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Cleveland Review:   The greatest night of my life


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Guns N' Roses are on the comeback trail, finally.  The Cleveland show on Sunday at the Gund Arena was 10 times better than any concert I have ever attended (this was my fifth concert, it was my friend's first that bastard!).

Setlist (there's most likely some missing or out of order)

1. Welcome to the Jungle

2. It's So Easy

3. Mr. Brownstone

4. Live and Let Die

5. Knockin’ On Heaven's Door

6. You Could Be Mine

7. Think About You

8. Robin Finck guitar solo (awesome!)

9. Sweet Child O' Mine (Finck was amazing here)

10. Madagascar

11. Out Ta Get Me

12. Buckethead guitar solo (complete with weird robot dance and nunchukas, this has to be seen to be fully appreciated)

13. November Rain

14. Rocket Queen (nice surprise, Fortus kicked ass on the outro solo)

15. The Blues

16. Patience

17. My Michelle (another nice surprise)

18. Chinese Democracy

19. NIghtrain (Buckethead's time to shine)

20. Robin Finck guitar solo

21. Paradise City

CKY - As their 7 song set progressed, I hated this band more and more.  They started off just kind of crappy, but then EVERY song had the same sound and they kept talking about how "fu*kin sweet guns n' fu*kin roses are, and Axl fu*kin Rose is here and he's doin fu*kin great".  I was so happy when their set ended.

Mix Master Mike - Unlike most people that attended the show, I enjoyed Mix Master Mike's set a lot.  He played a good blend of old school hip hop, heavy metal and rock, and kept it pretty entertaining.

GNR - Before they came on, the large video screens kept showing hot women with huge boobs, and once one of them flashed they all did, it was the sweetest chain reaction I ever did see.

Around 10:10, the house lights went out and some feedback was heard, followed by the opening notes to Welcome to the Jungle.  The 10000+ fans were whipped into a frenzy as the notes kept getting repeated, it was a great tease.  Finally, a blast of pyro was heard and the song truly started, with the band rocking this song out like it was 1991 all over again.  Axl's singing was excellent throughout the show, and I don't mean just compared to the VMAs, I mean he sounded as good or better than he did on Appetite For Destruction.  Everyone around me was marveling at his vocals and saying things like "fu*k the VMAs man!"   It's So Easy and Mr. Browstone were both very faithful to the originals, but with the new twists the new band puts on it.  Live and Let Die was one of the top songs of the night, Axl showed here why he still deserves to be in the spotlight as he sang his heart out and held the notes during the chorus for as long as I've ever heard them held.   Knockin on Heaven's Door was one of the weaker songs, but only because the style has changed to more of a blues song instead of a full out rocker like the one on Use Your Illusion 2.  They played it well, I just like the old one more.  You Could Be Mine was exactly what you'd expect, it was sweet as hell and rocked hard.  Axl's vocals were especially good here, when you could hear him over the entire crowd that was singing along.  Ditto for Think About You, this song is one of my favorites and did not disappoint at all here.  Axl then introduced Robin Finck, who played a really nice blues solo, then started the intro to Sweet Child O' Mine.  The song was just great, period.  Robin Finck went nuts on the solo, and it was really cool because he didn't really try to imitate Slash's solo, he put his own feel into it and it sounded awesome.  At this point of the night it was becoming obvious that Finck is the real lead guitarist for Guns N’ Roses, while Buckethead is something of a “stunt guitarist”, like Steve Vai once was for Frank Zappa.

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The first “new” song of the night, Madagascar, was up next.  Brain didn’t even play the drums for the verses, I guess Chris Pittman does the effects for those parts.  I really like that song, I’d say it’s the best of GNR’s new material.  Out Ta Get Me brought the show back to it’s headbanging pace, and Axl’s vocals took the center stage once again, really belting out this Appetite classic.  Then came the most interesting/entertaining portion of the night.  Axl asked for Tommy Stinson to play bass and brain to play drums, and then introduced “a moment of self expression”.  Imagine this scene:  Tommy Stinson, a small leperchaun-ish fellow playing bass, some ugly guy named Brain wearing a leather hat and elbow pads playing the drums, a big stupid guy playing some weird effects on a keyboard, and a nearly 7 foot tall man wearing a black shirt, black khaki pants, a black cape, a white mask, and a KFC bucket with the word "funeral" scrawled on the side doing some nice work with nunchukas, and proceeding to do an awkward, staggering version the robot.  Need I say more?  Didn’t think so.  Anyways, after that little...interlude, Buckethead then picked up his extra large custom made Flying V guitar and played an awesome guitar solo.  He played the Star Wars theme and some of his solo stuff, then played some chicken picking stuff (if anyone has heard the second solo from Rock in Rio 3, that’s what chicken picking is) which was really cool.  When he was done he threw toys out to the audience, one of them was a Spongebob toy, I didn’t see any others.  November Rain was next.  Axl played some beautiful piano before the song, teasing the audience by playing a few notes then looking out into the crowd with a big smile on his face.  Axl was in a very good mood all night, it was really nice to see him so happy and positive.  The song really hit hard with me for some reason, it stood out from all the others and was a candidate for the strongest performance of the night.  Buckethead stayed offstage until the final guitar solo, which was funny because he was lurking in the shadows behind the stage the whole song.  Rocket Queen, which was the first song that I was surprised to hear, was really well played and sang, especially the end with Axl singing the classic line “don’t ever leave me/say you’ll always be there/all i ever wanted/was for you to know that i care”.  Another new song was next, The Blues, which I was actually disappointed with because I thought it would be Estranged after (worthless) Dizzy started playing a piano intro.  The song was really good though, and Robin Finck played yet another excellent guitar solo.  Another classic GNR song, Patience, was played next, and this song sounded especially good compared to the version on the 1991 video from the Tokyo Dome on the Illusion Tour.  I wish they would’ve used acoustic guitars, but it still sounded so good.  My Michelle was the biggest surprise of the night, and also a song I had been hoping for, so I was quite happy when I heard that dark guitar intro.  The song was faster than the original, and Axl kept up with ease, singing with the old gravelly sound in his voice that GNR fans have grown to love.  I thought that Axl’s voice may deteriorate throughout the show because he was tired, but if he was fatigued it didn’t phase him at all.  Chinese Democracy, the next song, was very different from anything else played all night, with an almost industrial/grungy sound to it.  Axl’s voice didn’t soar as high in this song, instead it was deeper and very intense.  The guitar solo is longer now, with Finck playing the same solo from Rock in Rio, and then Buckethead taking over with a wicked solo of his own, bending the notes so far I thought he would break his strings if they were bent further.  The chorus of this song is so powerful, it really blew me way.  Nightrain was performed next, and it was probably the best song of the night.  Buckethead was the man to watch in this song, the outro solo lasted for about 3 minutes and he was playing stuff so fast you couldn’t even keep up with it, it was an amazing display of musicianship.  When they showed how quickly his fingers were moving on the big screen, I actually yelled “holy sh*t, that guy is amazing!”, to which my friend Bill nodded with extreme satisfaction and agreement.  Robin Finck then played another nice little blues solo, and everyone knew what was coming up next.  Paradise City was the final song, and it delivered in a way I never thought it could.  It’s not one of my favorite songs, but to hear it live it amazing, especially when the pace picks up and everyone just gets lost in the instrument and/or voice.  Each of the guitarists took a solo, and they were all simply awesome, the musicianship of this band is extremely high.  Brain’s drumming was noticeable good during this song too, he sounded just like Steven Adler, and perhaps more importantly, NOT AT ALL LIKE MATT SORUM!  Confetti and fireworks went off during the last part of the song, and everyone went home very, very happy.  If you’re skeptical of this new band (I was), don’t worry about it, go and see them live, I can almost guarantee that you will be skeptical no longer after seeing them.

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Yeah dude, Australia has the greatest bands in the world...oh damn, i dont' know any.  gonna suck when you have to like an another countries band because you don't have any real good ones of your own :D lol damn this american ignorance


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Yeah dude, Australia has the greatest bands in the world...oh damn, i dont' know any.  gonna suck when you have to like an another countries band because you don't have any real good ones of your own :D lol damn this american ignorance


well i dont think that is really applicable..

Us aussies have heaps of local bands we support, but theres nothing wrong with looking internationally for music. I mean there would be a lot of queen fans, led zep fans, ac/dc fans etc from america so yeah.

its just a matter of population. On a per capita basis us aussies whoop america's ass! HAHA

(just like in the olympics! hahaha )

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