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2002.08.24 - Pukkelpop Festival, Hasselt-Kiewit, Belgium

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2002.08.24 - Pukkelpop Festival, Hasselt-Kiewit, Belgium Empty 2002.08.24 - Pukkelpop Festival, Hasselt-Kiewit, Belgium

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:00 am

Date:
August 24, 2002.

Venue:
Pukkelpop Festival, Pukkelpop Field.

Location:
Hasselt-Kiewit, Belgium.

Setlist:
01. Welcome to the Jungle
02. It's So Easy
03. Mr. Brownstone
04. Live and Let Die
05. Think About You
06. You Could Be Mine
07. Sweet Child O'Mine
08. Knockin' On Heaven's Door
09. Out Ta Get Me
10. Madagascar
11. Rhiad and the Bedouins
12. Chinese Democracy
13. November Rain
14. Street of Dreams
15. Patience
16. Rocket Queen
17. My Michelle
18. Nightrain
19. Paradise City

Line-up:
Axl Rose (vocals), Richard Fortus (rhythm guitarist), Buckethead (lead guitarist), Robin Finck (lead guitarist), Tommy Stinson (bass), Dizzy Reed (keyboards), Chris Pitman (keyboards) and Brain (drums).

2002.08.24 - Pukkelpop Festival, Hasselt-Kiewit, Belgium Rightarrow Next concert: 2002.08.26.
2002.08.24 - Pukkelpop Festival, Hasselt-Kiewit, Belgium Leftarrow Previous concert: 2002.08.23.
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2002.08.24 - Pukkelpop Festival, Hasselt-Kiewit, Belgium Empty Re: 2002.08.24 - Pukkelpop Festival, Hasselt-Kiewit, Belgium

Post by Blackstar on Thu May 14, 2020 7:39 am

Article/review in KindaMuzik online magazine, 2002 (exact date unknown):
THE NEW INCARNATION OF GUNS N' ROSES IS THE BEST COVER BAND IN THE WORLD

A Desperate Journey Through Sentiment and Mud - A Meet-And-Greet with the New Generation Wiseacre - The "Come Back" of the Year, or Just Another Pathetic Scam? - Brutal Notes on the Resurrection of an Era

Guns N' Roses is Back! That is a goddamn understatement that has the truth of two mules in it. Yes, they have a lot to prove in our new century, because times — and music — have changed a lot since they quietly disappeared from the highest thrones of rock music. Guns N' Roses' original members from their period of glory (ten years ago) — namely bass player Duff McKagan, guitarist Gilby Clarke, drummer Matt Sorum, and lead guitarist Slash — were either sacked by singer Axl Rose or left because of, what my doubting informants and right-wing truth seekers — without blinking — call, the man's "horrible ego." Well, who knows? Axl Rose might be made out of a hodgepodge of negative cells, and likes to fight and raise his voice in times when he shouldn't do so. He is also a fighter extraordinaire who wants to accomplish his goal: make Guns N' Roses the best rock band in the world. Again.

by Xander van Aart

THE EXPECTATIONS

I noticed big smiles on the faces of both critics and fans when the news appeared in the media that Guns N' Roses would headline one of Belgium's finest summer festivals, Pukkelpop. Those extreme reactions weren't strange, because the band is now considered lost glory to most. Or at least to the writing press, who couldn't wait to get out to the front near the stage with their freshly sharpened knives and loaded guns, in order to kill the band's gigantic status. The international press was on a collective "kill Axl trip," and Rolling Stone magazine was tarred and feathered, because they ran a very positive piece on the Guns show at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, New Year's Eve, 2001. The ever-changing release date of the band's forthcoming studio album, Chinese Democracy, — originally scheduled to be released in, what the fuck was it, 1995? — and the fact that all members, except keyboard player Dizzy Reed, are replaced by new members didn't promise much good, either. Most people I knew went to the show at the Pukkelpop festival for a laugh, and others were there for historical reasons. I went there for all the wrong reasons, myself. I had some questions to answer, and due to particular problems in my personal life it felt like the perfect getaway for the weekend. In fact, my mind was so frozen due to paranoia that I would've said yes to anything. Even a human bombing test on the outskirts of Jerusalem. The bottomline: I needed the getaway, and there would be no time to even think about elusive issues like 'memories' and 'hope' concerning the Pukkelpop Guns N' Roses show, and what would be left of one of the icons of a half-forgotten decade. There were serious questions to be answered, and there was only one way to answer them: borrow a car off a temporarily handicapped friend who could do nothing aside from sitting at home and doing drugs to numb the awful pains of his broken leg, and drive off to Hasselt, Belgium, and then make enough confusion at the festival gates to slip through for free, ignoring the guarding Schweinhunden wearing "security" jackets.

THE TENSION

There I was, just outside the town of Hasselt, Belgium, in the middle of a meadow where the rain had terrorized the beautiful surroundings into a throbbing and smelling Ground Zero. And its people consisted only of weird-looking, sloppy demons. While I was walking towards the stage, carefully watching my feet disappear into the mud, a lot of people were walking AWAY from the stage. I could overhear some of them, and they were talking about "leaving the Nerd Brigade" and about how it was time to "go and do something serious besides waiting for useless crap." It was so crowded that people were forced to follow the show from outside the gates, near Campground B, by staring at one of two gigantic video screens, in order to pick up a glimpse of Axl Rose and his army of cover junkies. Almost 90 minutes too late, the stage lights went on and movement could be seen onstage. People were pushing against each other when I finally made it to the front of that boiling crowd, a crowd fueled by alcohol and drugs and adrenalin and hysterics. And I could see an explosion of childhood memories, too. It was all around me; there was no way to deny it. Crying girls in their early twenties, and tough metalguys fighting against their tears, in that moment of truth. Remember, many of them were experiencing Guns N' Roses live for the first time. I lost my notebook three times during the intro while being pushed into the gates, having some security guy give it back to me while the band set off with 'Welcome To the Jungle.' A howl of recognition and teenage sentiment rose up from behind me. It was clearly showtime.

THE SHOW

Guns N' Roses now consists of the aforementioned Axl Rose and Dizzy Reed, and is made complete with guitarists Richard Fortus and Buckethead (who looks like a wannabe member of Slipknot working at Kentucky Fried Chicken), drummer Brain, of Primus fame, Tommy Stinson on bass, and "Greasy" Chris Pitman on additional keys. The first thing that hit me, when the chorus of 'Welcome To the Jungle' kicked in, was Axl's voice. Although the last time I saw him perform live was almost ten years ago, his strong voice sounded exactly the same. All the high notes came out perfectly, and he ran around the big stage just like in the old days. Unlimited mileage for the redheaded enfant terrible of rock music, and the only difference in his appearance was his dreadlocks and fresh love handles. This wasn't just a Guns N' Roses show. This was payback time, and Axl seemed to understand that concept more than we -— journalists and fans — did. Although the setlist was predictable and safe, Axl and his new band surprised me, due to their sheer lust for life and energy, and they claimed their stadium rock throne back from the likes of current dumb, million-selling rock icons with no future place in the history books.

THE GRANDE FINALE

When Axl Rose sat behind the piano, it was easy to know what would come, and I jumped over the fence and was directed towards the left side of the stage by a friendly security officer. As the opening tones of their epic 'November Rain' found their way through the enormous sound system, over the meadow filled with drunks and fans and negative nazis who still weren't convinced about Axl's talent, I found myself a ways through the crowd again. I could see it now, very clearly. The real fans would go for anything that sounded like a Guns song or even had a furious scream by Axl in it, and Axl gave them a lot more than they wanted. And the rest of the people — the ones that were standing behind the sound tower — hated that "rat-fried bastard of a cunt behind the microphone, and his fake army of dumb volunteers," as one skinny, young man, standing next to me, was saying. He was wearing a Slayer T-shirt and looked like he had been drinking all night. "I don't want to see this shit," he said, pointing at the crowd. "That, right there, are fans who keep on hanging to their dreams and take anything for granted, as long as that stupid redhead sings 'Sweet Child O' Mine.' But dreams are fake and times have changed now." I nodded, and said that I enjoyed the show so far, and that I didn't care for things like sentiment. "Let's be honest," he said, looking me straight in the eyes, "Guns N' Roses is history now. I can do without this last spasm that is going on right here." Then he walked away, disappearing into the crowd and into the night, as I turned around concentrating on that great final peak of 'November Rain.'

USE YOUR ILLUSION

Guns N' Roses is back and alive. Maybe not everyone can grasp that weird statement, but you had to be there to know. And you had to close your eyes and listen carefully to their characteristic sound to understand. And if you weren't there as a witness, time will show that Axl and his sidekick-beans are anything but a vague reflection of some half-forgotten memory: Pure musical morality will emerge. This show had everything to do with emotions and feeling and seeing everything in the right perspective. To some fans, childhood memories were broken down, because of finally realizing that Slash is gone (which affects the visual pleasure, of seeing the band, in a negative way). And to others, childhood dreams were confirmed, because they swallowed everything Axl gave them, as they would sugar-flavored donuts with iced topping. Let's face it: It was a predictable show containing mainly old favorites, and a glimpse of the new material in the second part of the two-hour set. And then there was a third group — the more negative ones — who were burning down Axl in favor of being a negativist, without any eye for quality music or knowledge of quality performance. They are the negative scum who already had their opinion ready, even before the band set foot on Belgium soil. That was the deal on the field, that day, and I remember it well. It was a pure and dangerous mixture of anything violent, jealous, and beautiful in this world, and the beauty of that eerie gathering, of so many people who all had very different visions, was the fact that these different visions never collided . . . About halfway through the set I was counting on a brutal massacre that would make people looking at Guns N' Roses in a whole different way, but that never happened. Maybe it was just me, not only picking up the good, but also the bad vibes. But that was my assignment in the first place. I, as your unprejudiced correspondent and deranged wing walker on the spot, can only conclude that all these different visions have a certain truth in them. Well, whatever. In the end I was just happy to escape from the mud and get my '84 Ford into first gear and leave the scene immediately, as soon as the sun started burning drunk fans and evil enemies out of their tents by daybreak.
https://web.archive.org/web/20021125200529/http://www.kindamuzik.net/features/article.shtml?id=2062
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