Jump to content

Winnigpeg Concert Review, 4 stars out of 5


Recommended Posts

Guns N' Roses - Dec. 4

By David Schmeichel

And here we thought Axl Rose didn't have a sense of humour.

Well, the Guns N'Roses frontman laid that notion to rest about 90 minutes into last night's MTS Centre gig,

when he was joined onstage by not only his new best buddy Sebastian Bach, but also myopic dimwit

Bubbles (aka former Sandbox guitarist Mike Smith) of Canadian cult TV show Trailer Park Boys.

"This is a song I like to do back at the legion,"said Bubbles, after teasing the crowd with the opening riff

from Rush's Closer to the Heart, then launching into his self-penned ditty Liquor and Whores. "Ah, f---, am I


The comic relief was a welcome break in what proved to be a nearly two-and-a-half hour set, one that didn't

get underway until midnight on the dot, but which unfolded as smoothly as anyone could have hoped for

(particularly the venue staffers who were ready to roll out an ominous-sounding 'Plan B' should the singer

have decided not to go on).

There were no abrupt cancellations, no riots, and no unruly fans were tackled by a pissed-off Axl Rose. Most

notably, of course, there was no pissed-off Axl Rose; in fact, except for a slight sense of anti-climax, last

night's show pretty much went off without a hitch.

Sounding not at all temperamental (or hostile, or crazy, or any of the other things we worried he might be),

Rose first took centre stage to the unmistakable opening riff of Welcome To the Jungle, looking every bit the

rock star in a leather jacket, jeans and black shades. He took a few minutes to find his groove, rushing the

lyrics at points and appearing a bit more concerned with executing his snake-shimmy dance moves than

anything else.

But he soon hit his stride with It's So Easy, switching effortlessly between a spooky lower register and the

ear-piercing howl that first earned him his place as one of rock's most distinctive frontmen.

"It's not that we're not into it," Rose assured the crowd of 11,000, after making reference to the repetitive

nature of a touring show. "It's like dancing the tango or a bossa nova, only here we're dancing with guitars."

A pyro-heavy version of the Wings classic Live and Let Die was followed by the vaguely industrial-sounding

Better (from the still unreleased Chinese Democracy album). Then Sweet Child O'Mine, on which Axl proved

he can (mostly) still hit all the high notes, and an appropriately epic take on Dylan's Knockin' On Heaven's

Door, which had the MTS Centre blanketed in lighters and cell phones.

After a blistering crack at You Could Be Mine, keyboardist Dizzy Reed (a holdover from the Use Your Illusion

years), brought the lighters back with a piano version of the Rolling Stones‚ Angie, before segueing neatly

into the sweeping ballad The Blues, and a cover of the UK Subs' Down On the Farm.

The other musicians backing Axl last night couldn't quite erase the memory of Slash and Duff, but they more

than held their own, (though we suppose it would be tough to screw up songs as genius as Out Ta Get Me,

November Rain, Patience or Night Train, all of which were note-perfect last night).

Besides, Axl with a new band is better than no Axl at all, as the brains behind 'Plan B' will no doubt agree

and seriously, how many rockers require contingency plans?

Early arrivals last night were greeted by quasi-strippers the Suicide Girls, along with last-minute additions

Helmet (filling in for the Eagles of Death Metal, who were unceremoniously yanked from the bill two weeks

ago). Like Axl, Helmet frontman Page Hamilton is touring with a brand new band these days, and while it

was good to hear the group's staccato riffs again, we couldn't help but notice their high point was the stoner-

rock throwback See You Dead, which sounded an awful lot like something Eagles of Death Metal axeman

Josh Homme might have cranked out with that other band of his.

As for former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, well, despite coming off as a bit of an Axl-worshipping

sycophant, he still did a decent job of keeping the crowd warmed up while they waited for the real show to

start, even cutting the intro to Big Guns short when fans didn't go crazy enough.

"You know I'm a f---ing Canadian, right?" he shrieked repeatedly, during a vibrato-heavy set that also

included Slave To the Grind, Monkey Business, 18 and Life, and American (okay, Canadian) Metalhead. "I

wanna see the Winnipeg I f---ing remember!"

Moments later, Bach proved his memory wasn't quite as good where national anthems are concerned,

goofing the words to an impromptu version of O Canada. Oh, and before he left, he had security guards

eject a pint-sized fan from the front row, apparently just to prove that he could.

Now what was that we were saying about not having a sense of humour?

Guns N‚ Roses

Monday @ MTS Centre

4 stars out of 5

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...