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2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:08 am

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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:12 am

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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:16 am

Excerpt from review in mxdwn.com:

Coachella 2016 Day 2 Review: Excellence Vs Energy with Guns N’ Roses, Run the Jewels and Chvrches

One of the most talked about shows prior to the festival was the headlining Guns N’ Roses set at the Coachella Stage. Rightly so, especially since Axl Rose was just named the new fill-in lead singer for AC/DC on the remainder of their Rock or Bust tour dates and rumors were swirling as to what kind of special guests they would have. Well, hardcore GnR fans were not disappointed, nor were the people who only knew the band’s most famous one or two songs. Complete with fireworks, pyrotechnics and special appearances Guns N’ Roses set was both vocally and instrumentally as well as visually. The introduction to the band seemed odd, even for them. It began with the Looney Tunes Theme Song and considering the things that would occur afterwords, the theme song was entirely fitting. The lights dimmed before Slash, in his signature hat and maniacal looking hair appeared on stage. The lights came up and Axl Rose sat on a throne beneath the spotlights that dangled from above. Yes, Axl was sitting. Was it part of the performance? No, Axl had recently broke his foot and like any good rock star, he doesn’t cancel, he powers through and plays the entirety of the show on a throne. It was not just any throne though, it was the same throne that Dave Grohl used last year when he had his leg injury and Axl paid tribute to him by thanking him for the chair. Despite the leg injury, this did not stop the band from rocking harder than if Axl was entirely healthy and free of broken bones. Instead, they channeled their energy into the music itself.

The first song they played was “It’s So Easy.” Slash sprinted back and forth across the stage never missing a note, his fingers moving perfectly over the fret board. Axl sat triumphantly in his chair, his voice not wavering and sounding as if he were performing these songs all the way back in 1986. The set continued on in this manner, Slash romping around on the stage while Axl sat on his throne and apologized for not being more active. His apologies then led him to welcoming their surprise guest Angus Young from AC/DC. Together, they played the AC/DC classics “Whole Lotta Rosie” and “Riff Raff.” The crowd screeched in excitement and after Angus left they continued to play with the same ardor they began the show with. They finished up the evening with the Bob Dylan cover “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” and “Nighttrain.” As they left the stage, the crowd continued to cheer. The cheers slowly mutated into a roar and the band was coaxed back on stage by eager fans. For their encore they played “Patience” and “Paradise City.”
Source: http://music.mxdwn.com/2016/04/17/reviews/coachella-2016-day-2-review-excellence-vs-energy-with-guns-n-roses-run-the-jewels-and-chvrches/
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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:18 am

Review in The Press Enterprise:


COACHELLA 2016: Guns N' Roses delivers on impossible dream at festival

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has a track record for pulling off the impossible. Over the last 17 years, promoter Goldenvoice has managed to land a Beatle to dominate its largest stage, convince AC/DC to do a rare festival date and on Saturday, April 16, pulled off the greatest reunion in its history in the form of a Guns N' Roses headlining set.

Maybe even more impressive was that Goldenvoice got the band, notorious for its tardiness, on stage and playing a two-and-a-half hour-long set only seven minutes after its scheduled start time of 10:30 p.m.

Seeing three of the core members of the band, singer Axl Rose, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, together on stage again is something that a lot of fans never thought would happen after decades of bitterness among the members.

I never thought it would.

Let me back up for a moment. I am a huge fan of the band. I remember the day I bought "Appetite for Destruction" on vinyl in a suburban Atlanta record store. I was 7 years old and at the time, just wanted to play "Paradise City" over and over again on my record player at top volume. I didn't know about the explicit lyrics in "You're Crazy" or that "Mr. Brownstone" was about heroin.

My bedroom walls were covered with Guns N' Roses posters from magazines like Hit Parader and Circus. When I had to draw a caricature for school in third grade, I drew Slash playing the guitar, lit cigarette dangling from his lips.

I used to dream up what questions I would ask Duff McKagan if I ever got to be a music reporter.

But I never saw the band live before they split.

However, the music endured. I saved my money for years to buy a Les Paul because it was what Slash played. I listened to the "Use Your Illusion" albums incessantly and even covers record "The Spaghetti Incident?" Never left my Walkman.

To this day, "Appetite for Destruction" is my favorite record of all-time and whenever I hear those opening notes of "Paradise City," I crank up the volume.

So when Coachella released its lineup with GNR on top, it pretty much confirmed every life choice I had made.

And Saturday night, after waiting decades to see them, I knew it would be something as unlikely as seeing a unicorn. What I didn't expect was that it would rise to the greatest show I had ever seen, even with Rose immobilized by a broken foot.

The opening guitar and drums of "It's So Easy" hit my like a freight train and set the tone for a night packed with the band's greatest songs and a special guest spot from AC/DC's Angus Young."

Earlier that day, AC/DC confirmed that Rose would replace Brian Johnson on the band's upcoming tour dates and drummer Frank Ferrer wore an AC/DC shirt as the band started playing, a nod to the big news.

As the band moved into "Mr. Brownstone," I felt my favorite record come to life. And there was Axl, in Dave Grohl's motorized throne, customized with a Guns N' Roses logo, hitting all the right notes and even smiling.

I didn't expect him to be having as much fun as the audience was. He was gracious and apologetic, at one point saying "I'm sorry I can't do my thing," referring to his energized stage antics, yes still did his snake hips dance while sitting on the rock throne.

Rose's vocal performance was near flawless. He still had the endurance on his such as "You Could Be Mine" and that LONG note at the end of "Patience," not to mention the nuances of the chorus of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" as he led the crowd in a sing-along.

Likewise, Slash displayed his guitar heroics, playing those iconic solos with his top hat perched atop his mass of curls, sometimes going to the wings of the stage.

And McKagan was everywhere, and in the flesh you realize just how integral his bass sound was to making those songs so perfect.

Richard Fortus performed great, as did Ferrer, and Melissa Reese on keyboards was a nice addition to Dizzy Reed.

When Angus Young came on the stage in a bright blue velvet schoolboy suit, unlike the dark blue and red ones he wore when AC/DC headlined Coachella 2015, it was the perfect acknowledgement of the news of the day and any doubters should be silenced after the performances of AC/DC classics "Whole Lotta Rosie" and "Riff Raff."

This was not the band that people have described in the past as a train wreck. This was a life-affirming service at the church of rock 'n' roll that ended with "Paradise City," confetti and a fireworks display in the skies over Indio. And in true Guns N' Roses fashion, the band broke the 1 a.m. Curfew, even if it was only by five minutes.

Source: http://www.pe.com/articles/band-800217-record-stage.html
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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:40 am

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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:46 am

The first really negative review I have read so far, from The Guardian:

Guns N’ Roses long-awaited reunion made it two big get-togethers in two nights after LCD Soundsystem’s nuptials on Friday. Things didn’t bode too well though when many of the crowd that had gathered for Ice Cube began to disperse. Starting with It’s So Easy from Appetite for Destruction, Axl Rose’s snapped metatarsal meant he performed from the same Game of Thrones-style throne which Dave Grohl used when he was injured. He did his best to be an engaging frontman but as he writhed around on his chair he looked more like a man in need of the toilet than one of rock’s most engaging lead singers.

Welcome to the Jungle was the first real hit and was accompanied by scantily clad dancing girls in black leather outfits, CGI images of skeletons having sex and rather unimpressive fireworks. Slash remained fairly stationary, unlike his days sprinting around the stage, and it felt like a band trying to rediscover the quality that gave them an appeal in the first place. Twenty years later it felt like a patched together pastiche from a completely different era.
Source: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/apr/17/coachella-day-two-ice-cube-and-run-the-jewels-bask-in-the-desert-sun
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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:50 am

Much more favorable, from Entertainment Weekly:

Guns N' Roses bring out AC/DC's Angus Young during Coachella set

Axl Rose, Slash, and Dave Grohl's throne all commanded the Coachella main stage Saturday night.

It’s been one of the most anticipated rock and roll reunions for years, and on Saturday night at Coachella, Guns N’ Roses’ key members — Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan — finally reunited for their biggest performance in years, following warm-up shows in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The walk-up to the band’s headlining slot in Indio, California, has been plagued by problems, from some fans being upset that the “reunion” didn’t include Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin, two founding members, to Rose breaking his foot during their last-minute gig at the Troubadour (and needing to borrow Dave Grohl’s 2015 tour throne). But in front of a crowd of 90,000 (save for the few thousand who ventured over to Grimes, PANTyRAiD, ZHU, Justin Martin, and BADBADNOTGOOD, all who conflicted with the rock legends) none of that mattered.

The group played a mostly excellent set to a crowd that was ready to headbang. Rose has a long-standing reputation for being late to sets, but such antics don’t fly at the Polo Fields and the frontman complied, starting just 10 minutes after the band’s designated start time. Over the next two and a half hours — and a remarkable number of hat and jacket changes for Rose, who performed sitting, his leg in a walking cast — the group tore through their catalog, hitting classics like “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “You Could Be Mine,” “November Rain,” (by far the best moment of the night) “Knocking On Heaven’s Door,” and “Paradise City.” Five of those came in the last 30 minutes or so, meaning that despite the raucous ending that setlist afforded, it also made the first hour and a half a battle of endurance for the many present who were unfamiliar with GNR deep-cuts.

It was announced Saturday night that Axl Rose will be joining AC/DC on tour, filling in for vocalist Brian Johnson who has had to cancel appearances due to the risk of “total hearing loss” from touring. Fittingly, a member of Aussie hard rock outfit, who headlined Coachella in 2015, joined the set. Rose welcomed guitarist Angus Young halfway through the show, saying since he couldn’t run around the stage he needed someone else to. They ripped through AC/DC standards “Riff Raff” and “Whole Lotta Rosie,” both from the late 1970s, to a very grateful audience.
Source: http://www.ew.com/article/2016/04/15/guns-n-roses-coachella-2016
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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:21 am

A really bad review from The Daily Beast that I won't even bother to paste: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/04/17/guns-n-roses-at-coachella-how-the-mighty-have-fallen-and-can-t-get-up.html
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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:10 pm

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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:11 pm

Another bad review: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-guns-n-roses-coachella-axl-rose-20160417-story.html
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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:14 pm

Review in LA Weekly:

It's So Sleazy: Guns N' Roses Gave Coachella Its Most Epic Rock Set Ever

“Internal fixation.” That’s how Axl Rose’s good-looking foot specialist Dr. Rachel Triche described the lead-singer’s broken foot on April 8. Her ESPN-esque medical update, in which she sat in front of all her various credentials, was both great reality TV and evidence of Team GNR’s belief that rock & roll is not much different than Pay-Per-View prizefighting

Rose sustained the injury when he lost his footing on a riser during the Troubadour reunion show on April 1. For fans who waited 23 years to see GNR reclaim their spot as America’s greatest hard rock band, it was bittersweet catharsis. “Internal fixation,” which sounds vaguely sexual, is also how GNR fans have felt for over two decades, fixated on the idea that if GNR ever reunited, in this lifetime, the world would shake and experience one giant, gushing rock & roll orgasm.

That was half-true at Coachella on Saturday night, for the band's fourth and biggest appearance since the reunion. Axl was still restricted to his throne (covered in GNR letters), which he would leave only twice: once to play the grand piano on “November Rain,” and the second time to take a seat on what looked like a chair from the Hearst Castle, from which he whistled the tune to “Patience.”

Wearing a sinister emoji T-shirt with a leather jacket, Axl, one of history's great white-male dancers, seemed trapped on the throne. Dave Grohl, from whom it's on loan, seemed to take pleasure in his contraption (which moves up and down the stage) while on tour with Foo Fighters. But Axl, who made it work, seemed less ferocious without his snake-like moves and shaking knees. Then again, sitting on the captain’s chair had some perks, like beautiful women at his service, and the ability to play a two-hour-plus set without sustaining another serious injury. "There are some privileges to being fucked up," he said, as a sexy nurse handed him his mic.

On day two of Coachella, where the crowd size nearly doubled from night one (most certainly nearing the 99,000 capacity), fans decided to camp at the Coachella stage all day to see their favorite band. A few in the front had the neon-Jesus "Kill Your Idols" T-shirt Axl wore on the Use Your Illusion tour. VIPs in attendance, according to multiple sources, were Sly Stallone, Courtney Love and the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger — all of whom watched from the sound board or the side of the stage.

For everyone, the pressing question of the weekend continued to be whether Axl would show up on time. Which is no longer a question we need to ask. GNR came on just 10 minutes after their scheduled 10:30 p.m. set time.

The sound of Colt pistols firing off in the sky signaled the start of their set, which would last nearly two and a half hours, and drip with sex and grandiosity, including the aforementioned nurses, three go-go dancers, choreographed pyro bombs, and a graphic display that gave GNR fanboys a reason to start a forum thread: During the bridge of “Rocket Queen,” Adriana Smith’s recorded sex sounds were replaced by a skeleton animation of a couple having doggy-style sex. Unfortunately, there were no actual sex sounds to go with the computerized image.

GNR, for their most devoted fans, represent a brand of rock & roll that rejects political activism and neo-feminism. This is a breed of rockism that still believes in authentic leather, flashy jewelry, rough sex and pro wrestling-esque surprises, like Angus Young of AC/DC joining GNR for blistering covers of “Whole Lotta Rosie” and “Riff Raff.”

Young's appearance, just one year after AC/DC headlined, received Coachella's biggest reaction. An AC/DC fan in the pit commented on Rose’s ability to sing the Bon Scott-era songs: “He can do it, I think he can, but I’m not sure about all their songs.” By then, everyone knew that Axl was officially confirmed as the new frontman of AC/DC on the 12-city European leg of their world tour (which begins in May). He is, as one fan described him, "the patron saint of rock & roll" at this point, now frontman for two of the biggest surviving representatives of old-school rock.

Besides the shock value of Young’s appearance, the set flowed a lot like their Vegas shows, which included a mix of GNR songs from every era, from ballads like “November Rain” to their cover of The Misfits’ “Attitude.” GNR’s sounded their tightest on “Civil War” and “Nightrain,” as Slash shredded while sliding across the catwalk like Axl on the Use Your Illusion tour. He also whipped out his doubleneck to play "Civil War," soloed behind his head, and played the Buckethead parts on "Chinese Democracy" and "Better" with more of his slithering notes and bluesy style, as opposed to Buckethead's cybernetic fretwork. Neither is better or worse, just different.

It took Axl a few songs to loosen up his vocals, but when he belted out, from the chest, he sounded epic. The grit on his falsetto is mostly gone, but when he wants, he can still power-up and pull off a monstrous yell.

But what’s important is the historical ramifications of GNR at Coachella. Other than AC/DC last year, this was Coachella's first sleazily epic rock act. Perhaps next year they can reunite KISS with all the original members? This was also GNR's first major festival since Rock in Rio 1991; their first major concert, of this size, since the Freddie Mercury Tribute in 1992. Billboard reports that GNR’s potential two-weekend payday could be as high as $8 million, which would make this Coachella’s biggest payday, ever.

When fans sang along to the chorus of "Sweet Child O’ Mine," or clapped along with the bass drum on "Rocket Queen," or went fucking gaga on the first note of "Welcome to the Jungle," it wasn't because GNR has sold 44.5 million records in the U.S., or because they represent MTV's golden era of rock. It's because America desperately needs a rock band with more balls. We’ve spent decades being drowned with wimpy hipster bands influenced by Pavement or grunge's depressed cloud of proto-hipster shit. Over the course of the last five years, especially, rock & roll has been desexualized — because boobs are offensive, apparently, to some people.

At one point during “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” when the jumbo-screen caught a girl sitting atop a guy’s shoulders, she hinted that she was ready to take off her top. She didn’t go through with it, but if she did, the crowd would have cheered, men and women, because sex is the essence of rock & roll. From Elvis shaking his hips to Lita Ford showing America that hot girls can shred, rock & roll has always been about fun without boundaries. It's allowed to be outrageous, like WWE spectacle, where pyro entrances and half-naked women are the appetizer for the main event: the tattooed heavyweight champ, like Axl at Coachella, arms raised and triumphant.

Like a great book series, the true story of the GNR reunion is being fed to us in small, bite-sized pieces. We still don't know why Slash and Axl ended their feud. "Where's Izzy?" is a sign we'll see at gigs until the end of their tour. Steven Adler's fallen off the face of the earth, after sustaining a back injury during rehearsals. But the mystery has made GNR a cultural hacker in an era of manufactured pop stars who post the details of their lives on Instagram and Twitter.

At the height of their powers, from 1987 to 1993, GNR was a runaway train in an era with plenty of rock stars, of different types, from grunge to metal. Today, GNR is more in-demand for offering what nobody else can, not at this level: real rock star shit, bold, electrified, sweaty, leather-studded and monstrously erect. By playing one of the biggest Coachella sets in history, they might be rock's last resurrection as something dangerously fun.
Source: http://www.laweekly.com/music/its-so-sleazy-guns-n-roses-gave-coachella-its-most-epic-rock-set-ever-6837392
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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:21 pm

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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:22 pm

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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:25 pm

In my opinion the best Coma so far. Too bad with the poor sound quality of the video I posted. Axl get the ending done better than previously.
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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:26 pm

Melissa and Josh backstage.

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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:31 pm

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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:39 pm

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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:09 am

Another not so great review but at least I felt some serious and relavtn points were brought up, so I share it in its entirety:

Watch the Throne, Literally: Guns N' Roses Show Their Age at Coachella

“Sorry, I can’t do my thang.” Axl Rose regrettably tells the Coachella masses, gathered for the Saturday night headlining reunion set of his rock and roll circus, Guns N’ Roses.

It’s unclear what exactly his “thang” might entail. This is Axl Rose after all, the chemically off-kilter eccentric with the hellhound yowl. Presumably, he’s referring to his inability to walk, run, or do his trademark dance gyrations built for the Gif era. His foot is shattered, thanks to falling off the monitor at their first comeback show. Hence, he’s sitting in a Dave Grohl-built pedestal that looks the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones, except with guitars spiking out in every direction. It’s Axl as the Mad King, an Indiana-raised Targaryen, screaming “cut off their heads” until Duff McKagen slays him with a bass guitar for an encore.

Let’s be clear: Axl Rose isn’t supposed to do apologies, express contrition, or anything that would lump Axl Rose in with the rest of the oxygen-inhaling world. He’s a ginger mutant, a raspberry fireball from a Mesozoic Sunset Strip epoch where spray-teased, top-hatted and leather-clad lizards stalked the blocks between Doheny and Highland. Their blood type was bourbon. They subsisted on a nutritional intake of cocaine, candy bars, and the occasional spliff for something green. A world that hasn’t existed since River Phoenix collapsed outside of the Viper Room on Halloween night, 1993.

That was three months after Slash and Duff McKagan walked off-stage at a Guns N’ Roses show in Buenos Aires, the last concert until the first comeback performances earlier this month. During that 23-year interval, there have been futile reconciliations and false permutations under other names, or the original firearms and flowers brand.

There was the re-configured Guns N’ Roses, where Axl tried to replace Slash with a grown man wearing a KFC bucket on his head. There was Velvet Revolver, where Scott Weiland did G&R karaoke backed by the original members minus the lead screamer. There was Slash’s Snakepit, which was an actual “super-group” with two other members of G&R, and not a recurring Monday Night Raw segment as popularly believed.

For whatever reason, the band opted to get back together in the year of our trap lord, 2016, using Coachella as the springboard to a national tour. So Axl and Slash and Duff, and the tens of thousands of liver-ravaged apostles and their spawn are all here—mostly wearing cut-off Guns N’ Roses shirts, as though the Indio Polo Grounds was the Whisky A-Go-Go circa ’87. Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler are cruelly left behind, making this only a semi-official reunion, but we’re dealing with Axl and Slash, the Israel and Palestine of rock n’ roll. You take what you get.

There’s an earlier version of this story involving fan fiction of Axl Rose back-stage, petrified to perform, cloistered up with Kanye, who begs to replace him—desperate to howl “November Rain” and reenact the video with Kim K. in the Stephanie Seymour role. But I scrapped it because it didn’t make sense. What was most shocking about the Guns N’ Roses set was how pedestrian it seemed.

Goldenvoice gave the band a 10:30 set time, ostensibly betting on backstage catastrophe, absurd tardiness, or a nuclear meltdown involving Axl and a haberdasher who brought the wrong fedora. But to my knowledge, nothing like this happened. After an introduction including guns blasting, a sinister instrumental, and the Looney Tunes theme, they took the stage—just 10 minutes late, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Courtney Love watching from the VIP—in case you needed a reminder that the 80s cannot be killed by conventional weapons.

Almost immediately, it becomes clear that something’s off. Whether it’s the cognitive dissonance of Guns N’ Roses playing to the flower-crowned and glowstick hordes, Axl’s inability to move, or something more mysterious and intangible, the magic is absent. The chemistry is non-existent. The myth feels like the work of haggard hagiographers. If the old videos captured Axl as a volcanic auburn angelic monster and Slash as the hedonistic stoic God of Rock, the slanders of age have laid assault to both.

There’s Axl, imprisoned on the throne, apologetic and humbled, frantically waving his arms like a Sunset Strip synchronized swimmer. His face has been artificially scrubbed clean of wrinkles to where it seems uncomfortably smooth. His hair has lost the silken luster of his heyday. He’s wearing a leather jacket and the diamond Jesus piece, ripped jeans, and an emoji t-shirt—looking something like a mid-career Meatloaf or Phillip Seymour Hoffman playing Truman Capote impersonating Axl Rose.

If he scrunches his face and channels his scarcely submerged demons, he can still hit that 200-proof Luciferian falsetto, but it’s clear that time and other torments have tarnished his greatest weapon. Slash still has his skill intact, capably shredding the headbanger’s ball solos allotted to him. But he appears beefy armed and double-chinned, stripped off the fuck-your-girl-in-the-bathroom magnetism he once wielded.

It doesn’t help that the nearly two and a half hour runtime felt particularly bloated. Maybe it’s blasphemous to say this out loud, but Guns N’ Roses have only seven unimpeachably great songs. You know them well: “Live and Let Die” (a Paul McCartney song), “Knocking On Heaven’s Door (a Bob Dylan song),” “Paradise City,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “November Rain,” “Estranged,” and "Welcome to the Jungle." There are several other good songs, a couple solid ones, and a whole lot of late-period generic hard rock that explains why not a single member of the band has written a great song since they dissolved.

When they played the hits, you could catch vestiges of that one-time nitroglycerin. Most of the time, it came off flat—a competent but bland approximation of what was once one of the most thrilling bands on earth. Of course, age eventually gets us all, strips us of our vigor and edge, forcing us to adapt to this diminished reality. But Guns N’ Roses wasn’t built on that. Their evanescent genius was rooted in raw power, violence, fearlessness, and sex. But you can’t be fearless when you jump on a monitor and break your foot. The repercussions are clear in cast form. The rocket speed and adrenaline can’t be regained. When they’re gone, they’re gone. Ask Kobe or James Murphy.

At one point, Axl brings out Angus Young of AC/DC. Just hours before the set, they announced that Rose would replace Brian Johnson as frontman for the hard rock legends later this year. Classic Axl: the only person who can manage to upstage himself. The Young cameo feels particularly absurd, especially alongside the AC/DC t-shirt that Steven Adler’s replacement wears. It becomes clear we’re watching some alternate reality in which Gods become mortal, their hair thins, their waistline expands, and you can’t summon the powers of Satan forever (unless you’re Rupert Murdoch).

There were fireworks and guns and flashing skulls and leather dancers dressed like Kelly Bundy gone clubbing. An animated video of people fucking doggystyle. A guy in the beer garden wearing a jersey that read “Slut Whisperer.” #69. He couldn’t get enough of it. And if you were around to remember the classic era of G&R, I’m sure this was epic. Memories don’t live like people do; they don’t show wear or ruin. If you closed your eyes and pretended you were doing Karaoke back in your childhood bedroom, dreaming of one day becoming an adult and showing up at the Rainbow Room with a fifth of Jack and a guitar, then I’m sure you loved their set.

But I grew up in LA, a little too late for the classic era of Guns. Every time I went to the Sunset Strip, you couldn’t ignore the withered remains of hard-rockers, too much hair spray on not enough hair, the leather a little ragged, the pants a little too tight for someone on the wrong side of 40. The drunks in the guitar with the G&R shirts next to Hustler Store. The lie of unlimited youth eventually revealed in the craggy faces of those who had fought harder than all of us and wore the scars.

I saw all these people when I saw Guns N’Roses last night. Some were in the crowd; some are still clinging to the Strip, in the few remaining bars that cater to the leather stalwarts. Guns N’ Roses weren’t bad at all. They were just okay, which means they weren’t Guns N’ Roses. In an ideal world, they could do their thang forever. We’d probably be better for it, but that’s just not the way it works.
Source: http://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/blog/guns-n-roses-coachella-2016-reunion-review

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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:33 am

I really liked this review/article from The Verge:

The Guns N' Roses reunion and the future of angry young men

What became of the most dangerous band in the world?

Guns N’ Roses are only seven minutes late for their Saturday Coachella set, which is very close to actually being on time.

There is a horrible second, right before they come out, when the Looney Tunes "That’s all folks" jingle plays and I am briefly convinced we are being pranked. It wouldn’t be out of the question — in fact, this reunion has seemed unlikely ever since it was announced in January, especially given the enmity between Slash and Axl. Before this tour the two hadn’t played together since 1993. There have been riots before, when Axl didn’t show up. I am suddenly, uncomfortably, aware of being surrounded by thousands of people, and well away from an exit.

Adding to my sudden fearfulness: this is Coachella, a cosplay convention for the wealthy children of LA. All the press making fun of the flower crowns and crocheted white dresses has in no way deterred the legions of women decked out in them; the men tend toward the frat boy standard — T-shirts, baseball caps, and cargo shorts — though a brave few appear to be wearing the beta versions of their Burning Man costumes. In general, though, it’s more of an EDM crowd than a metal one. Of course this is a joke. Why would Guns N’ Roses play here?

And then, the opening notes of "It’s So Easy."

The voice is unmistakable. Axl’s voice resonates in a way few other singers’ voices do; rattling around the sinus cavities, vibrating in the skull. You feel it as much as hear it. His breath control is great. The vibrato is still rich and open, even after some scream-singing.

Holy shit.

GNR might have once been the most dangerous band in the world, but has also been one of the commercially viable. The band has sold 44.5 million albums in the US alone. This explains why Coachella was interested in the reunion, anyway. After all, fans have been hoping for a reunion for years — specifically of the One True Lineup of W. Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler, and Duff McKagan.

The One True Lineup made the album everyone agrees on: the 1987 debut Appetite for Destruction, which has sold more than 18 million copies. That puts the album in the neighborhood of The Beatles. On the strength of that album, and its number one single, "Sweet Child O’ Mine," Guns N’ Roses turned into the biggest band in the world. GNR were opening for Aerosmith in 1988, according to Aerosmith manager Tim Collins, when Rolling Stone showed up, ostensibly to write about Aerosmith. Guns N’ Roses got the cover — Aerosmith had been upstaged by their opening act.

That lineup lasted for exactly one album. By 1990, when the band returned to record Use Your Illusion I and II, drummer Steven Adler could barely keep time. Drugs, you know. Anyway, 30 takes were required for "Civil War." Adler was the first band member to be replaced — by Matt Sorum, who had previously played for The Cult. But that didn’t kill fan interest. When the albums were released in September 1991, they debuted at number one and two on the Billboard charts. People waited in line to buy the album at midnight, and within two hours, 50,000 CDs were sold. Their 28-month tour in support of the album brought out about 7 million people.

Guns N’ Roses were unusually good musicians, but they also made unusually aggressive music. The fury in a lot of these songs is something a lot of us feel but rarely express. When I listen to "You Could Be Mine," I am not the "you" of the title. Instead, I identify with Axl. I’m the cold heartbreaker fit to burn, and my good-for-nothing ex-boyfriend should be glad I showed up in his life at all. Being angry about how he treated me beats being sad about how the relationship ended. Maybe that’s the secret of Guns N’ Roses’ success: they’re a sanctioned release valve for over-the-top rage. And that rage is really just a refuge from sadness and helplessness. Anger is seductive; it can make you feel powerful.

Seduction is kind of the key, here. Because in addition to anger, Guns N’ Roses has some surprisingly sweet ballads. Their most-successful song isn’t one that thunders out of the gate — it’s "Sweet Child O’ Mine," where Axl explicitly identifies the woman he’s singing to as a shelter from all that fury.

The crowd is younger than I expected. There were some people who looked old enough to remember GNR’s original run, mostly in the VIP section (and up front, where GNR die-hards began camping out six hours before the show would begin). But walking through the festival, most of the people wearing GNR shirts were kids, who’d presumably bought them at the merch tent. By the time I got there, the merch tent was sold out of several GNR t-shirts and GNR tank tops in every size but extra-large.

For all the interest in the merch, though, it seems like the crowd only really knows the hits. Though they shout along with "Mr. Brownstone," and "Welcome to the Jungle," "Double Talkin’ Jive" and "Estranged" provoke polite-listening-faces. And no one at all seems familiar with the three songs from Chinese Democracy.

"Civil War" appears in the second half of the set, which is 25 songs and more than two hours long. I am singing along at the top of my lungs. I do not know the capitals of most states, but I do know the lyrics to most Guns N’ Roses songs. A man next to me is also belting, and we have the moment that sometimes happens at concerts, where you see someone who’s as into what’s happening as you are, you lock eyes, and you sing to each other. This is the thrill of live music — not just seeing the band, but seeing the other people who love the band, too.

The guy at first appears to be about my age — early thirties — but at the end of the set, I get a better look at him. The crows’ feet are a giveaway. He’s kept himself up well, but he’s almost certainly in his forties. He leans over and says to me, "You really like this band!" I do, I tell him. "This crowd doesn’t get it," he says. "They’re too young."

I think my new friend might be about to say something else, when Axl apologizes, for the second time, for not being able to do "his thing." What he is referring to is the snake dance. Probably you know it, the weird sinuous glide across the stage, sometimes with a microphone stand and sometimes not. His shoulders weave back and forth — he can do this from his throne — while his hips weave in opposition. His feet kick up, if he’s moving, or to the side, if he’s staying in front of the mic. After this apology for Axl's broken foot, Angus Young, 61, enters to do Chuck Berry’s duckwalk across the stage for two AC/DC covers "Whole Lotta Rosie" and "Riff Raff." This appears to delight everyone onstage, and why shouldn’t it? They’re playing with one of their childhood heroes.

As it happens, there’s an announcement just before the set. Axl is filling in for Brian Johnson, 68, with AC/DC in Europe this year. Axl/DC exists, according to the press release, because Johnson’s doctor told him that if he did any more touring, he would go entirely deaf. It’s not just GNR. Rock n roll may never die — Axl, after all, between his two commitments, will be playing 35 shows this year — but it’s definitely growing old.

Appetite for Destruction sounds like it does because Guns N’ Roses — I refer here to the One True Lineup — were a bunch of aggressive dirtbags. There is no way around it. "We sold drugs," said Stradlin, GNR’s rhythm guitarist, in Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N’ Roses. "We sold girls. If one of the guys was fucking a girl in our sleeping loft, we’d ransack the girl’s purse while he was doing her."

That dirtbag behavior didn’t end when it came to the music, either. The moaning on "Rocket Queen" is real — it’s the sound of Axl having sex with Adriana Smith, who was dating Adler, after the couple had a fight. (Apparently, Axl had the technicians mic the studio floor and dim the lights — and then he and Smith went at it.) Nor did fame change it. In 1989, on a flight to LA from Indianapolis, Stradlin lit a cigarette, berated a flight attendant, and peed on the floor. At one point or another, virtually every band member nearly died from drugs (Axl circa 1986, pill overdose; Slash, 1992, speedball overdose; Adler, 1996, stroke from cocaine; McKagan, 1994, burst pancreas).

The true anarchy can be seen in a video of Guns N’ Roses playing "Paradise City" live in 1988 at New York City’s The Ritz. The weird bit begins with the guitar solo: Slash flops on his back and shreds while Axl dives into the crowd and disappears. It takes three guys to pull him back out so he can finish the song. The crowd doesn’t want to let him go. His shirt is ripped off in the struggle, and some of his jewelry is gone. Finally, he’s back on stage. He takes a second — then begins to bang his head like nothing happened. This is the part of the video that is remarkable to me, not the brawl. Axl picks up the mic, unfazed, and finishes the song. Watch how he glances at his wrist, while singing, coolly assessing the damage from the pit. He’s not surprised or scared. This is a normal day for Axl Rose.

The VH1 Behind the Music on Guns features every band member but Axl complaining about how overbearing Axl was. (The man himself appears only in archival interview footage, mostly with Kurt Loder.) Sure, the dude has a demonstrated interest in dominating people. But McKagan’s alcoholism had reached the point where he passed out on stage during gigs. Slash died in San Francisco (and was revived by paramedics). It does not take a paranoid megalomaniac to feel these working conditions are unsustainable. Given that we’re dealing with Axl Rose, though, any frustrations were almost certainly aired in the most hurtful way possible.

This is when the rest of the lineup, starting with Izzy Stradlin, quits. It happens slowly, over the course of a few years. And then, the only original member of Guns N’ Roses left is Axl Rose.

None of the men on the stage tonight feel especially dangerous. Axl is charming, in a good mood. This is, perhaps, the strangest thing of all, listening to Axl Rose refer to our crowd as "lovely." No — what is strangest is that when Axl talks to us, he often does so from darkness. The spotlight on him goes off, and Axl speaks from the shadows. I ask my editor, who is standing next to me, if it seems plausible to her that Axl has stage fright. She suggests that the blackout is a kind of privacy curtain — that perhaps Axl needs to make some adjustments to the leg / foot situation and would prefer not to do it in full view of the audience. That, perhaps, he is being spared looking publicly infirm.

The crowd is thinner for this set than it was for another group of formerly dangerous men who owned the mainstage before Guns N' Roses came on. Ice Cube, 46, was once a member of NWA, a group that, like GNR, attracted the ire of parental watchdogs led by Tipper Gore. One of his special guests was Snoop Dogg, 44, who once stood trial for murder. Both Snoop and Ice Cube have remained in the public eye for all this time, slowly aging into dads. Here is Ice Cube talking about what he loves about the Eames house. Here is Snoop, making brownies with Martha Stewart. Their aging happened publicly; fans got to witness them mellowing out in real time.

Both Ice Cube and GNR are legendary West Coast acts, but NWA are the ones with a commercially and critically successful 2015 biopic. The children know who Ice Cube is, in other words, even if it’s via his son O’Shea Jr., who makes an an appearance during his dad’s set. The show is really fun — the only dud is the duet with Common to promote a track from the latest Barbershop film, but if that’s what it takes to see Ice Cube perform "Fuck the Police" with a reunited NWA, fine. This reunion, too, was incomplete — Easy-E is dead and Dre wasn’t there.

Ice Cube (like Snoop) went from being a dangerous outsider to a beloved entertainer, in part by expanding the reach of his celebrity into film and television. In contrast, Axl pretty much retreated from the public eye in 1994, aside from the release of Chinese Democracy in 2008. It’s a weird, overproduced album, which nonetheless peaked at number 3 on the US charts. Aside from the touring, Axl spends most of his time away from the media. So it’s shocking to see Axl look so old because it’s not the gradual aging we witnessed with Ice Cube and Snoop, both of whom continued to make albums and movies and celebrity appearances. The image of Axl in most people’s minds, including mine, is that of the beautiful wiry child of the late '80s and early '90s.

Coachella is just the fourth time Axl has performed with Slash or Duff since 1993, and it shows. Maybe it’s just the throne, but Axl and Slash hardly interact — they barely even look at each other. Age may have changed their appearances, but the talent is intact. Slash is not only one of the best living guitarists, but one of the all-time greats. The up-close shots of his guitar solos on the video screens were a welcome reprieve from the frankly cheesy graphics that accompanied many songs. A close look at excellence is basically always thrilling; I love to see a master at work.

But this isn’t the band from 1993, and not just because Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin aren’t there. Axl’s voice has lost some notes at the top end. Anything that gets put into your body — cigarettes, booze, drugs, food — will affect the voice, as will the normal aging process and overall physical health. Vocal cords typically stiffen with age, and more air pressure is required to make them vibrate. Axl lived hard. Even if he’s clean now, even if he’s not eating dairy (which messes with mucus production, altering the voice), and following a strict vocal regime, he’s got to live with the damage he inflicted in the 1980s. The muscles required to produce that "Welcome to the Jungle" scream are even finer than the ones Slash needs to shred, or Duff needs to propel the band forward. Some of those top notes may never come back. That doesn’t make Axl’s performance any less magnificent. He holds notes long past the crowd’s breath capacity, if only to show us he can. Measuring him against the standard of his vocals twenty years ago feels cruel — he's being punished for exactly what made him thrilling in the first place, his authenticity.

Maybe I’m just an apologist: I’m glad I got to see them live in any capacity. They’re older, they’re not dangerous, they’re happy to be here, and they play the hits. There are the deep cuts — I love "Estranged," and was thrilled by "Coma." I got chills during "Patience." The AC/DC covers were inspired, and came from somewhere deep and lovely within Axl. Even the Chinese Democracy songs feel a little fresher and better live, with Slash.

But the song I find myself still thinking about was not a GNR original: it was "Knocking on Heaven’s Door," the Bob Dylan cover from Use Your Illusion II. In 1992, the song was a defiant challenge, but now that the band has mellowed out, it feels like a warning. Maybe it’s because the spoken-word interlude from the album ("You just better start sniffin’ your own rank subjugation, Jack, ‘cause it’s just you against your tattered libido, the bank and the mortician, forever, man, and it wouldn’t be luck if you could get out of life alive") is left off. These are older men and they are almost certainly feeling their mortality. There was a time when it wasn’t clear they’d make it to middle age. Now that they have, I suspect dying doesn’t sound as glamorous as it used to.

But in case you’re worried they’ve totally lost their outlaw edge, Guns N’ Roses broke Coachella’s notoriously strict 1AM curfew with their final song, "Paradise City." Not by much, granted — just four minutes. But Slash needed to solo with his guitar behind his head, and Guns N’ Roses is still enough of a force that even Coachella can’t bring them in line. Judging by the crowd’s reaction, maybe no one wanted GNR to play by the rules, including the people who made the rules. After all, who doesn’t want to tell the establishment to go fuck itself? The crowd was bonkers for "Fuck the Police," too, middle fingers in the air and everything. Even when the true danger is gone, we still love the performance.
Source: http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/20/11464582/guns-n-roses-coachella-2016-reunion-nwa-axl-slash
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Re: 2016.04.16 - Coachella Festival, Indio, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:41 am

Suddenyl an interview from MTV:

Appetite for Reconstruction: Guns ‘n Roses at Coachella

Molly Lambert on GNR, now and then
by Molly Lambert


At Coachella, you never forget you are in the desert. The lush oasis of green grass and palm trees just underlines how thoroughly inhospitable to sustaining life the climate feels. During a historic California drought, watching Coachella workers in irrigating golf carts continually spray water on Indio’s dusty polo grounds felt extravagant. But attending Coachella is not about questioning conspicuous consumption – it’s about perfecting it. And I have come here to see Guns N’ Roses, whose Appetite for Destruction defined the stratospheric heights and infinite depths of 1980s excess.

Indiana redhead William Bruce Bailey (later known as Axl Rose) and British guitar virtuoso Saul Hudson (nicknamed Slash by character actor Seymour Cassel after moving to L.A. as a child) are one of the great productively flammable partnerships that fill the history of classic rock and American literature. Bromances between lead singers and guitarists can be especially fraught – intellectual Tom Sawyers saddled with thrusting Huck Finns. (The guitarist is not necessarily the groin; Diamond Dave is the hips to Eddie Van Halen’s technically-oriented brain.) Axl and Slash may have purposely patterned their double-wild-card dynamic after the “Toxic Twins” bit of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, who were themselves aping the “Glimmer Twins,” Jagger and Richards. Or maybe successful hard rock bands are just the right humid environment to grow this particular kind of folie à deux. Either way, Guns N’ Roses’s two most important founding members had not spoken in nearly 20 years before the 2015 thaw that led to Coachella. In the intervening time, Slash formed Velvet Revolver and released solo albums, while Rose burnished his rep as an eccentric diva – a Howard Hughes type with an obsessive attention to detail and an insatiable need for control. In 1997, he bought the Guns N’ Roses name to use himself; he grew reclusive and sequestered himself in expensive recording sessions, dancing with Mr. Pro Tools for years on end. It’s the meeting of these two that makes this the first real Guns N’ Roses reunion.

The common narrative that the excess and bombast of hair metal were punctured by the arrival of grunge – that the pyro was snuffed by flannel – holds true more for the fluffier pop metal borne of the Strip than for Guns N’ Roses. In fact, despite Kurt Cobain’s well-chronicled hatred of Axl Rose, the two front men possessed similar traits in the 1990s — a love of The Beatles (speaking of rock and roll bromances), a striking androgyny, and a deft way of making their genius seem easy. GNR were a transitional animal anticipating grunge, which for all its beef with the jockishness of hair metal was just as obsessed with shredding. After Slash left, Rose laid the band’s initial legacy at the feet of a rotating cast of ringers, with himself in the starring role of the captain lashed to the mast. Grunge didn’t kill Guns N’ Roses. Axl did it all by himself.

Coachella is a vast Pleasure Island of music, drugs, and hot people in silly outfits. The 2000s revival was in peak swing this past weekend. Fashion has cycled back around to exactly where it was when I was in high school. I witness so many teenage Cali bros in Kobe Bryant jerseys spuriously throwing up the West Side symbol (the L.A. gang sign that Ice Cube and 2Pac made shorthand for West Coast pride) that I get flashbacks. Maybe I’m just another Coachella cougar trying to relive my youth.

Flower crowns, cutoffs, and tie-dye are predictably ubiquitous, but I’m shocked when I see my first bro in a war bonnet, since I thought that racist cliché might have been trimmed from the Coachella uniform by now. This year’s clothing meme is overalls — every possible variation on the style, often with one or both straps hanging off. Some people wear nothing under their overalls, a look I dub “the Dexys Midnight Runners.”

In a throwback to the actual Summer of Love, there is tension in the air. On Friday, a group supposedly chanted “No Español!” to festivalgoers singing a song in Spanish to pass time while waiting for M83’s set. I hear a rumor on the second day that Guns N’ Roses superfans, who show up first thing Saturday to camp out in front of the main stage all day, had disrespectfully turned their backs to Run The Jewels during their 5 p.m. set. I am thrown back into the present wondering who is still rockist enough to show such contempt for rap.

Considering how bumpy some Coachella reunions have historically been (OutKast’s rocky 2014 set, The Replacements’s Paul Westerberg strewn out on a couch), my hopes were high but expectations low for Guns N’ Roses’s reunion. Rose had broken his metatarsal at the band’s first official reunion gig at L.A.’s Troubadour two weeks earlier, so it was a foregone conclusion that there would be no snake dancing. And the prospect of Axl parked in Dave Grohl’s stupid guitar throne was embarrassing to even imagine. It was impossible to sift the suspense from the excitement; I spent the day wondering what would happen when Axl and Slash stepped onstage for the reunion they had both been so adamant would never happen.

For years, Axl publicly trashed Slash, while Slash spoke regretfully about their rift. In 2009, Rose said “What’s clear is that one of the two of us will die before a reunion and however sad, ugly or unfortunate anyone views it, it is how it is.” In 2012, Slash said more bluntly about Rose, “He hates my guts,” but also tenderly admitted, “I really, in my heart of hearts, wanted to have the whole original band get together and actually perform” at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a dream Axl Rose dashed. In 2014, Slash democratically stated he had “a hard time picturing” a reunion. In 2015, Axl and Slash spoke again for the first time since 1996, an interaction Slash called “probably way overdue.” Clearly something – vanity, money, legacy, or enough time passing – gave Axl a change of heart.

The crowd buzzes in the field. The air is warm, smelling like trampled sod and freshly lit joints. The distance-softened thump of Zedd’s set wafts in from next door. A GNR logo screen saver is projected onstage, in which the animated gun fires off rounds. The crowd goes hushed, but nothing else happens yet. Then the gun shoots again. These last minutes feel endless and my mind races through my concerns: Will Axl show up on time? He never shows up on time. What of the broken foot? These guys hated each other for 20 years. Can they bury the hatchet long enough to make 5 million dollars for the gig? Does it matter if they did it for the money if they pull it off? Will they phone it in because they really do hate each other? Will Axl sound like himself when he sings?

Breaking the lull 10 minutes after the alleged start time, the Looney Tunes theme plays at top volume. The band takes the stage and launches right into “It’s So Easy.” Slash looks virtually untouched by time, still breathtakingly rock and roll. The same can’t be exactly said for Axl, who begins the show without any of his trademark headgear, exposing his vulnerably balding head. But despite the new hairline and tight face, Axl smiles and looks unmistakably like his younger self, and I feel only sentimental and soft-hearted toward him. We can’t all be Slash.

Unable to run around on stage, Axl dances from the chair, mostly with his arms and hair like latter-day Britney Spears (who has danced this way ever since she fucked up her knee in 2004). But most importantly for Axl – he is hitting all the notes. His look may have changed, but his voice is in amber. There is no banter between the band – that would be asking too much. But by the time they get to “Welcome to the Jungle,” it’s clear that Slash and Axl are speaking again, at least through their instruments.

Axl apologizes for being unable to “do my thing” and brings out Angus Young as a consolation prize. Young hops across the stage nonstop for two AC/DC covers. This too is a brand activation disguised as an impromptu stunt – Rose will join AC/DC for a world tour as a temporary lead singer. And while Slash doesn’t say anything, he steps out for two instrumental solos during the set: Nino Rota’s love theme from The Godfather (Axl does not sing the lyrics) and a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” that the audience sings for him. Duff McKagan gets his moment to shine as well – he does the first verse of Johnny Thunders’s “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” and segues it into The Misfits’s “Attitude” (a “The Spaghetti Incident?” cover).

Steven Adler was not asked back, replaced by drummer Frank Ferrer. Izzy Stradlin also sat this one out, having long ago bowed out for personal reasons. The band has a new keyboardist: Melissa Reese, who sports Hatsune Miku hair and plays synths. Axl flubs her introduction by referring to her as “Mr.” before correcting himself. They do every major Guns N’ Roses song except “Don’t Cry.” They play “Estranged,” giving me a chance to contemplate how well the song has actually aged.

At the end of the set they do “November Rain,” during which Axl sits down at the piano and I wonder why they didn’t just put him in front of a piano the whole time. This segues into their cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” and time collapses in on itself into an eternal present. They play for two and a half hours, thoroughly working out the crowd. By the end, everyone is spent except maybe the band, who seemed so thrilled to be killing it that they could have played for a couple more hours.

The onstage resurrection of the live Guns N’ Roses is like seeing an animal you’ve only read about. How surreal in 2016, when Coldplay are probably the biggest recent rock band, to think that rock music was considered culturally dangerous for decades. In the 20 years since the OG GNR left the scene, rock has long been surpassed in conservative fearmongering by rap and EDM. GNR aren’t the only guitar-centric band on the bill, but they’re a direct line to a different time in the music business – when everything was physical by default. Maybe Guns N’ Roses are no longer dangerous, but they’re live. Axl and Slash both bring a feeling of spontaneity, possibly just a very well-practiced illusion, to their incredibly technically proficient crafts. In a giant, oiled machine like a reunion gig at the world’s highest-grossing festival, conjuring playfulness and presentness while doing songs you’ve done a million times before in your life is an example any act at the festival looking to have a long career should follow. They go four minutes over the official 1 a.m. curfew, breaking Indio’s ordinance and costing Coachella huge fines. Maybe they’re still a little dangerous.
Source: http://www.mtv.com/news/2871107/appetite-for-reconstruction-guns-n-roses-at-coachella/
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