I had an opportunity to see the resurrection tour of Guns n’ Roses. The tickets came to me as a gift from the gods, well not really, a friend had won them on the radio and since he hates Axl Rose he gave me the tickets. I was hesitant to go to say the least and I don’t mean to seem ungrateful but I have my reasons. It was being held in a football stadium, a CFL football stadium. The bands I had seen there previously did not sound all that great. Especially when compared to the brand new hockey arena that was built downtown. Tool played there three months ago, and I happened to be there and I haven’t seen a better show sonically. The other reason being that from what I heard of Gn’R from this tour is that Axl’s voice was noticeably tired and weaker that normal.
Why would I even bother with a past-their-spotlight band who reunited to cash in some very large paychecks?
Because I owe it to my high school self. I was obsessed with Guns n’ Roses so much so that I even dressed up as Axl Rose on Halloween. I even convinced some friends to dress as the other members of the band. The fact that we were dressing up as drug addicts never did occur to me until now. To be fair most of them may have been former drug addicts by then. When a girl would break my heart it was a G’n’R song that mended it. I’m kind of glad that I’m not a teenager anymore they were such dramatic times.
Yes I owe it to the much younger version of me, who would watch the Use Your Illusion concert on VHS every weekend, to witness this improbable reunion tour.
As the years passed, and I learned more and more about the antics of my hero Axl, I would sour a little more with each new day. As a musician, or more accurately a guy who plays instruments, I grew to respect Slash and Duff. A weird shift had happened and I became resentful of Axl and bought into him as this villain. He would eventually be granted full control of the Gn’R name in a court battle. Eventually a much lamer version of Gun n’ Roses would finally release the infamous album Chinese Democracy and I was completely uninterested. I still bought it but I did not enjoy it, actually there was one song I did like. Guns ‘n Roses just became this band that I used to love and to be honest I had hoped they would never reunite. For reasons I’m not entirely sure of, maybe I was just fully divorced from them. And bitter.
They did and here we are today with the band reformed. When I heard news that this reunion was in the works there was no one more skeptical than me. But alas the day came. I seen them in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and was it was simply amazing, and not just in a nostalgic sense. The band sounded crisp and Axl’s voice was, to put it mildly, powerful. Slash stole the show, rightfully so, as he was able to show off his guitar work immensely. Duff, the bass player, got to sing his song. Everything clicked for them as a band. There were times when the vocals sounded weak and awkward, but those moments weren’t too common. They managed to play every song anyone could imagine during their nearly three and a half hour set. It’s the longest I’ve ever seen a band play in fact it was a 2 pee-break show, for me anyway. I was exhausted near the end, and I was just sitting there drinking beer. My hat goes of to them, they really pulled it off.
As I write this I wonder to myself if there is a point here. I know now it would have been a huge mistake for me to skip this concert. I have a lot of memories that those songs take me back to, some that I would have liked to keep suppressed. Music always takes me back to the past eras of my life. None of that was even an issue at the end of the day because it was just a great display of musicianship. From a band that is somewhat underappreciated in that department. I’m glad they killed it because now until forever I get to tell people how awesome Guns n’ Roses are. I guess the point is to remember where you came from. Remember your journey and all those awkward phases of life and be glad where you are now. And it can be highly therapeutic to replay the soundtrack of your yester-years. I know I had fun.
Retro Music to retro gaming. this blog now has it all