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Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.


2002.11.27 - Pepsi Arena, Albany, USA

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Post by Soulmonster Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:32 pm

November 27, 2002.

Pepsi Arena.

Albany, NY, USA.

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

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).

2002.11.27 - Pepsi Arena, Albany, USA Rightarrow Next concert: 2002.11.29.
2002.11.27 - Pepsi Arena, Albany, USA Leftarrow Previous concert: 2002.11.25.
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Post by Blackstar Sat May 09, 2020 5:42 pm

Now I was uh, perusing. I was reading all about my integrity, 'cause that's what I'm known for I guess - selling out my integrity. That's why I'm here with you tonight because I just don't give a fuck I guess. Yeah, that's why we worked real hard at this. That's why these guys worked real hard at being in a band that they can get abused for "because they're the guys in the way of stopping the old band from getting together." That's horseshit.
I'm not trying to bum anybody out, but, you know, I was thinking about it. I'm pretty blunt so people get real pissed. And I haven't done a lot of talking on this tour. I'll shut up real soon don't worry. You know, I've tried acting nice and that just ends up fucking me right up the ass. They take advantage of that. "Well, you see Axl said something nice, so how can we use that to our advantage?" ... The truth is they didn't want to be here for you at this level and they don't want to take it farther. I mean, that's their business right? But not at my expense or yours. You've been played. You've been lied to. You've been used. You've been manipulated so that they can ride around in limos and jam with Snoop Dogg or whoever the fuck. I don't care. That's their business, but they shouldn't really do it at your expense or mine.
Now as soon as I say this it'll be on an MP3, someone will transcribe it , and the next person will say "'Can you believe Axl said that? I mean my god. I mean he hasn't put out a record. I don't know why he would say that. I mean who does he think he is? That's not very nice. The other guys, they have gotten over it and they're his friend now and they're willing to be his friend and he just needs to grow up." .. I'm sorry. I'm a little bit more blunt. I mean, Slash may sound like a De La Hoya, but he's the fucking Vargas. That's just how it is. And just because you've got a bunch of guys agreeing doesn't mean shit. The truth is that they're a bunch of bad cops and I'm the fuckin' Serpico and they can "suck my dick!"
"You know without Axl and Slash we wouldn't have November Rain and Estranged" .. Well you don't know what the fuck I went through to get that guy to play those songs. You don't know about the argument we had at A&M studios, because Duff and Slash came to me going "We're not gonna do that song Axl, we're not gonna do this song, no, no, we're just not gonna do it." .. But I wanna do it. We'll do it right now. This song is called "Patience."
[Pepsi Arena, Albany, NY, USA, November 27, 2002]
(Transcribed by @RONIN at mygnrforum)

Last edited by Blackstar on Sat May 30, 2020 6:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Blackstar Tue May 19, 2020 9:11 pm

Announcements of the show.

Press and Sun Bulletin, Oct. 17, 2002:

2002.11.27 - Pepsi Arena, Albany, USA 2002_136

The Post Star, October 20, 2002:

2002.11.27 - Pepsi Arena, Albany, USA 2002_137


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Post by Blackstar Wed May 20, 2020 3:15 pm

Preview in The Albany Times Union, November 21, 2002:

Among local rock fans, claiming you saw Guns N' Roses at the Palace Theatre in 1987 is the equivalent of saying you voted for John Kennedy in 1960. Everyone wants to be present at the creation.
It was shortly after the band's breakthrough album “Appetite for Destruction'' was released, although the record hadn't broken through yet -- nobody knew who Guns N' Roses were. (Nobody knew who the opening act was, either -- EZO, a Japanese heavy metal band that performed in kabuki-meets-Kiss makeup.)
That night, the members of Guns N' Roses were everything a lean, mean rock act should be. They pumped out raw, powerful and genuinely dangerous music with little regard for the consequences. If memory serves, the band was furious that the orchestra pit had been lowered to create a moat between the stage and the fans. It must have been Slash, the guitarist, who jumped into the pit like a buccaneer -- guitar in one hand, bottle of Jack Daniels in the other.
Ironically, there was no need to separate the band from the fans: Only 187 fans attended the show, in a theater that could have held 2,500 more.
There would be few empty seats for Guns N' Roses in the years to come. A few months later, “Welcome to the Jungle'' and “Sweet Child O' Mine'' made it to MTV and rock radio, and the band was launched on a rocket ride that included big albums, bigger tours (including a slot opening for Aerosmith at SPAC in 1988), and even more monumental tales of excess, debauchery and bad manners.
A very different Guns N' Roses -- essentially lead singer Axl Rose and a crew of hired Guns -- plays the Pepsi Arena on Wednesday. Here's a guide to one of the most lethal bands of the Reagan-Bush era:
A is for Axl Rose, born in 1962 in Layfayette, Ind., and raised as Bill Bailey. “Rose'' comes from his biological father, who left the family when Axl was 2 (something he didn't discover until age 17; “Axl'' was borrowed from the name of one of his teenage bands. The former choirboy hitchhiked to Los Angeles in 1985 to join boyhood friend and guitarist Jeffrey Isbell, aka Izzy Stradlin.
B is for the much more bohemian upbringing of Saul Hudson, better known as the top-hatted, Cousin It-lookin' guitarist Slash. Born in Britain, Slash's father designed album covers (including Joni Mitchell's ‘Court and Spark''); his mother designed costumes for David Bowie.
C is for the Los Angeles club circuit, where Rose, Slash and Stradlin worked in various groups before forming Gun N' Roses in 1985 with drummer Steven Adler and bassist Duff McKagen. Alternate band name suggestions included Heads of Amazon and AIDS.
D is for the band's March 1986 deal with Geffen Records, which followed the release of the ferocious EP “Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide'' on the Uzi/Suicide label. The first fruit of the contract, the 1987 album “Appetite for Destruction,'' was recently selected as the best heavy metal album of all time by Spin magazine.
E is for Erin Invicta Everly, the daughter of Don Everly of the Everly Brothers and the inspiration for the band's 1988 monster single “Sweet Child O' Mine.'' Her relationship with Rose is an old-fashioned romance: boy meets girl, girl marries boy at Cupid's Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, boy files for divorce four weeks later, girl and boy reconcile and then break up again, boy annuls marriage, girl tells People magazine that boy was physically abusive.

F is for the 1990 firing of Steven Adler. In 1991, the deposed drummer filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that he was canned unfairly. In a neat touch, the suit blamed his drug addiction on his former bandmates.
G is for the Guns who are gone, including all four charter members -- Slash, Stradlin, Adler and McKagen -- as well as sometime members Josh Freese, Tracii Guns, Gilby Clarke, Matt Sorum, Dave Navarro, Paul Huge ... frankly, we've lost track.
H is for heroin. (You were expecting maybe ham sandwich?) The band's appetite for chemical self-destruction has been an integral part of its story from the beginning. The contract for its first big tour slot, opening for Aerosmith in 1988, included a special rider stipulating that the members of Guns N' Roses would keep their drug use confined to their dressing room in order not to tempt the recently detoxed Boston rockers. “I used to do a little/But a little wouldn't do/So the little got more and more.'' – “Mr. Brownstone,'' 1987.
I is for “Use Your Illusion I'' and “Use Your Illusion II,'' the band's much-delayed, double-barreled 1991 follow-up to “Appetite for Destruction.'' The CDs were released simultaneously, and immediately took up the top two spots on the Billboard charts (dislodging comedian Bob Newhart from the record books). Hits generated by the albums include the epic “November Rain'' and the band's cover of Wings' “Live and Let Die.''
J is for William James, Jesus Christ and Carl Jung, three of the scores of highfalutin references cited in Danny Sugerman's 1991 Guns N' Roses bio “Appetite for Destruction.'' And that's just the J's: Sugerman, a former Jim Morrison hanger-on who co-authored the bestselling Doors chronicle “No One Here Gets Out Alive,'' slathers the band with enough pseudoscholarly pseudoprose to make any comp-lit student's head explode. The book does contain one classic line: “If reports and my own eyewitness accounts can be trusted, Axl Rose has been relatively drug-free for almost a year now ... .''
K is for Kmart, the retail giant sued by the band in 1990 for allegedly using its name and picture in ads for a toy drum kit. Managing not to giggle, the band's lawyers claimed Kmart damaged Guns N' Roses' reputation.
L is for lithium, which Rose began taking in the late '80s after he was diagnosed with manic depression: “Lithium hasn't done one damn thing for me,'' Rose is quoted in Sugerman's book as saying, “except it's made people think, ‘Axl's trying to do something to help himself, so this must be a good thing.' In other words, if I trash my hotel room it's accepted more as long as I'm taking my lithium.''
M is for MTV, which helped make GNR stars, even though the music video channel didn't begin playing the band's breakthrough video, “Welcome to the Jungle,'' until nearly six months after the album “Appetite for Destruction'' was released.
N is for new members, which include guitarists Buckethead (joined in 2000), Robin Finck (joined in 1997) and Richard Fortus (2002), keyboardists Dizzy Reed (1990) and Chris Pittman (1999), bassist Tommy Stinson (1998) and drummer Brian ``Brain'' Mantia (2000).
O is for “One in a Million,'' released on 1989's “G n' R Lies'' EP. Sung from the point of view of a white boy on the mean streets of L.A., the lyrics inveigh against immigrants and gays. The EP also includes the song “Used to Love Her'' (“but I had to kill her'').
P is for “Patience,'' a much more soothing cut from “G n' R Lies.'' Also one of the Seven Virtues, and something the band's live audiences have become familiar with. In its salad days, the band's serial tardiness was enough to make today's rap caravans seem downright punctual: Fans in Dayton, Ohio, are probably still talking about the 1992 concert in which the band didn't go on stage until 12:25 a.m.
Q is for Queen. GNR played “A Concert For Life,'' the Freddie Mercury tribute extravaganza staged at Wembley Stadium in 1992, and recruited Queen guitarist Brian May as their opening act for a tour later that year.
R is for riots. Since space is limited, let's just mention the latest: At Vancouver's General Motors Place arena on Nov. 7 -- the first scheduled stop on the “Chinese Democracy'' tour -- fans responded to the bad news that bad weather had canceled Rose's flight from Los Angeles by smashing glass windows and doors and setting off fireworks. A small army of police and canine units responded. Is that warm glow that fans were feeling nostalgia for the early '90s, or just pepper spray?
S is for Arnold Schwarzenegger. The actor starred in two films with Guns N' Roses songs on their soundtracks: 1991's smash hit “Terminator 2: Judgment Day'' (the hit “You Could Be Mine'') and 1999's dud “End of Days'' (the non-hit “Oh My God'').
T is for tantrum, trouble and tabloid, all of which Rose knows on an intimate basis.
U is for unreleased, the status of Guns N' Roses new album, known as “Chinese Democracy.'' Rose claims the album will be released in 2003.
V is for Black Death Vodka. Slash's endorsement deal with the maker of this jauntily monikered beverage drew the ire of U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Novello in 1992.
W is for where are they now? Charter members Slash, McKagen and Stradlin are reportedly writing new material and looking for a singer. A cleaned-up Steven Adler and his mother have put together a book, “No Bed of Roses,'' about his tenure with the band.
X is for -- well, take your pick.
Y is for “Look at Your Game Girl,'' an unlisted track on the band's 1993 rack-filling covers album “The Spaghetti Incident.'' Controversy arose when someone realized that royalties for the song would go to its author, imprisoned mass murderer Charles Manson. The song was dropped from subsequent editions.
Z is for New Zealand, the nation to which the band fled in December 1988 after Australian officials issued a warrant for Rose's arrest after the singer allegedly made statements condoning drug use during a concert. When you're too wild for Australia, you are bad.
-- Casey Seiler, Greg Haymes and Mark McGuire, with much thanks to the invaluable “Encyclopedia of Rock Stars'' (DK Publishing) by Dafydd Rees and Luke Crampton.
GUNS N' ROSES with Mixmaster Mike and CKY
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: The Pepsi Arena, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany
Tickets: $46, $56
Info: 487-2000

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Post by Blackstar Thu May 21, 2020 12:28 pm

Review in the Albany Times Union, Nov. 29, 2002:

Staff writer

ALBANY -- Welcome back to the jungle.

Or at least the back yard badly in need of mowing.

Guns N' Roses are back -- sort of. On this comeback tour -- their first in about a decade -- vocalist Axl Rose is back with a whole new army of hired Guns. His new crew features mysterioso gonzo guitarist Buckethead (who does indeed sport a KFC bucket on his head over a wire mask), as well as ex-members of the Nine Inch Nails, the Replacements, the Primus and the Psychedelic Furs.

The band, bulging with the excess of three guitarists as well as a pair of keyboardists, launched into their Pepsi Arena show in Albany on Wednesday night with the predictable anthem, "Welcome to the Jungle,'' as Rose roared through his fierce call to action.

The crowd, which had waited impatiently for more than 75 minutes after the second of two opening acts wrapped up its performance, finally had something to cheer about at 10:30 p.m., but let's face it, the current GNR incarnation bares little resemblance to the old powerhouse.

GNR was once a lean, ferocious rock 'n' roll machine, seething with raw, primal energy. But the new lineup was a far cry from the band's heyday.

Clad in baggy pants and an oversized New York Rangers hockey jersey to offset his long braids, Rose unleashed his trademark howl on old favorites like "It's So Easy'' and "Mr. Brownstone'' as the lyrics scrolled by on his TelePrompTer amid a seemingly endless barrage of videos, special effects lighting and nonstop pyrotechnics.

This wasn't rock 'n' roll. It was, in fact, a parody of rock 'n' roll. The pompous, overblown rendition of Paul McCartney's James Bond theme, "Live and Let Die,'' was a clear tip-off, and Rose's turn at the grand piano for "November Rain'' cinched the deal.

Buckethead had the only featured spot and his other-worldly solo stretched from John Williams' "Star Wars'' theme to a bluegrass breakdown.

Is GNR really back? Yes they are, but they're certainly not at the top of the rock heap anymore.
Maverick hip-hop DJ Mixmaster Mike -- best known as turntablist for the Beastie Boys -- manned the wheels of steel for a 45-minute set that careened from Led Zeppelin to Gary Numan, while openers CKY plowed through a half-hour of nu-metal sonic sludge to warm-up the evening, belching and plugging MTV's "Jackass.''

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Pepsi Arena, Albany
Length: GNR, 2 hours; Mixmaster Mike, 45 minutes; CKY, 30 minutes

A reader's reaction to the review, same newspaper, Dec. 5, 2002:

It's a shame that Greg Haymes, like most rock 'n' roll journalists, just doesn't get it. "The current GNR incarnation,'' as he called them (in his review of the band's Pepsi Arena concert on Nov. 27), is better than any other so-called rock act on the current music scene. I thought that the band (Guns N' Roses) was tight, the show -- including the video screens and the pyrotechnics -- was great and Axl never sounded better.

Why does everyone feel that this band has to somehow "measure up'' to the Guns of the '80s and '90s? Why can't people just appreciate them for being a real, honest rock 'n' roll band? I usually agree with most of Haymes' reviews, but this time I feel that he got it wrong. Of course that's just my opinion, as the review was his. Thanks for letting me vent. Bob Rose Clifton Park Roses better than ever Nice review (of Guns N' Roses). Did Greg Haymes forget to mention that the 10,000-plus people there were blown away and remained on their feet for the entire two hours to watch the "parody''? Did he forget to realize that Axl is now 40 and also one of the most successful entertainers of our time? Don't you think that could lead to him putting on a more polished act?

I would find it a little absurd for him to come out and put on an outta-control show filled with his patented tirades at age 40. That, my friend, would be over the top. This was a perfectly produced show loaded with amazing performances from beginning to end. Everyone who has gone into these shows has expected the worst because of silly reviews like Haymes' but comes out blown away.

These articles may have worked for round one, but this band is a snowball rolling downhill -- so don't forget your words as Axl and company take back the throne as the biggest band on the planet.

Rocque Trem

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Post by Blackstar Sun Aug 27, 2023 6:11 pm

Preview article for the upcoming show in Saratoga Springs, NY, reminiscing about this show; Albany Times Union, Aug. 27, 2023:

Music Matters: That other time Guns N’ Roses performed here

By Jim Shahen Jr.

Guns N’ Roses will be at SPAC this Friday and it’s a big deal.

The lineup featuring founding members singer Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash and ultracool bassist Duff McKagan will be making its first appearance in the Capital Region since reuniting in 2016 to conquer stadiums worldwide.

This has inspired reminiscing about Gn’R’s 1988 SPAC set, where the band’s opening borderline-riotous performance rendered headliner Aerosmith irrelevant.

But you don’t hear people talking about the last time the Guns N’ Roses name played the 518.

That came Nov. 27, 2002, to the Pepsi Arena (now MVP Arena) in Albany. Whereas 25,000 people witnessed the original lineup tear through SPAC, about a quarter of that were on hand to witness Rose’s controversial and frequently derided revamp of the Gn’R name. I was one of those in attendance.

Rose debuted the new lineup and announced the tour a couple months prior with a bizarre performance to close out that year’s MTV Video Music Awards. National audiences saw a roster that included the Replacements’ Tommy Stinson on bass and Nine Inch Nails’ Robin Finck (still decked out in full industrial-Goth garb) playing one of the three guitar parts. Slash’s replacement, Buckethead, was a 7-foot-tall enigma with plastic white mask on his face and upside-down KFC bucket over his head with a sticker reading “Funeral” emblazoned across it. Then there was Rose, rocking baggy leather pants and a football jersey instead of a pair of biker shorts, hair fashioned into a set of incomprehensible and incomprehensibly dense braids/cornrows.

The off-putting appearance created a public perception that the once-mighty Guns N’ Roses was reduced to a mere freakshow, eccentric Axl Rose and hired hands that were the musical equivalent of the Island of Misfit Toys.

Heading into the Albany show, that image hadn’t really changed. Opening night of the tour in Vancouver ended in a riot when Rose failed to show and the promoter canceled. The next 11 shows were met with erratic audience sizes, delayed start times and mixed reviews.

At first, the Pepsi Arena concert seemed destined to be added to the list of cancellations and disappointments. Opening acts CKY and former Beastie Boys DJ Mix Master Mike were done by 9 p.m. and the stage was set for Gn’R by 9:15 or so. People started getting restless around 9:45. By 10, dueling chants of “Axl” and “asshole” had commenced. Soon after that, only the latter was chanted. I had gone to this concert alone, as the amount of 17-year-olds emotionally invested in Rose or the Buckethead mythos consisted solely of me. As the vibe shifted and the possibility of a riot started to seem plausible, I started to wonder if maybe the peers who thought it was a little weird for my excitement over this show were onto something.

Turns out, I wasn’t weird at all (for going to the show, at least), as around 10:30 the lights went out and a familiar voice shrieked, “Do you know where the (expletive) you are,” and Guns N’ Roses crushed “Welcome to the Jungle.”

Over the course of two hours, the Rose-colored incarnation of Guns N’ Roses ripped through the bulk of the seminal “Appetite for Destruction,” some of the hits from “Use Your Illusion” and a handful of new songs from the mythical, then-unreleased “Chinese Democracy” album. While the classic lineup played it loose and bluesy, this roster performed the material with brutal precision and focus. Buckethead was clinical, effortlessly playing the solos to “November Rain” and “Paradise City” and delivering an extended solo spot that featured him breakdancing, swinging some nunchucks, playing the theme to “Star Wars” on his guitar and handing out Transformers action figures to fans in the front row.

Rose was classic Rose. He did the shimmy, the weird snake dance he’s been doing since 1987 and sang his butt off. If the exceedingly late start time was a callback to his early 1990s reputation for tardiness, his stage banter reflected his vaunted mercurial nature. If you were scouring Gn’R blogs in 2002 like some people (me), you would have known that at prior stops, Rose was pretty quiet on stage and went through his set in workmanlike fashion. He was downright loquacious in Albany, offering up a few quips between songs and preceding “Patience” by uncorking a rant for the ages about the media coverage for the tour and his integrity vis a vis his then-former bandmates.

Albany appeared to mark a turning point for Rose and the band. Not necessarily here, where the Times Union panned the show, but in terms of national perception. Four out of the next five shows were sold out and Guns N’ Roses received rave reviews for that fifth one, a rousing performance Dec. 5 at Madison Square Garden. And then it all went up in smoke when Rose no-showed the next night’s sold-out concert in Philadelphia, leading to another riot and the cancellation of the last month of the tour.

Now the Pepsi Arena concert is considered, along with that MSG show, to be one of the top two dates on the ill-fated run. You can judge for yourself by watching it on YouTube, just search “Guns N’ Roses Albany 2002” and there are multiple links to the entire show. It’s worth checking out. Without the controversy over the lineup weighing over it, drama that’s quaint now when one can see Lynyrd Skynyrd perform without a single original member, the concert plays like a tight, hard rock show.

I’m looking forward to seeing Guns N’ Roses on Friday at SPAC. The past several years have been marked by on-time starts and powerhouse three-hour sets. If those precedents hold, it should be a memorable evening and a chance to hear some of the greatest rock songs ever made.

But for me, that 2002 run will always stand out not only because of how awesome I think that Pepsi Arena gig was, but also because of the questions it inspires. I find it to be one of the great “what ifs” in classic rock. What if Rose hadn’t blown the whole thing up just as it was gaining momentum and credibility? Would Slash and Duff be back in the band? Would people have even cared if they weren’t?

To quote the chorus of the classic Gn’R song “My Michelle,” “Well, well, well, you just can’t tell.”

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