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2011.11.15 - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, USA

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2011.11.15 - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:46 am

Date:
November 15, 2011.

Venue:
Allstate Arena.

Location:
Rosemont (Chicago), USA.

Setlist:
01. Chinese Democracy
02. Welcome to the Jungle
03. It's So Easy
04. Mr. Brownstone
05. Sorry
06. Riff Raff
07. Estranged
08. Better
(Richard Fortus solo)
09. Live and Let Die
10. This I Love
11. Rocket Queen
12. My Generation
(Dizzy Reed solo)
13. Street of Dreams
14. You Could Be Mine
(Dj Ashba solo)
15. Sweet Child O'Mine
16. November Rain
(Bumblefoot solo)
17. Don't Cry
18. Whole Lotta Rosie
19. Knockin' on Heaven's Door
20. Nightrain
ENCORE
21. Madagascar
22. Shackler's Revenge
23. Patience
24. Paradise City

Line-up:
Axl Rose (vocals), Richard Fortus (rhythm guitarist), Bumblefoot (lead guitarist), Dj Asbha (lead guitarist), Tommy Stinson (bass) and Frank Ferrer (drums), Dizzy Reed (keybards), Chris Pitman (synth).

Notes:
For the first time in 2011 has the identical setlist been used on two shows in a row.

Next concert: 2011.11.17.
Previous concert: 2011.11.13.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:00 am; edited 3 times in total
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Re: 2011.11.15 - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, USA

Post by Monique on Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:05 am

Gott and I will try to make it to this concert
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Re: 2011.11.15 - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:17 am

That's brilliant! I look forward to the review
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Re: 2011.11.15 - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:50 pm

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Re: 2011.11.15 - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:25 pm

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Re: 2011.11.15 - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:43 pm

Some comments from "Kid A" over at mygnrforum:

Great show, couple things not mentioned...

DJ and Ron chugging bottles of Jäger together on stage

DJ slid and hit an arena security woman in the head lightly with his guitar to tease her, she looked very upset

Axl told a quick story 'I was at a gas station two days ago after the show, and was talking to the lady about movies and stuff like that when she turns to her friend and says "guns n roses were in town today and I heard Axl was very well behaved and came on stage at a decent time, which is good because he is a real snot sometimes" needless to say she and I are buddies now.'

Someone threw a banner with happy birthday chris on stage and they sang happy birthday for him.
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Re: 2011.11.15 - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:20 am

Review from Gagarin at mygnrforum:

After getting someone to go with me bombed, and stuck with 2 GA tickets, I decided to go balls out and say "what the hell" and try to get to the front rail. When I'm older I can puss out and sit in nosebleeds. And since it was 2006 the last time he came, well, I didn't want to be 30 and standing for the first time.

So I stood by the door starting around 5:00 PM. There was plenty of confusion about *what* door to use and what would happen when they opened. I had a feeling that the East entrance was the one to be at, and I had a feeling I'd have to book to where the wristbands were as I couldn't see any wristband stations near the door I was at. Well, they opened our door *3rd*, and I had to run to the East entrance to get a wristband. Once that happened, onto the floor. Run! "WALK!" Run! And... boom, at the rail, stage left. I'm ecstatic. And then whoa! The two guys I was standing next to outside...the guys who LITERALLY right in front of me when we went through the turnstile. I didn't even see them run with me. They must have been right behind me.

I made sure I had enough room to last me the night and we were pretty much fine the whole night. Only mild pushing during last 4 songs. The barrier kept being pushed back, though.

So, after picking THE WRONG door, on the WRONG entrance, I still made it to the rail.

Best thing ever.

*Facial expressions.
*See body movements
*Feel the pyro
*Nobody in front of you...I felt like *I* had all the room in the world.
*License to go crazy
*You can applaud the LCD screen guy as he's setting up during changeover.
*They really do work their ass off during the hour changeover. Stage was only calm for ~10 minutes before Dexter started.
*Bass. OMG. The bass.
*Axl throws the piss out of that microphone stand.

Being so close, I can't tell you HOW the show really sounded for everyone else. We're standing right next to what I guess are the woofers. There's a wedge speaker that gave the rest of the house mix for us. From my experience, it sounded good. Axl sounded good. The guitars sounded good. The crowd was loud when it should have been. People sang along to Chinese Democracy songs.

I'm not sure what to make of different tales people have of DJ or Bumblefoot interacting with them. It's hard to tell. I think I did have a moment or two with DJ and I think Fortus responded once to my "4" hand gesture. Maybe. But you gotta keep rocking even when they're not in front of you!

There's SO many things going on in the stage show. Fortus is jumping doing windmills. DJ is hanging his body on the railing, and dropping cigarettes onto a security guard or two, Bumble is teasing the front row, Axl's doing his thing... and there's movies on in the background. It's an entertaining show. All the songs sounded great to me. Review them on YouTube, steal a soundboard, maybe not. But they sounded great in the moment. These guitarists are exciting live performers. They do compete with Axl for attention up there.

This band enjoyed themselves and they were comfortable together on stage. Axl chasing Tommy. Axl chasing Tommy with his fingers as little pretend bull horns. Bumble doing the "which one is it" switch-a-roo game with his and DJ's liquor. You didn't get that vibe in 2006 (my opinion), and 2002 was like watching a band with each person in their own bubble. Not so with this.

Why does Axl do the ACDC covers? Because he kicks their ass. The crowd likes it. And he gets off on it. He can sing the hell out of them.

Fun facts:
*The two Asian women who came with the happy birthday tarp for Mother Goose? They were immediately to my left (two gentleman left and they moved up next to me).
*The women security/event staff that DJ messed with a little, she was visibly tired 1/2 through the show. Event staff passed along word that there were "2" (songs left?) and they rolled their eyes/looked relieved to see the light at the tunnel. There were 3 songs left, though. =)
*Getting a setlist was harder this time. I didn't manage it and neither did anyone I could see.
*The screens for video are actually all...LEDs. Maybe I'm an idiot and I should have realized this.
*Those boxes Axl and the guys stand on? They move. A lot.
*Axl has maracas on stage, just in case.
*GNR crew/staff have T-shirts that have "FYCN" on the back. ...what's that?
*Axl told a story about being in a truckstop. In addition to the 'he can be a little snot' comment, the waitress was also pissed because she had to work that night instead of seeing Guns N' Roses.

Highlight?
Oddly, Madagascar. Whole Lot Of Rosie. And Estranged.
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Re: 2011.11.15 - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:55 am

Stellar review in Chicago Tribune:

While the current Guns N' Roses cast barely bears resemblance to the incarnation that sold millions of records in the early 90s, holdover traits remain: The group continues to take the stage late and put on marathon shows. Tuesday at a near-capacity Allstate Arena, the ensemble made an 11:10 p.m. start mostly worth the wait with an energetic three-hour concert far superior to its disastrous 2002 and uneven 2006 performances at the same venue. For what seems like the first time since everyone but enigmatic leader Axl Rose left the original lineup nearly two decades ago, Guns N' Roses amounted to more than just a declining, primarily anonymous covers band content to feast on nostalgia.

It helped that Rose was in excellent spirits and voice. He capably nailed rafter-scraping highs and cackling wails, even channeling deceased AC/DC singer Bon Scott's rowdy shrieks during scorching renditions of the Australian band's "Whole Lotta Rosie" and "Riff Raff." Wearing designer jeans and an assortment of leather jackets and fedoras, the 49-year-old front man resembled a Sunset Strip hustler. Rose's handlebar mustache, bracelets and gaudy, finger-choking rings completed a sleazy demeanor that complemented the strip-club slide of "Rocket Queen" and vitriolic spite of "Better."

Along with the reappearance of his signature bandanna and circle-based microphone stand, the vocalist revived classic moves in the form of wind sprints, leg kicks, crossover shuffles and suggestive hand signals. Visibly having fun and utilizing monitors as a platform, he cut down on the frequency of back stage trips for oxygen, and when present, usually stayed in motion.

So did guitarist DJ Ashba. The band's latest recruit brought to the melodies a fluidity, finesse and soulfulness sorely absent since Guns N' Roses' heyday, instilling favorites such as "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Mr. Brownstone" with a tonal character that swaggered rather than simply slammed. It's still a mystery as to why the group requires three guitarists and two keyboardists. Nonetheless, the members interacted as a unit, convincingly integrating newer "Chinese Democracy" material with older fare, and playing at a level where the crowd needn't mentally fill in missing notes.

No longer essential as harmless distractions, either, were pyrotechnics that punctuated songs. Other excesses worked against the group. Four instrumental interludes and multiple jams interrupted momentum. A few bloated tunes, including "Madagascar," also dragged down the pace.

Yet Rose's dramatic deliveries turned several sweeping ballads into poignant mediations on unrequited love ("November Rain"), anguished loss ("This I Love") and antagonistic relationships ("Sorry"). A cathartic reading of "Estranged," a 1991 epic dusted off for this tour, presented in intimate fashion the emotional dichotomies, illusory perceptions and inward struggles that have seemingly consumed Rose throughout his career. In opting for vulnerability over anger, and sentimentality over menace, the less-reckless Guns N' Roses reticently hinted at redemption. Too bad it's taken so long.
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Re: 2011.11.15 - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:11 am

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Re: 2011.11.15 - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:28 pm

Review in Chicago Sun-Times:

Guns N' Roses proves worth the wait.

Axl Rose and his hired guns — still parading around under the name Guns N’ Roses, even though the creative core of that band dissolved two decades ago — are now more famous for their delays than their music. Not only did it take 17 years to produce their so-so latest disc, “Chinese Democracy” (2008), Rose and his crew are notoriously late arriving onstage for concerts. The start time Tuesday at the Allstate Arena was 9 p.m., but the Guns didn’t fire until 11:10 p.m. By 2 a.m., the final confetti was just starting to fall.

“You want 8 o’clock shows, go find F-R-I-E-N-D-S or hit a cinema somewhere,” read a recent Axl-ish post from Guns N’ Roses on the band’s Facebook page. “This is Rock N’ Roll! . . . This is Guns N’ Roses and when the time is right the stage will ignite.”

Given the unnerving professionalism and tightly regimented scheduling that now rules most pop concerts, at least give Rose credit for thumbing his nose at our day jobs and shaking us nearly all night long. I’d almost forgotten the anticipation, anger and at least some momentary sense of long-forgotten mystery (each a vital ingredient for rock ’n’ roll) generated by a simple late start.

The trick is, when you finally show up, to give the crowd something worth waiting for. This reconstituted GNR, touring for the first time since the release of “Chinese Democracy,” hit the stage and largely acquitted themselves as perhaps something just barely more than a wicked GNR cover band. Last month, Billy Corgan and the latest roster of Smashing Pumpkins blew through town and pounded the Riviera Theatre; likewise, Axl & Friends were happy to have a mostly full arena of fans who came for his klaxon wail and kicking shimmy rather than to grouse about absent top hats and buckets.

This GNR doesn’t just cover GNR, either — they covered everybody. Each of the three, count ’em three, guitarists enjoyed a showcase solo, with the nimble Richard Fortus torturing the James Bond theme (as an entry point for the pyro-filled “Live and Let Die,” of course), newest member D.J. Ashba knitting “Mi Amor” and top-knotted Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal tiptoeing through “The Pink Panther” theme. After former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson sang the Who’s “My Generation,” pianist Dizzy Reed followed with a Yanni-worthy instrumental of “Baba O’Riley.”

The band was most alive during the two, count ’em two, AC/DC covers — first “Riff Raff,” with Fortus beating the holy hell out of his guitar, and “Whole Lotta Rosie,” a blast of musical pyro that Rose sang with a perfectly blissful, slightly evil grin. Through most of the concert, we saw a happy, boyish Rose, now 49 and paunchy, joshing with bandmates and tossing mike stands around the stage with joyful abandon. By 1 a.m., this infectious energy did more to keep the crowd awake and engaged than the occasional cannon blasts.

The set was heavy on new songs — yet another defiant Rose gesture — though the hits were sprinkled throughout the night, from “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” to encores of “Patience” and “Paradise City,” as well as some fiery album cuts, including slashing takes on “Better” and “Rocket Queen.” Axl sat at the piano for “November Rain,” after noodling a bit with Elton John’s “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”; there were several such ballad-like moments, but they served more as breathers than padding. Guns N’ Roses is best when they kick hard and keep moving, and amazingly that’s what they did for three long hours Tuesday night. And Wednesday morning.
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Re: 2011.11.15 - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:25 pm

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Re: 2011.11.15 - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, USA

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:24 am

Review from antiMusic.com:

(Allstate Arena – Rosemont, IL November 15, 2011) It was after 2am Wednesday morning in the suburbs of Chicago when a sky on confetti, flames and pyrotechnics brought "Paradise City" to a conclusion. The eight members of Guns N' Roses disappeared momentarily before they reappeared to take their bows. Watching the eight insanely talented current members stand shoulder-to-shoulder I immediately had a revelation hit me; this current incarnation of Guns N' Roses performed the very best concert I've seen in 2011. I've seen nearly eighty acts perform this calendar year and none played out of their skins the way Guns N' Roses did. Thinking back over the last two years I can only think of a handful of other acts who even came close (Michael Franti, James, U2, Butch Walker and John Mellencamp). From the torrid guitars to the surging tempos to the embittered confessions of Axl Rose's vocals, every note wrung out from their instruments rang with a sense of irrefutable authenticity.

At 11:10pm, the intro music to the Showtime series Dexter came on inside the Allstate Arena. The lights dimmed and shadows made their way to the stage and the occasional instrument could be seen. As a slow burning build began, guitarist DJ Ashba stood on top of a raised platform tearing through the opening riff of "Chinese Democracy". Followed by a titanic pyrotechnic eruption, the crowd roared as one man made his way to the front of the stage; Axl Rose. Some singers go on stage and perform, but right from the opening notes of "Chinese Democracy" Rose wailed like a man possessed. Five years ago I witnessed one of the greatest concerts of the decade when Rose gave a performance for the ages. He didn't have an album to promote and he was battling an ear infection and strep throat. None of this was evident to my eyes as he had something to prove and his appetite of determination exceeded everything else. It was that evening when I became a believer of what he is trying to accomplish. The original band, which I adore and respect beyond words, become secondary to me from that moment on. Five years later he has returned to Chicago with a record under his belt and a slightly modified but deeply dynamic group of musicians backing him and the crazed enthusiasm was the same. In 2006 it was about the sheer determination of Axl Rose, whereas this time it was about the band flexing their muscular strength showing everyone they're more than a hyped cover band…but a honest to goodness band that utterly owned these songs.

For "Welcome to the Jungle", eighteen guitar strings attacked the crowd as Tommy Stinson's bass was expressive and powerful. "It's So Easy" featured Stinson harmonizing with Rose on verse and chorus in a sneering manner. Throughout the evening, there was an unspoken dialogue between Stinson and Rose as the two men led the other six into battle. Tommy Stinson funneled the groove of "Rocket Queen" where Rose slithered across the stage. "You Could Be Mine" began with intentional distorted chaos before the band converges into overdrive amidst flames and pyrotechnics. "Nightrain" found guitarist DJ Ashba making his way half way through the arena on the chairs on the side of the stage, all the while without missing a note. Rose, the band's three guitarists and Stinson freely roamed the main stage sprinting past one another in an almost dizzying manner. The drums, piano and instrumentalist Chris Pittman were on an elevated platform towards the back of the stage which Rose and Ashba often climbed for certain songs. The stage was vast and surrounded by seven screens providing animation, clips and up-close shots of the band as they dashed across the stage.

The songs from Chinese Democracy were wisely sprinkled throughout the set allowing them to unfurl on the crowd. "Sorry" featured a joint solo by DJ Ashba and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal. You hear the pain on record, but you feel the throbbing heartbeat bounce off your chest in concert. "This I Love" found Rose removing his sunglasses and delivering an especially heartrending vocal. There may be some who feel I'm going easy on Rose but I can assure you, I'm not. I'll be the first to tell you if I felt he was faking his way through all of this, he's not. As the song rang to its finish, Rose stood motionless on top of an amp at the front and center of the stage even after the lights had dimmed. This isn't about show boating but most likely recomposing himself after the psychological cleanse he just experienced. "Madagascar" and "Shackler's Revenge" were especially notable for the guitar work of Bumblefoot (utilizing a double neck electric guitar) Richard Fortus who showed off his six-pack as his wavy shirt flew open. Both musicians elevated the songs and these performances stand apart from their studio counterparts with great stage potency. These tactile assaults were delivered from an indestructible foundation the seven band members forged. The pining, scorn and bewilderment that embodies Chinese Democracy were more tangible in concert.

Drummer Frank Ferrer was also a sight to behold on the raised stage he shared with Dizzy Reed and instrumentalist Chris Pittman. When I saw the band in 2006, they shocked and awed with their forceful willpower. Ferrer had just joined the band a few months earlier in 2006 and his drumming while spot-on didn't go outside of the lines. He had yet to put his own stamp on the songs. Flash forward five years and he crushed his drum kit with a meticulous swing which he brought to the whole show. He knew precisely when to reign in his bare knuckle drumming and also when to unleash the monster within. His drumming in the band Love Spit Love (which featured Psychedelic Furs singer Richard Butler and current GN'R guitarist Richard Fortus) was tender and yearning especially on the cut "Am I Wrong". He has presence and precision generates an outpouring of emotions as his beat slowly tickles the inner psyche perfectly complimenting the vocal. Back in 2006, Bumblefoot was new to the band and for his guitar solo, he performed "Don't Cry" in its entirety without any vocals. This time around he delivered a winking solo of the "Pink Panther Theme" followed by the entire band nailing "Don't Cry", which made a most welcomed return. Rose's grief-stricken vocal reverberated throughout the arena.

Taking a page from Springsteen, Rose clearly knows what he's up against. Slowly but surely he's upping his game with every tour and made sure the backing musicians are more than great players but musicians who do more than replicate mere notes but who are open to an active collaboration. These eight members perform each of the songs with brazen confidence that spilled over into their performances. There are those who will never welcome this incarnation of the band. I wish it wasn't the case as this band deserves to be seen, heard and above all else admired for doing the impossible; making these classic songs their own. "Sweet Child O' Mine" was a showcase for the triple guitar assault of DJ Ashba, Bumblefoot and Richard Fortus. Ashba performed the luminescent opening riff, Bumblefoot replicated the solo with beauty and Fortus channeled Ron Wood on unbelievable and mean rhythm guitar. All three guitarists amazed as they traded off solos, rhythm guitar and arena rock flashiness.

Much has been written about the extended solos and jams the band execute and they've often been chastised for being overlong. To my eyes, they gave each member a chance to flex their powers in front of the crowd. None of these showcases felt superfluous and often featured exhilarating covers. Bassist Tommy Stinson and the band embodied their punk pasts through a bracing cover of the Who's "My Generation". Dizzy Reed's piano solo defied logic. He shred the keys like a guitar God, but instead of aimless jamming, he delivered "Baba O'Riley" in a thunderous rendition where until the very last section, was completely absent of anything other than his hands upon the keys of the big baby grand piano. Without question, it was the most enthusiastically received of the solo spots. What initially felt like an aimless jam wound up being "Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2" and when it ended Axl Rose was behind the piano facing the crowd at the front of the stage where he found his bearings, performed a snippet of Elton John's "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" before leading into a astounding "November Rain". For the epic sway of the finale, all three guitarists and Stinson surrounded the piano and the band rode this one home victoriously. Forget the video or the images in your mind, watching this band transport this song in concert is the physical equivalent of being hit by lightning. They're so in tune with one another and this nearly ten-minute epic and its pyrotechnic rain shower exploded off the stage.

Two AC/DC covers, "Riff Raff" and "Whole Lotta Rosie" were vitalizing and brought out the inner child of Rose and he danced and looked happy beyond words to be on the concert stage. On "Patience" Fortus and Bumblefoot tenderly played their acoustic guitars while Ashba's electric guitar was aimed squarely at the heart giving a wholly distinctive feel to the song that differs from how I've heard it before. Much credit must be given to Ashba as he helped the band achieve a sense of majesty through his towering stage presence and fiery guitar work. Next to Rose, he spent the most time wandering the stage, climbing rails and even venturing into the crowd. His presence was undeniable; you could not take your eyes off of him. More importantly, he became the heir apparent to these guitar riffs and solos. He didn't merely play them, he embodied them.

What differentiates Guns N' Roses from many of their contemporaries is the emotional wallop their songs present. The masterful pairing of "Estranged" (from Use Your Illusion II) and "Better" (from Chinese Democracy) featured not just tip-top performances but unrelenting emotions pour out on the stage. There's a difference between Axl Rose and just about every other performer. I don't personally believe that Rose is a "performer". Sure, he puts his shoes, pants, shirt, necklace, hat and sunglasses but it's not a stage uniform or something to make him look hip or cool. He is simply Axl Rose. The disparity between say Gene Simmons and Axl is that Simmons is playing a character whereas Rose is out there doing wrestling with something most acts can't capture even with bait. Rose knows there's a place within that he goes when the lights go out. Whether he goes there or he needs to purge it, I can't say but when you hear his pining wail on "Estranged" you don't just believe it-you feel it. On "Better" the band reached new heights and went into a rarefied kill zone that most acts hope to find once a show and for other acts, they're fortunate to find it once a tour. It's a moment where something from within pours out and is so irrefutable, that those in the audience who are paying attention stand up, take notice and their entire thought process changes. It's here where you realize this isn't an ego trip or even a group of insanely talented musicians all on one stage. It's a band whose combined expressive efforts show us a part of ourselves we didn't know existed until we heard these songs. It awakes a part inside we forgot about and hid. Many say that when things are normal they feel most alive. I'd dare to say when we are at our darkest moments is when we feel most alive. We're not guaranteed happiness when we unfurl ourselves from our mother's womb. We're faced with two hard realities at those first moments; pain and death. No one is immune to it and despite what anyone says, no amount of money or fame can soothe it. More than any other artist in this planet, Axl Rose lets us inside his world. The acts that do this dwindle by the day. Too many are making grand gestures about the world they feel will be good publicity for them whereas music is at its best when it speaks directly to you. One of the reasons Appetite for Destruction and Use Your Illusion were so celebrated was because of their inherent realism. The same can be said of Chinese Democracy which few were open minded enough to allow it unfold. You may have a specific image of Guns N' Roses in your head you can't let go of, but if you allow yourself to put that picture away for three hours, you will witness more than a evening of nostalgia but a exorcism of one man's demons and a group of musicians that will defy the odds and take you places you never knew existed. The nearly three hour show was chock full of hits, covers, extended jams and a plethora of biting material from the controversial Chinese Democracy. Guns N' Roses isn't a group of musicians merely trying to recapture past glories, they're making their own history.

Anthony Kuzminski is a Chicago based writer and Special Features Editor for the antiMusic Network. His daily writings can be read at The Screen Door. He can be contacted at thescreendoor AT gmail DOT com and can be followed on Twitter.
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