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My review of two classic GNR concerts (no links)


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First time seeing Guns n Roses was when they opened for the Stones at Coliseum.Had great floor seats.They played 4 shows I believe.I don’t remember an Axl rant to that affect so pretty sure it wasn’t that particular show.Was more excited to see Guns then the Stones.It’s been forever since that show so really can’t recall specifics other then I had a great time and  both bands put on a good show 

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On 7/25/2021 at 10:08 PM, North Korean Democracy said:

ARGENTINA 1993

The show starts with an epic performance of Nightrain. While at the start of the Saskatoon 93 show (just a couple months earlier) Axl seemed less motivated than in previous shows probably because of the constant touring, here he is full of energy and in high spirits from the start probably because it's the last show of an endless tour. In fact Axl seems happy through the show, unlike other shows of this tour from 1992 onwards where he looks serious and even bored in between songs. It's the Skin N' Bones tour, Axl finally realized that in the age of grunge having backing singers, 30 pianos and a horn section made them look terribly uncool and the shows went back to just the 6 guys. After Mr. B they do Yesterdays & LALD. Before WTTJ through a translator he thanks the crowd and says that despite the problems they had in Argentina last year and that one everything's alright. Axl's clearly feels more relaxed and happy than in the previous year's Argentina show and unlike that one the translator here does a good job. If you speak spanigh you know that the poor translator from Argentina 92 (who was extremely nervous) did translations that sometimes made absolutely 0 sense (especially the one before DTJ) and it's a moment cringy/funny as fuck. WTTJ is good as per usual.

The band was accused of having bought 50 g of cocaine from drug dealers and a group of about fifty police officers from the city’s narcotics division went into the band's hotel rooms to look for the drugs (none were found). With the translator Axl dedicates DTJ to the people who started that rumour and the 50 "dumb" cops. As usual, DTJ ends with a long Slash solo that ends with wah and talk-box. Before the acoustic set starts, Axl tells the crowd to stop spitting since that how Aids gets spread and he'll get "even" with them motherfuckers. He ain't mad tho, he's still in a good mood, it's heartwarming to watch how (relatively) often he smiles in this show. On the couch, the guys launch into You Ain't the First and then You're Crazy (Axl says something funny before Your'e Crazy but I don't hear it properly). Before UTLH a random guy comes to bring pizza and does a bizarre and funny dance with Axl before joining on percussion for the song. In Patience, Slash does an interpolation of Imagine in the middle after the solo. Since this is the last show, Axl holds the note for "This tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime..." for a ridiculously long time (possibly the longest of the tour) and its's very cool.

This song ain't present in all bootlegs of this show (I'd even say most omit it) so maybe some didn't know they played this song: before November Rain Axl plays Dust in the Wind by Todd Rundgreen and Slash joins him for a solo. It's not a snippet, it lasts three minutes. It's a beautiful rendition, the melancholic nature of the song and the solo and the fact that Axl and Slash are the only ones that play it makes this song performance very symbolic of the end of an era and a highlight of the show for me. Check it out if you haven't!

November Rain is cool but since it ain't acoustic I would've prefered they play with drums and all instead of playing it so stripped back. Obviously it's the last time they classic GNR do it so it's an important performance. Dead Horse is cool as fuck obvs. Unlike the performance of the song in Rio 1991, here Axl is in full control of his voice and has 0 voice cracks. I gotta say I'm not a fan of Axl's very nasal tone from mid 92 till 93 but he still sounds cool and clearly damages a lot less his vocal cords.

Axl does the band introduction and he introduces Gilby saying "We'd like to thank you for working with us, it's been great knowing you hope to see you again". Savage MF knew he'd sack Gilby after this tour and wasn't subtle lmao. Again, Axl is happy and all smiles on the band introduction and it stands out because in most shows from mid 92 onwards on the UYI tour when not singing he seems serious and like he'd rather be somewhere else (I see that on Paris 92 for example). He's like a kid on the last day of school before summer here! In the 00s he admitted he didn't really want to do the UYI tour and imo on the last half of it especially it becomes clear. Say what you will about the NITL tour but Axl seems happy and glad to be there more often than not.

Drum Solo (sorry Matt but like Izzy said, they're boring), then a cool YCBM, then a Slash solo, then SCOM. Before the encore of PC Slash and the band do a cool (blues?) jam with a portion that reminded me of Last Child by Aerosmith. Then Slash does the "Mother" intro where Axl & Gilby (showing an impressive demostration of maturity haha) sing "ooooh baby....suck my dick. PC is the closer of course. After coming to give roses to the crowd it all ends with the iconic hug Axl gives Slash. Like telling him "we did it motherfucker this fucking tour it's finally over!". Beautiful to see, before 2016 this scene was heartbreaking for fans and it was amazing that the last show of these two together ended like this.

It's a great show, it's an historic show, it's a must-see for GNR fans, it's the end of an era. If this had been the last ever show of Guns N' Roses... well, in many ways it feels like it. It's definitely the last show of GNR in their prime. It's a great way to end. A great last concert. It was great to watch it again and it was cool writing this. If you read all this bible thanks a lot! If someone else want to write their own reviews and post them here they're welcomed! I plan to continue and maybe in a week or so I'll do Rio 2001 (we're going chronologically baby!)

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Posted (edited)

I'm back. ROCK IN RIO 2001: the return of GNR and specifically Axl Rose after years in the dark (ignoring the great HOB performance). The most hyped and exciting performance of that festival, let’s jump right into it.
The intro is amazing. The cartoon intro is funny and the Exorcist 2 voice over builds up the excitement for the show brilliantly. I believe in pain! I believe in murder! (According to a review of the show, Noel Gallagher who was watching the show backstage shouted “I believe in buckets”). The end of the “I believe” speech is almost immediately followed by the first notes of WTTJ. Rad as fuck to see the whole crowd exploding with the start of Jungle, which is the perfect opener. South american crowds are always the best, this is just a fact. Axl moves across the stage just as he had always done, however his voice is not the same. While at the end of the UYI tour Axl reduced the amount of rasp to pretty much only when doing high notes and mostly used a very nasal tone, here Axl consciously avoids the rasp except for a few occasions. His voice is a different kind of Mickey to the one he did 2011 onwards: it’s more nasal and it differs according to if it’s high notes or mid-range songs. It’s the falsetto tone that’s present on many songs of the released CD. As a guy who doesn’t know shit about the technical aspect of singing, it’s hard to explain. Sure, it’s better than nowadays Mickey but it’s still not as good as the goold ol’ rasp. It’s a vocal tone pretty much unique to this era of the band so that’s what makes it interesting. We don’t know for sure the reason for his use of this voice in these years. Just a conscious change in style or he couldn’t reach the rasp live without damaging his voice?
Last time we heard him sing was Live-era overdubs (what could have been a great album was butchered, sounds familiar?) and in that album he goes raspy (a different rasp to the one we knew, slightly more high-pitched and not as nasal) when singing with his mid-range but switches to falsetto when doing the high notes. Rocket Queen from that album is a perfect example of these voice changes, rasp on the verses and mostly falsetto on the outro. We don’t know the reason for this choice. Ironically, from 2011 onwards whenever Axl had to sing with his mid-range he went full Mickey but when he had to sing high notes he brought the rasp, the exact opposite! One of the many mysteries of the ginger’s voice.

The new lineup is the coolest lineup Nu-GNR ever had, although back in the day it probably wasn’t as appreciated since they could only compare it to the classic band. The main focus of the audience is Axl, but it’s a bunch of really weird guys. Not only do you have a guy with a Michael Myers mask and a KFC bucket on his head but also a guy dressed as a goth alien (and Pitman looking like a Village People). Tommy and Brain look more normal and do a very good job at their instruments. At the start of ISE Axl runs to a direction where Bucket is walking to and they almost crash, then Axl briefly puts his hand on Bucket’s shoulder. It’s here where he stops singing and demands that a guy who (Iirc) had a “GNR = Slash” banner gets thrown out, it’s a funny moment and fortunately it didn’t make Axl stop the show. A riot here would have been a catastrophe, can you imagine?
After Mr. B & before LALD, Axl does his first rant translated by Beta. He talks about his former bandmates (saying that they conspired against his comeback?) and said he understood why some might be disappointed that they’re not there. Axl mentions it’s Paul Huge 5th show overall in his life, pretty crazy that he’s playing to 200.000 people. And maybe he works at an office or something nowadays, imagine if you found out your co-worker once played a concert to 200k people. Without introduction, Oh My God comes and sounds cool as fuck (Bucketgead does a bit of the robot-dance during the intro haha). He performs it with his mickey-ish nasal voice and does a bit of rasp here and there. Axl arrives late on the last line of the song and performs it acapella and with rasp! Then comes Think About You, I love this song and the old band hadn’t played this since 1986 iirc. They didn’t even do it on the AFD tour! The Mickey-ish voice works well on this song imo. YCBM sounds ok but the voice clearly doesn’t work well with the song. While 2011 onwards he often went raspy during the bridge, here he does it with high-pitched Mickey during the first half and sneaks a bit of rasp on the second half. Axl then introduces Robin who talks in portuguese and plays Sossego to win the crowd. Then SCOM and then KOHD. 

KOHD is closer to the original version but it feels painfully slow. Instead of the traditional call and response with the crowd Axl just repeats the chorus like 12 times. During that moment the camera focuses briefly on a guy wearing Slash’s trademark top hat and sunglasses and raising a Slash t-shirt, lucky for him Axl didn’t see that. We now see the live premiere of Madagascar. It’s clearly not the best version vocally with Axl Mickey-ing it a bit. He also plays guitar during the bridge for some reason.
Buckethead time now. First his bizarre & cool nunchaku/break-dance routine then a cool galactic-sounding guitar solo with shredding. Allowing a nunchaku/breakdance performance as part of a solo, it’s clear that Axl didn’t care if people called the new band weird and instead he embraced it. November Rain has Robin doing his own take of the first two of the three iconic Slash solos. They’re not 100% different as he keeps some of the best licks but he changes many of them. It's certainly bold of him to do that instead of playing them note for note and they aren’t bad but his solos can’t compare to the original ones. Buckethead with glowing eyes in his mask plays the outro riff very efficiently and without deviating from the original too much. 

Then comes OK performances of OGM & RQ. CD is a different version from the original, starts differently and the solo is shorter. Bucket does the Chicken Binge solo and they play The Blues. It’s a good performance (OK nevermind) but he kinda struggles at the high notes of the outro. Patience now, I wonder if it was hard for a guitarist as virtuous and capable as Bucket to be restricted to playing simple chords on an acoustic guitar. Nightrain. Buckethead nails the solo and adds a bit of his own take at the end of it, he shines and shreds at the outro. Robin is good and he greatly contributed to CD but damn it would’ve been so cool to have Buckethead as the only lead guitarist, having him just do rhythm on some songs feels like a waste.

After the encore wait and a short jam between Robin & Bucket they play My Michelle, as with many of the songs it sounds ok but the lackluster vocals hold it back. Then they proceed to play an absurd song that they recently brought back. Way more industrial than the newer versions and the vocals are way Mickey-er. The “bitch like you” chorus is better than just repeating “Absurd” over and over. Easily the weakest of the CD songs performed here. After this, a brazillian samba group comes to play for a few minutes, it’s so random and unnecessary (and the crowd don’t get it either) but the chicks are hot so I’ll allow it. Finally, the band returns for PC with Axl shirtless and bringing back his trademark bandanna! He looks like classic Axl but with a few pounds more and sweatpants instead of shorts, still in good shape tho. Axl arrives late for the first “Take me downs” and sing it over the solo at the start for the first time. He has a lot of energy despite his voice not being at his best, Robin backing vocals sound louder than him for some reason. He runs into the crows for the final verse. Overall a satisfying show closer. The show ends with Axl talking to the crowd and bringing Beta on stage for an emotional moment.

I would’ve given my left nut to be at that concert, not only because it was legendary but also because I’m a huge Oasis fan and they had played a great show earlier. Axl’s voice is the only downside for me but he isn’t terrible and he’s full of energy. I’d like to review next a show from the north american 2002 tour. Albany or Boston? Which one’s better?
 

Edited by North Korean Democracy
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Wait, 

On 7/25/2021 at 9:08 PM, North Korean Democracy said:

In the 00s he admitted he didn't really want to do the UYI tour

Axl didnt want to do UYI tour? Or maybe he didnt want to do the Dust N Bones leg of the tour?

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Not to brag... but yeah... I was lucky enough to be at Cincinnati 2016. It's the only show I've seen of the Axl, Slash, and Duff lineup now. It was so legendary that I'm afraid to go back to another gig because I just love having that night as my memory of seeing "Guns N' Roses" live. I might wait out a possible new album before I go back to another.

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