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Concert review November 28th 2006, Rosemont IL

Tom C

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I saw Guns n Roses at Allstate Arena last night, Monday November 28th 2006.

I thought that it would be cool to post a somewhat critical review of the show. That being said, I am a big fan of this band, also having seen them the last time they came to Chicago in 2002. I thought the show was awefully good, but instead of simply ranting about how wonderful they were, I thought I'd offer a critique. I love this band, so this is not meant to draw anger from fans, but mean't for discussion.

The first thing I noticed was that there seems to be a guitar player controversy in the band. In the old band, you could simply look to Slash for all the great guitar solos, and generally, when Axl was not taking center-stage, it was Slash. This band has 3 guitar players, all seem to be of generally equal talent, and all felt the need to perform extended guitar solos. 3 long-winded, ranting guitar solos with alot of squeeling guitar is not fun to sit through. My only thought is that maybe the band needs time to rest in the setlist. My other thought is that maybe the band members are unwilling to concede a "lead guitarist". I must say that Bumblefoot's solo rendition of "Don't Cry" was quite memorable, and a highlight of the evening.

I did enjoy the musicianship a little more, with Buckethead's presence in the band in 2002, and think his departure was a slight loss. The band made an effort to faithfully reproduce GNR classics such as "Sweet Child", while putting fresh spins on some other songs not closely tied to the old band's lineup, such as Dilon's "Knockin on Heaven's Door". I felt that some of the guitar solos by Robin Fink were slightly sloppy, but in general, but I'd still call them pretty good.

On to Axl... Axl had his moments. I thought he was incredibly strong in "Out to Get me". His voice was fierce, and was heard over the sound system very distinctly. At other points in the evening, either his voice or the audio seemed to faulter. They seemed to fumble around alot with the audio, Axl's voice being emphasized/de-emphasized. It was a little distracting. It varied alot. I read online this morning that Axl has an infection, so, maybe that was the reason.

On a positive note, Axl was very energetic. He was all over the stage, doing his thing, and definitely earning his money. Axl came out after the show, and graciously thanked the audience for coming. He has matured alot over the years. The setlist was a nice blend of old and new material. They played from 11:45 till 1:40am, so no complaints about a short show, and it was definitely a good time. This time around, the warmups acts were much more tolerable, vs. 2002.

It was a little frustrating to see new material at a concert...the same new material I saw 4 years ago...which was never released. So, I felt like I was reliving the show from 4 years ago, to a degree. Overall, I'd rate the show as an A-.

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