Guns N' Roses In New York City

By Debby Rao, Boston Contributor
Sunday, May 14, 2006 @ 6:30 AM

Hammersmith Ballroom

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They're back!!! Guns N' Roses, one of the most controversial rock bands of the 80's are back in full force taking New York by storm with a fury that hit like ya like a freight train.

Guns N' Roses performed their first concert since 2002 last night at the historic Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. Last night's concert was the first of four sold out GNR shows which are slated to take place May 14, May 15 and May 17. All four concerts sold out in 3 minutes. Pretty amazing for a band who hasn't toured since 2002.

Last time I saw GNR perform was on the Use Your Illusion Tour in 1990.at the Worcester Centrum. I have always loved their music, and tonight's concert was everything I thought it would be. Up Close and Personal, In Your Face, Axl Rose at his best!!!

Driving down 95, it may have been raining buckets but nothing could damper the mood for the day. We were going to see GNR perform in a very rare club appearance.

New York City was alive and well, the city that never sleeps, and that sure held true tonight. It is good to see somethings never change.

This was my first time seeing a concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom. The historic venue which is right int he center of Manhattan and was the perfect venue for this GNR concert. The place doesn't have a bad seat, and the sound system was amazing.

We were right down on the floor, and had a great view of the band. Opening the show was Bullet For My Valentine. I recently got to see them perform on the Rob Zombie Tour. Their modern day set with great melodies was better received on the Rob Zombie Tour. It was clear the audience was their to see one band their heroes Guns N' Roses.

The excitement in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. hit the stage right at 11 P.M. and played till 1:15 A.M. in the morning. GNR performed most their hits, taking their fans into the future with this stellar new line-up that includes new guitarist Ron Thal of Bumblefoot fame , who didn't disappoint the die-hard GNR fans.

Opening with "Welcome To The Jungle", Axl Rose dressed in a black long sleeve shirt, and jeans with his newly dread locked hair in a ponytail took complete control of the stage. Axl was back, in great voice, and looking amazing. It was clear to see, that Axl is back for the long haul and ready to rock.

GNR first part of the show inspired their old school hits which included ,"It's So Easy", Mr Brownstone ," and "Live and Let Die." GNR sounded really tight as Brain played down some of the hardest hitting drum solos that you could imagine.

One of the most amazing of GNR's sound that I enjoy enjoy is the amazing keyboards. I have seen GNR keyboard player Dizzy Reed perform with his band HNB many times and let me tell ya tonight Dizzy was on fire. Tickling the ivories on his grand piano solo leading into "The Blues." Tonight it was so great to be able to see Diz perform with one of the greatest rock bands of our time, . Axl sang his heart out on this song, and proved his diversity as a singer.

Axl also sat down at the piano on "November Rain" and performed one of the most touching moments of the evening. This song has always been one of my favorites and seeing Axl perform this song tonight was simply amazing.

Tonight's GNR concert was prompted by spontaneity and even included a special guest star. No it was not Slash or Izzy, but 80's rocker Sebastian Bach. Seeing two of the best 80's singers singing "My Michelle" was simply.priceless!

GNR performed the title track off of their upcoming album, Chinese Democracy and song "I.R.S." These songs best describe GNR in 2006 very modern with a touch of old school. Another one of the highlights of the show was my all time favorite GNR classic,"Patience." Axl shined.

As the evening was coming to a close, one thing was for certain. The momentum of the band never let up. All eyes were on Axl Rose as he captivated the audience with his magical stage performance. GNR ended the night with guitarist Robin Finch blistering solo into "Night Train" and closed with the ferocious "Paradise City."

The audience went into a frenzy, headbanging when Axl sang, "Take Me Down to The Paradise City" as Axl and his new version of GNR rocked New York City hard. Never looking back, only looking into the future. The baddest of the bad boys is back, Mr Axl Rose. Ready to reclaim his throne as one of the best rock "n"roll singers of our time.

Get ready to witness one of the best rock and roll shows this year, as GNR invade New York City all this week. The band will be touring Europe this summer. They say timing is everything. Axl Rose has surely picked the best time to make a comeback. 2006 is shaping up to be the summer where old school metal rules the concert scene.

GNR are back with a vengeance, and making their old school rock and roll roots come alive once again, as Axl Rose proves he is indeed one of the best rock and roll singers of our generation.

GNR Setlist

    Welcome To the Jungle
    It's So Easy
    Mr. Brownstone
    Live and Let Die
    Sweet Child O'Mine
    Knockin On Heaven's Door
    You Could Be Mine
    The Blues Dizzy Solo!
    Out to get Me
    November rain
    My Michelle - Sebastian and Axl
    Chinese Democracy
    Paradise City

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