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1993.05.24 - Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece

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1993.05.24 - Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece Empty 1993.05.24 - Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece

Post by Soulmonster on Thu 18 Oct 2012 - 6:20

Date:
May 24, 1993.

Venue:
Olympic Stadium.

Location:
Athens, Greece.

Setlist:
01. Nightrain
02. Mr. Brownstone
03. It's So Easy
04. Live and Let Die
05. Attitude
06. Welcome to the Jungle
07. Double Talkin' Jive
08. You Ain't the First
09. You're Crazy
10. Used to Love Her
11. Patience
12. Knockin' On Heaven's Door
13. November Rain
14. Dead Horse
15. You Could Be Mine
16. Sweet Child O'Mine
17. Paradise City

Line-up:
Axl Rose (vocals), Izzy Stradlin (rhythm guitarist), Slash (lead guitarist), Duff McKagan (bass), Dizzy Reed (keyboards) and Matt Sorum (drums).

Quotes:
Part of the reason [for doing these five shows] was that I had time off in Indiana, I wasn't really doing anything important, just working on bikes, motorcycles, and, yeah, "maybe it's fun". They played Turkey, they played Greece, they played Israel, so maybe it's cool to go see those places since I've never been there. And I knew all the music so it wasn't like I had to study or practise much, just take a guitar and go over. But the main reason was that for a year and a half since I left them they had never paid me all the money that I was owed, because there was a dispute about what was. So I told them, "look, tell your people to call my people and write up some paperwork and pay me my fucking money, and I'll gladly come over and help you guys out". Because they were kinda in a position where they didn't do these shows they would have lost, like, a lot of money. [Interview with Izzy in Japan, September 22, 1993]

1993.05.24 - Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece Rightarrow Next concert: 1993.05.26.
1993.05.24 - Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece Leftarrow Previous concert: 1993.05.22.
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1993.05.24 - Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece Empty Re: 1993.05.24 - Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece

Post by Blackstar on Tue 11 Jun 2019 - 15:15

Review in Pop & Rock (Greek magazine I have from back in the day), June 1993:

1993.05.24 - Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece 1993_124
GUNS ’Ν’ ROSES
BRIAN MAY


Olympic Stadium 24/5/93

By Maria Efthymiatou

A few hours before the show, I was in a state of needing a tranquilizer; and, as time went by, my impatience was getting worse. So this time, instead of the convenience and “decency” of getting there at the last moment as usual, I opted for the “indignity” of going early and being squeezed into a few... thousand fans (many of of them had already been there since 11 am!) who waited anxiously for the "gate" of the field to open at 5:00 p.m., so that they could rush inside and occupy their vital space in front of the stage. Due to that choice of mine, which would give me the opportunity to have a good perception of what’s going on during the show, I was granted an unbelievable experience that I’d never lived at a concert before: people literally in danger of dying from suffocation, threatening security to “open the gate or else...”

The gates, though, didn’t open before 5:30. From then on, everything was left to the law of the jungle. The stronger and the taller ones passed through "corpses", the “sturdy arms” at the entrance weren’t even able to check the tickets properly, and the early bird got the worm. We got the worm too – at least for a little while. And I was glad that I didn’t find myself somewhere in the stands setting up my binoculars, considering the vastness of a place like the Olympic Stadium. When Brian May came out on stage, there must’ve been some dozens of people who had already given way and were taken backstage for treatment after fainting. I’m pointing again to the law of the jungle: Brian May is, undoubtedly, an incredible guitarist, but I don’t think his set and stage presence left much room for big excitement...

Thus, an average performance, along with the anticipation for what was to follow and the really unbearable inconvenience that those who dared go down to the arena - so that they could admire their favourite group up close - were put through (which wasn’t justified by ticket sales – although there were rumours about “freeloaders”), unfortunately caused the legendary Queen guitarist to come and go almost unnoticed. When Brian May left us, everything looked better momentarily. We’d get to see Guns 'N' Roses at last! And Izzy Stradlin would be playing with them - what a special treatment for us, the fans of the band...

So we waited; we made some new friends ("Do you want a puff off my cigarette to lift your spirits?”) and some enemies ("Hey, watch where you put your elbow!”); we saw desperate Americans getting a first taste of what’s like to struggle for existence (“You Greeks are... I don’t wanna talk to you, people!”); we got hit in the head with a couple of soft drink cans; we met a bunch of security who were there to pour water on us; and, suddenly, we realised that more than two hours had passed, and that, instead of Guns 'N' Roses, we were listening to U2’s "Achtung Baby.” Talk about a guaranteed way to infuriate even the most loyal fan. If we “want Guns to come out,” they said, “don’t throw bottles (plastic ones) at the stage.” With all the exasperation, it was a good thing that we didn’t throw shoes as well!

Eventually, the band came out on stage, opening the show with "Night Train", and it took us only a few minutes to realise that it wasn’t an illusion: "It's So Easy," "Double Talkin 'Jive," "Welcome To The Jungle," "You're Crazy". But it seems that the time of the delay was cut out of the time of the set, which fell significantly short. I don’t know what the cause of all that might be.  It could be tiredness, totally justified after two years on the road; it was evident in the band’s stage presence - even in the members’ face expressions.  “But what more it is that you want?” you may ask. The renditions of the songs were flawless. The lineup was perfect (Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff, Dizzy, Matt). As for each one’s performance, despite their emotionless expression, they were all excellent. Maybe, in the end, Guns N’ Roses isn’t made for huge stadiums. Maybe the Olympic Stadium didn’t do them justice. Because, if their seeming coldness - which, in my eyes, really came across as snobbery - was due to their professionalism, I don’t think they’d have stood us up so provocatively. So a more “intimate” venue might have been more “fair” for the band, but especially for the poor fans, who are always the ones paying the bill.  Guns N’ Roses should come to Greece at some point, and kudos to the organisers for booking them; we had the right to see them live too. But what about providing for decent conditions at the concerts in our country? And, most importantly: isn’t it time that we, rock ‘n’ roll fans, let international artists know that they should respect us?


Last edited by Blackstar on Tue 11 Jun 2019 - 20:23; edited 1 time in total
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1993.05.24 - Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece Empty Re: 1993.05.24 - Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece

Post by Blackstar on Tue 11 Jun 2019 - 15:22

Review in the Greek edition of Metal Hammer, June 1993, found in the (now inactive) Greek GN'R fanpage:
https://web.archive.org/web/20120729042143/http://www.gunsnroses.gr/athens.htm

1993.05.24 - Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece 1993_125
GUNS N' ROSES
& BRIAN MAY

May 24th
Olympic Stadium


By Charis Karaoglidis

The attendance at the “Concert of the Year” was disappointing: just 25,000 people - a logical consequence of the outrageous ticket prices, which in turn was a logical consequence of the band's extravagant fee.

Brian May, once the guitarist of the legendary Queen, opened the show with his band. The crowd gave him a very warm welcome, applauding the songs from his solo album “Back To The Light,” as well as (mainly) the Queen songs like “Now I'm Here”  and, of course, “We Will Rock You." Modest and down-to-earth, he touched a lot of people’s hearts with his sincere apology “for not coming to Greece [with Queen] ten years ago.”  Although the band that accompanied May didn’t have the brilliance of Queen – bands like them emerge very rarely – it featured excellent musicians like drummer Cozy Powell, as well as two gorgeous backup singers, who filled the stage with their presence and took my breath away when I came face to face with them backstage a little later. Godesses!

Two whole hours later, and after they had managed to gall even their most devoted fans (comments like "Τhey’re playing us for wankers" and "Who do they think they are?" were flying around me in the arena), the members of "the most dangerous rock 'n' roll band in the world" finally decided to take the stage. I have to admit that they started very powerfully, with three songs from the “Appetite For Destruction” album (“Nightrain,” “It's So Easy” and' Mr. Brownstone,” if I remember correctly) and with Axl Rose, Slash and Duff thrashing the stage - while Izzy Stradlin, who has returned to the band temporarily to fill in for the injured Gllby Clarke, seemed a bit out of place. As time went by, though, my initial enthusiasm started to fizzle out: the more recent songs of Guns N’ Roses lack the rage, the hunger and the soul of “Appetite For Destruction” – this is well known.

But when a sofa (!) and some acoustic guitars made their appearance on stage for an unbelievably boring "unplugged" set, which lasted much longer than it should have, I was sure that the band I was seeing on stage had little to do with the Guns N’ Roses I loved five or six years ago. The hungry young men, who used to sleep on friends' home floors and unleashed their anger by playing the most exciting punk rock of their time, have died. They’ve given their place to a bunch of snobby rock ‘n’ roll whores, who offer cheap thrills for a big payday.  On the stage there was a full rock ‘n’ roll circus, of the kind that bands like REAL Guns N’ Roses (those of the 1987-89 period) loath: drum solos, guitar solos, light show, too much perfectionism and little feeling, mechanical moves that are choreographed to the last detail; and a singer/frontman in love with himself, who he sees as the new Messiah.

Honestly, I WANTED to enjoy this show. I pushed, I sweated, I sang, I danced (no, I didn’t hold my lighter up in the air during "November Rain!”). I tried to catch the vibe of the show, to get into it. I didn’t manage it. As I was leaving the Olympic Stadium, all I felt was disappointment. I know that a few thousand people had fun at the show and completely disagree with me. Still, I know that the next time Guns N’ Roses will play in my city, I probably won’t even go see them...

***

Unfortunately, our photographers weren’t allowed to capture the "most dangerous rock 'n' roll band in the world" in action. Settle for the pictures of Brian May!
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