Get Me," a cover of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," and the metal-blues drinking anthem "Night Train" finished the main 130-minute set before the band returned for a six-song encore, highlighted by "Rocket Queen," "Patience" and customary show closer "Paradise City."

Then came more confetti, and explosions, and a last bit of the genial Axl: "Have a good night, be safe. We love you and we'll see you again." Okay, but next time, don't wait so long.


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