Tuesday, December 3, 2002 @ 11:20 AM
GNR Rock the Tacoma Dome in Ta
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REVIEW BY: Julian Grogan
One sentence perfectly describes Guns n Roses' opening
performance Friday night at the Tacoma Dome: It was
well worth the wait.
Bad news for Axl Rose haters: as the ex-William Bailey
and his new crew of musicians performed magnificently.
People who counted GnR out after their tepid
performance at the MTV Music Awards will be blown away
by how good the band sounds live. They owned the
Tacoma Dome for two and a half hours.
I skipped the two opening acts. Sorry, but I didn't
want to see a band I've never heard of, or spend an
hour watching an ex-Beastie Boy member 'scratch.'
Got there at 10 pm, and the familiar "You know where
you are . . . " screamed out at about 10:15. The days
of the 3 hour delays are long gone.
Axl was in amazing form. His voice actually sounded
better than it did back in the late 80's and early
90's. He hit every high note, his voice didn't crack
one time. Axl's voice was phenomenal.
The rest of the band - well, they are a motley-looking
crew but they were on fire. Very tight, very powerful
and sounded better live than Slash and Duff and
company every dreamed about. I was surprised to see
Robin Finck actually played the majority of the guitar
solos. I'd heard so much about Buckethead that I just
assumed that he was the man. But Finck shredded
through the solos on songs like Nightrain and
Sweetchild of Mine without missing one note. He is a
strange looking dude - but he's a hell of a guitar
Tommy Stintson did a great job on bass, and Brain is a
very powerful drummer. These two are also the only
normal looking guys in the band. Dizzy is a good
keyboard player - but him and the other keyboarder
both look somewhat gay.
Buckethead's feature solo was very . . . let's call it
entertaining. He started with a knumchucks
demonstration, before a minute of breakdancing and
then wrapped it up with about five minutes of various
solos (including the theme from Star Wars thrown in
A funny moment came during Patience. Two small KFC
buckets were thrown on stage and Axl picked them up
and put them both on his head. Then one on his head
and one on his chin. Stinson was laughing so hard he
almost fell down. When Axl saw Stinson almost dying,
he started laughing so hard that he ended up only
singing about half the song. I haven't seen a rock
band having so much fun on stage in a long time.
One lowlight came during November Rain. Midway through
Axl yelled to the soundman to "Turn the fucking drums
down." A minute later, he yelled "You know you’re
killing me brother . . . and not in a good way." He
was clearly pissed as his vocals could barely be
heard. BUT, this was the only downer of the show.
There were no other technical difficulties at all.
And, after the song as the crew wheeled the piano off
the stage, Axl actually slapped the sound guy a high
five - his way of saying "I know you fucked up, but
let's keep up the hard work."
Another fun part (again - it was a very entertaining
show) was at the beginning of November Rain. Axl sat
down at the piano as the crowd is going crazy,
chanting November Rain. Instead, he starts playing
some goofy song for 10 seconds, stops, and whips his
head to the crowd with a "what's up" look. Everybody
starts clapping and laughing. He does it again - but
plays the notes for about 5 seconds, and then whips
around to the crowd again. We all clap and laugh.
Axl's got a huge smile on his face - and then finally
breaks into November Rain.
GnR played three new songs, and they all sounded
incredible. Chinese Democracy was fast paced, and was
heavy as anything GnR has done. The Blues is by far my
favorite new song -- it's going to be huge. Axl
introduced the last new song, saying he's been feuding
with the race car industry, and introduced the song as
"Mad At Nascar" - and then they did Madagascar.
As for the old songs played, they played EVERY song
from Appetite except Out To Get Me. It was quite the
treat for long time GnR fans, to hear songs that
rarely get played live anymore. The underrated I Think
About You was great live, and songs like Nightrain,
Mr. Brownstone, Jungle, Paradise City, You’re Crazy just
sent the crown into a frenzy. A lot of people around
me thought that Rocket Queen probably was the
highlight of the old songs. The biggest disappointment
of the concert was no Don't Cry. I think they were
going for the high "rockin" level and didn't want to
play too many ballads.
The Dome wasn't sold out, but the crowd was clearly
very appreciative of the performance. The new GnR was
very tight, played with a lot of heart and soul, were
entertaining - it was just a hell of a show. I was
very impressed, and give the show an A rating. Korn
and Disturbed in two weeks - it's a good month for concerts.