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Worcester Telegram 11/25/11 Review


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Just read over this review, perhaps the best of the tour so far? Great stuff


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• SLIDESHOW: Guns N' Roses at the DCU Center

WORCESTER — What does Guns N' Roses and Black Friday have in common?

In both cases, all you need is just a little patience.

Last night, in front of an estimated 7,000 people at the DCU Center, Axl Rose proved he still has an appetite for destruction but, thankfully, he seems to have quelled his hunger for self-destruction — at least for now.

In his nearly 25 years in the limelight, Rose has embodied (often simultaneously) the best and the worst of rock stardom. Last night, the 49-year-old embodied only the best. True, he was still tardy on stage, but fashionably late (10:20 p.m.), rather than testing-the-audience's-patience late (rumored starting times of 11:30 p.m. to midnight have been commonplace on the tour).

And Rose — the last standing member of the original Guns N' Roses — looked fit. He sounded great. And, gasp, he appeared to be actually enjoying himself.

Then again, it probably helps that the latest incarnation of Guns N' Roses is a lean, mean machine that sounds completely in sync with Rose's mood swings and musical vision. Even Rose couldn't suppress his smiles by evening's end.

From being “the world's most dangerous band” to becoming the world's most dysfunctional, Guns N' Roses is once again a rock 'n' roll force to reckon with. Coming out like conquering marauders, Guns N' Roses played an unrelenting and blistering two-hour-and-45-minute set that consisted of seven tracks from “Chinese Democracy,” seven tracks from “Appetite for Destruction,” three tracks from “Use Your Illusion I,” three from “Use Your Illusion II” and one from “Guns N' Roses Lies,” as well as four solos, two covers (not recorded or associated with the band) and two instrumental jams. In other words, it was everything a G N' R fan could ask for.

Rose came out in full-fledged motorcycle-cowboy garb of black fedora, black leather jacket, tattered dungarees, dark shades and sporting a mischievous handlebar moustache. His quivering falsetto (one of the most distinctive instruments to come from the '80s LA rock scene) remains as ferocious as ever. In was on fire from the get-go, almost as if he wanted to make up for lost time.

He made everyone in the audience feel as if they were part of the spectacle. Fully cocked and loaded, Rose welcomed the audience to another kind of jungle with “Chinese Democracy” 's snarling, shredding guitar riffs, locomotive bass lines, thunderous drums and Rose's unmistakable banshee wail officially kicking the concert into high, head-banging gear.

From there, Guns N' Roses ripped into three high-energy, adrenaline-pumping tracks from “Appetite for Destruction,” the band's 1987 major label debut album, which was the highest selling debut album of all time in the U.S.

Rose fueled “Welcome to the Jungle” with plenty of piercing screams and vintage Sunset Strip sleaze. The singer ran from one end of the stage to the other, while the triple threat of three flamboyant and fiery guitarists (leads Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and Dj Ashba and Ron Wood-look-alike Richard Fortus on rhythm) sonically flattened everything in his path during “It's So Easy.” By the time Rose's cocksure vocals shone during the evening's fourth song, “Mr. Brownstone,” the audience forgave Axl for making them wait 15 years between albums and making the original members of Guns N' Roses scatter.

Fortus, the first of five Guns N' Roses members (besides Rose) to take center stage for a solo or to sing lead vocals, delivered arguably the coolest and easily the most rocking interpretation of the James Bond theme (take that Moby), which masterfully segued into Rose's, literally and figuratively, explosive take on Paul McCartney & Wings' “Live and Let Die.”

In addition to singing lead, bassist Tommy Stinson (aka “The replacement from The Replacements”) ripped the joint up with the cover of the Dead Boys' “Sonic Reducer.” Pianist Dizzy Reed delivered a baroque version of The Who's “Baba O'Riley” (with a little bit of “Quadrophenia” thrown in for good measure) on a baby grand, and Bumblefoot performed an inventive, heavy rock take on “The Pink Panther” theme that would make Peter Sellers and Henry Mancini spin in their respective graves.

Wearing a miniature top hat that looked like it came from a Slash start-up kit, Ashba ripped into the glorious guitar riffs that kick off “Sweet Child O' Mine” and Rose took over with vocals that soared to the rafters.

After an instrumental take on Pink Floyd's “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2,” Rose (now wearing a white fedora) returned to tickle the ivories during a mini-Elton John medley that included snippets of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”, before delivering a rousing rendition of the longest song in chart history to reach the Top 10, “November Rain.” The epic power ballad reached its rousing crescendo complete with a shower of sparks and shredding guitar riffs, but when the smoked cleared and the audience's ears stopped vibrating, it was quite evident that Rose's voice was all the pyrotechnics the song needed.

Guns N' Roses' take on “Knockin' on Heaven's Door,” which has arguably become more famous than the Bob Dylan original, was so riveting that the Almighty must have taken notice. Perched on lifters at each end of the stage, Ashba and Bumblefoot shot tasty guitar licks as Rose took center stage and sang his heart out.

Sounding like a band that had plenty of fuel still left in the tank, Guns N' Roses closed out the main set with the sweaty opus, “Nightrain.”

For the encore, Rose looked like he was on safari in a leopard fedora and what looked like an alligator skin jacket as he stomped his way through “Madagascar.” The only thing missing was an elephant gun.

On the nu-metal opus “Shackler's Revenge,” Rose promised that “there'll be hell to pay.” He delivered.

Rose's whistling melody line meshed with tranquil guitar strums on “Patience,” while the last blast of pyrotechnics came in the form of the fire-breathing, red confetti-raining, silver-streamers-shooting closer, “Paradise City,” which was a perfect end to an evening that was truly rock ‘n' roll paradise."

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Now that is a hell of a review, one of the best reviews so far.

Mostly because he actually reviewed the SHOW, rather than just backtalking about past members and how Axl is dressed.

Yeah it seems like he must have been there actually. Many people disagreed with me after the Rio show when I said that you can only judge a show if you were actually there. I am really happy that the tour is proceeding so well!

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Good review, however not sure about the 7,000 fans though. DCU center sits 14K for a concert and it was nearly sold out, only upper balcony seats left.

That's for center stage shows, the capacity for end stage is something around 11k, and Guns had a super big stage so I'd say there was a 10k capacity for Guns, and then the 7k figure makes sense.

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Awesome review! Makes me super pumped for Hamilton tomorrow. It's nice to read a review that goes into such great detail about the show. The writer also did their homework about which songs came from where and so on, which is cool to see for this kind of thing. I liked the reference to Moby about the James Bond Theme too - yes, Richard's version is far superior. ;)

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