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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA

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2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA Empty 2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA

Post by Soulmonster Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:02 am

Date:
May 12, 2006.

Venue:
Hammerstein Ballroom.

Location:
New York, NY, USA.

Setlist:
01. Welcome to the Jungle
02. It's So Easy
03. Mr. Brownstone
04. Better
05. Live and Let Die
06. Sweet Child O'Mine
07. Knockin' On Heaven's Door
08. Madagascar
09. You Could Be Mine
10. Street of Dreams
11. Out Ta Get Me
12. November Rain
13. My Michelle [with Sebastian Bach]
14. Chinese Democracy
15. There was a Time
16. Patience
17. I.R.S.
18. Nightrain
19. Paradise City

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

Notes:
The first out of four shows at the Hammerstein Ballroom and the first show with Bumblefoot who replaced Buckethead on lead guitar. Better and I.R.S. were played for the first time.

2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA Rightarrow Next concert: 2006.05.14.
2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA Leftarrow Previous concert: 2002.12.05.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Thu Feb 11, 2021 11:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA Empty Re: 2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA

Post by Soulmonster Thu May 08, 2014 11:37 am

Review in Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2006:

Welcome to Axl's much tamer jungle
POP MUSIC REVIEW
May 15, 2006|Richard Cromelin | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — "What would Axl do?" read the T-shirt on one of the Guns N' Roses fans outside the Hammerstein Ballroom on Friday. They were lined up around the block waiting to get into the 3,300-capacity theater where Guns N' Roses was scheduled to play its first show since a 2002 concert a couple of blocks away at Madison Square Garden.

As it turned out, Axl Rose wouldn't do much, at least not in the way the T-shirt suggested -- nothing to add to the list of no-shows, walkouts and confrontations with audience members that has made the band's saga a trail of mayhem as well as music. The only musician to go into the audience Friday was guitarist Robin Finck, who did a little stage-diving and crowd-surfing near the end of the night.

The last time the L.A. band opened a tour, in Vancouver, Canada, Rose was late, the show was canceled and the fans rioted. That 2002 tour came to a premature end later on when Rose did the same thing in Philadelphia.

That history -- as well as a newspaper report that Rose had missed a rehearsal -- might have been lingering in people's minds Friday as they came to witness the awakening of what they hoped was a slumbering giant. The four Hammerstein concerts (shows were also scheduled for Sunday, today and Wednesday) are a warm-up for a European tour, which will be followed, Rose recently announced, by the release of the band's first album of new material since 1991, the infamously, interminably in-progress "Chinese Democracy."

Showing good taste and high spirits, the crowd booed the opener, the Welsh band Bullet for My Valentine, off the stage, then waited for an hour until Guns N' Roses came on at 11 p.m., complete with its lead singer.

Rose, wearing jeans, a black leather shirt and sunglasses, his hair in cornrows and tied in a ponytail, got a hero's welcome as he led the band through its traditional opener, "Welcome to the Jungle." His frame looked a little heftier at age 44 than in his street-waif heyday 20 years ago, but he kicked and scampered around with spirited energy, and his raspy voice had its old barbed-wire edge.

That was the start of a solid, smooth-running 2 1/2 -hour set that was dominated by vintage fan favorites, with no tirades, no impulsive departures from the book, unless you count a guest appearance by Skid Row's Sebastian Bach, singing with Rose on "My Michelle." There was also a lot less of the tension that fueled the band's performances in the late '80s and early '90s, largely because this is a different Guns N' Roses, with the original lineup -- most significantly, Rose's colorful, guitar-wielding foil Slash -- gone and new players in place since the late '90s.

One teaser for Friday's show was the unveiling of a new guitarist as replacement for the recently departed Buckethead. He turned out to be Ron Thal, from a New York outfit called, oddly enough, Bumblefoot, and who at one point played a guitar shaped and painted as a foot.

With its three guitarists, Guns N' Roses' 2006 edition is a hard-rock fan's dream, churning out the Stones-cum-Aerosmith-influenced songs with requisite power. On Friday, they re-created the structures of such old standbys as "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Patience," "Paradise City," "Mr. Brownstone," et al.

But at heart, it's very different from the band Rose once fronted -- one of the most popular, polarizing, powerful, controversial and fascinatingly self-sabotaging entities in rock. This is the curse of rock's bad boys (and girls). If you find enough stability to show up and do a good show, you've lost your edge. If you keep too much of your edge, you're going to find your audience dwindling to a morbid few waiting for your final mistake.

And two decades have created a distance from those early songs, which were immediate, close-to-the-bone expressions of rage and frustration from a troubled and eloquent kid. On Friday, they were all audience sing-alongs, enjoyable as celebrations of a community of fans and band but no longer scary, compelling pieces. The one that retained its essence best was the encore, "Paradise City," because its message of longing for refuge carries a more universal reach.

The trick for Rose is to summon those songs' original spirit while removing himself from the character who created them. The problem is that he hasn't given us a new Axl to put the old material in a new context or, more important, to sing something new.

If "Chinese Democracy" really is coming soon, this would have been a perfect time to showcase it, but the few new songs came and went without much impact amid the nostalgia. The energetic title song, with its more contemporary sound, was a promising indication.

While this return was long awaited by some, Rose and company have been long forgotten by many. You can't stay away forever if you want to keep your audience engaged plus attract new listeners. The intensity of Guns N' Roses' initial music and lifestyle might have earned Rose a temporary pass, but if he doesn't show up soon, he'll find he has the jungle all to himself.
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2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA Empty Re: 2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA

Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:47 am

From MTV News:
GUNS N' ROSES LIVE: NO REUNION OF CLASSIC LINEUP, BUT GREAT ANYWAY
AND THE BAND HIT THE STAGE JUST AN HOUR AND 15 MINUTES LATE!


ARCHIVE-CHRIS-HARRIS
05/15/2006


NEW YORK — Would Axl Rose bail on us again?

That was the main question on the minds of the 3,300 people who packed the Hammerstein Ballroom here on Friday night. And if the unpredictable, reclusive Axl did come through, as promised, to take the stage with his current incarnation of Guns N' Roses, would the much-rumored reunion of expatriates Slash and Izzy Stradlin also materialize?

"I have my doubts," said Josh, a 24-year-old GN'R fan who drove down from Boston and coughed up $200 for a scalped ticket. "I was at the 2002 concert in Philadelphia, when he didn't show, and I was pissed. I thought it would never happen again. Guns is the best band ever. And if I see Slash tonight, I'll sh-- myself."

At around 11 p.m., the sell-out crowd — which included actor Ethan Hawke and Skid Row's Sebastian Bach — got some answers. Approximately an hour and 15 minutes after Guns were due to storm the Hammerstein stage, Rose emerged with his latest configuration, which — at the moment anyway — consists of keyboardists Dizzy Reed (the sole holdover from the Use Your Illusion-era lineup) and Chris Pittman, ex-Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, former Primus kitman Brian "Brain" Mantia and three guitarists: erstwhile Nine Inch Nails member Robin Finck, ex-Psychedelic Furs axeman Richard Fortus and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, a New York musician hired just last week to replace long-departed virtuoso Buckethead.

But it wasn't until the show's end, at around 1:30 a.m., that the realization set in: Sometimes rumors are just that. Slash Slash and Stradlin were nowhere to be found.

The audience (which ranged in age from not-yet-old-enough-to-vote to "Grandma? Is that you?," with the median age appearing to be around 35) welcomed Rose — who was clad in a pleather shirt unbuttoned to reveal a crucifix hanging from a large necklace, tattered blue jeans, designer shades and his cornrows tied back in a ponytail — and the band with thunderous cheers and screams as the band launched into its opener, "Welcome to the Jungle."

The gig was Rose's first in more than three years, and the first of four sold-out "warm-up" shows preceding GN'R's summer's worth of European festival appearances; the second concert went off Sunday night, with the third set for Monday (May 15), and the fourth on Wednesday. The New York shows are Guns N' Roses' first since the ill-fated global comeback tour of 2002, which sputtered to a halt following the band's performance at New York's Madison Square Garden; Axl didn't take the stage for the following day's booking in Philadelphia, the crowd rioted, and the remaining dates were axed.

Halfway through "Jungle," Rose was sopping wet — not since Patrick Ewing last hit the hardwood has one man sweated so profusely after just two minutes of physical exertion. As he roared, "I, I wanna hear you scream," Axl unleashed his signature serpentine sway.

Fire blasts and Roman candle-esque pyrotechnics exploded at all the appropriate moments, and the heat from these onstage detonations could even be felt by those huddled around the venue's back bar area. Indeed, the feel of the set was energized and huge: This was a stadium-size performance inside a theater; it was as if the band were playing for 50,000 fans.

Rose, 44, scampered around the stage like a schizophrenic with a hard-to-reach back itch, defying the extra poundage he's visibly added. However, his voice isn't what it once was: At several points during the 19-song set, it appeared Rose couldn't sustain certain notes, taking breathers here and there or simply deferring to the crowd. Although his pipes were smooth for most of the night, they failed him on at least two critical occasions: "Sweet Child O' Mine" and Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die".

The band also stumbled at times, most noticeably during "Better" — one of several new songs that have leaked online and are believed to be from Rose's decade-in-the-making LP Chinese Democracy, which he said in a recent interview should be out this fall. The crowd even sang along with many of the leaked tracks, which also included "Madagascar," "There Was a Time," "I.R.S.," "The Blues" and the album's title track.

But the audience came to hear the classics, even if they were being performed by Axl and what basically amounts to a GN'R cover band. The floor at the Hammerstein seemed to buckle under the weight of the foot-stomping, horn-wielding mob during "It's So Easy," "Mr. Brownstone" and Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," which Axl introduced by saying, "This is about a place I've been one too many times."

The night's most memorable moments came with "November Rain," "Patience," and the confetti-coated closer, "Paradise City," which inspired a sea of butane-fueled light. Even the night's opening act, Bullet for My Valentine, couldn't resist rockin' out at the bar, even if it was in jest. At one point, Bach joined Rose onstage and the pair belted out "My Michelle," signaling an official, belated end to a long-running feud that many may have forgotten about.

Sunday night's performance brought virtually the same set, with one additional song tossed in to the mix: Appetite for Destruction's closer, "Rocket Queen." Rose seemed more comfortable during the second show and interacted with the audience, shaking hands and talking to fans; the show felt more organic overall.

Sure, this wasn't 1991, and yes, it was Rose standing up there with a bunch of hired guns that doesn't seem capable of holding a candle to the band's classic lineup — but regardless, the energy and the essence of GN'R remains intact. To true fans, hearing Axl sing those songs, and seeing his rosy mug, was enough to justify that hundreds they'd dropped on tickets and $85 GN'R hockey jerseys.

"I'm just psyched," said Terry, a 40-year-old fan from Long Island, after the show. "They nailed it. This was even better than I imagined. It didn't matter to me what they played — I was going to love it regardless."
http://www.mtv.com/news/1531773/guns-n-roses-live-no-reunion-of-classic-lineup-but-great-anyway/
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2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA Empty Re: 2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA

Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:52 am

New York Post:
KICK IN THE AXL – GUNS N’ ROSES ARE STILL HARD-ROCKING

By Dan Aquilante
May 15, 2006


THE question of whether Axl Rose has finally satisfied his legendary appetite for self-destruction was on the minds of Tim, Jamie and Jim Bob – three longtime Guns N’ Roses fans – waiting on the block-long line to get into the band’s Hammerstein Ballroom gig Friday.

“I just hope he shows up,” Tim said after recalling how he got burned at Axl’s no-show Philadelphia gig back in 2002.

Axl made it, and the guys weren’t disappointed at the first of GN’R’s four-night series that ends this week with concerts tonight and Wednesday.

He wore a pleather shirt, ripped blue jeans, and his hair was woven into mini-rasta braids. Rose has traded his flat-expressionless Botox-face for a mug that’s 40-something handsome yet rugged.

And during the more than 20-song program, Rose was physically energetic and sang with newfound enthusiasm for the mostly old songs gleaned from the Guns’ back catalog. Axl crooned the ballads smoothly and snarled his way through the metallic thrashers.

Still, his name and the word “perfection” don’t often appear together.

True to form, Rose let the tension in the theater build to audience anger by opening the doors at 7:30 and taking the stage at 11 p.m. He made up for his intentional tardiness and smoothed the ruffled, sweaty feathers of the audience by wall- oping the house with a generous two- hour and 15-minute set.

There were a few sonic stumbles, but the worst came during the passionate GN’R classic “November Rain,” where the seven piece back-up band totally overpowered the man because his mike was set too low and their instruments were amped too high.

And while it was good news that weird- ass Buckethead was booted as the Gunner guitar ace and replaced by fretman Ron Thal, aka Bumblefoot, there wasn’t a fan at the Hammer who didn’t miss Slash’s guitar flash.

Rumors that former Guns rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin would do a guest turn at this show were unfounded. Rose did get a little help from Sebastian Bach, the former Skid Row frontman, who stepped out of the wings for a vocal duet on “My Michelle.” Unfortunately, the two singers had zero chemistry.

The show came on strong with a terrific combination of “Welcome to the Jungle,” “It’s So Easy” and “Mr. Brown stone.” They did even better on the cover tunes, which included Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” and Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” But the night’s biggest bang came during the encore when Rose ripped his way through “Paradise City” – you know, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. During the extended version of that song, Rose prowled the stage and belted the hook-laden rocker as if it were 1990 again.

The sold-out house was much less enthusiastic for newer material from the Guns’ “Chinese Democracy,” which has been about to be released for the last decade. Of those songs, the record’s title cut and “The Blues” were tops.

You might ask: Is Axl still significant in today’s music?

Rock relevance is relative to who’s doing the listening. While Axl’s best songs were composed in his youth, the public is still interested in him as a performer. These four shows, with a total of 16,000 tickets, sold out in just three minutes. Axl may need a little grease, but he isn’t broken yet.
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Post by Blackstar Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:22 pm

The New York Times:
'Warm-Up Show' for Guns N' Roses

By BEN RATLIFF
MAY 13, 2006


Rock and roll audiences want to identify with the guy singing the song; they need to, in fact. But you’d be hard-pressed to prove that the crowd at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Friday night was identifying with W. Axl Rose. What does he represent, at this stage of the game? Survival? Re-invention? Creative control? The tortured artist? The persistence of the yowl? If the spirit of his age resides in him, his long postponement of an infamous album has diluted that spirit somewhat.

But if the physical reality of Mr. Rose - dressed L.A. style in a leather shirt and jeans and wearing a large silver cross, his hair corn-rowed and pulled back - wasn’t an easy figure to identify with, his voice and body language did the job instead. When he sang “Paradise City,” the crowd adopted a yowl in kind; when he danced in his undulating movements, like the letter S turning itself inside out, the men and women in the audience involuntarily moved that way too.

Friday night’s concert was the first of four Guns N’ Roses shows at Hammerstein Ballroom. On stage, Mr. Rose called them “warm-up shows” for the band’s European tour, which begins May 25 in Madrid. It’s fair to assume that the large-theater shows will have clearer sound and more effective stagecraft; Mr. Rose’s voice sounded strong, even in his highest nasal shrieks, but the band wasn’t using the warm-up time to experiment. The set list of the two-hours-plus show, complete with flash pots and confetti, came pretty close to what an only slightly different version of the band was playing four years ago, on its last tour.

Mr. Rose is the only original member left in the quintessential ‘80s hard-rock band, and this has been the case since 1997. The newest of the seven musicians backing up Mr. Rose on Friday, one of its three guitarists, is Ron Thal, also known as Bumblefoot. (One of his guitars has been designed to look like the bottom of a foot, with bumblebee stripes.) He takes up the role of the pyrotechnic shredder, vacated in 2004 by the guitarist Buckethead. At certain points in the show, including a few discontinuous unaccompanied solos, he accelerated to impressively fast chromatic runs; he also played some lavish, Hendrix-influenced blues language. Why this band’s gut-level songs now require the ornamentation of a wizardly guitarist at all remains unclear. It makes the band more atemporal, more Vegas-y, than necessary.

It was the group’s principal guitarist, Robin Finck, who made the sweetest and most grounded music of the night, and seemed most comfortable at work. An off-and-on member of the band for nine years now, Mr. Finck assumed most of the lines in the old songs formerly played by the guitarist Slash. But when he improvised, he spun out simple patterns, shaking the guitar’s neck and getting warmth and resonance out of each note or chord; his own unaccompanied solo, just before the concert’s final number, was a beautifully coherent, non-shredding couple of minutes, the best of the less-familiar music played in the show. He gave himself to the crowd, even literally, diving in to the audience three times.

The less-familiar songs were, actually, kind of familiar. That infamous, postponed Guns N’ Roses album, of course, is “Chinese Democracy,” which has been in the making for much of the last decade, and still has not been scheduled for release. Some of its songs included in the concert—“The Blues,” “Better,” “Madagascar,” “Chinese Democracy,” “There Was a Time,” and “IRS”—are easy enough to find on the internet, in leaked demos and bootlegged live performances. And in the concert, the new songs distinguished themselves visually as well as sonically, with serious-looking video backdrops: stained-glass details, religious portraiture, Martin Luther King speeches.

The crowd didn’t go nuts for them. Most of the new songs are dystopian, tense, portentous, finally a bit inconclusive; they dabble in electronic rhythms, big keyboard sounds and droning repetition. They didn’t produce much catharsis, on stage or in the audience. “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and “Patience,” on the other hand, were among the set’s old songs that motored along on earthy, meaty riffs, and provoked the fully expected but still astonishing spectacle of a full house roaring along with every word.

Guns N’ Roses continue at Hammerstein Ballroom on May 15 and 17.
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2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA Empty Re: 2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA

Post by Blackstar Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:28 pm

Review in Rolling Stone, May 15, 2006:
No Riots as Guns N' Roses Rock New York

Axl and an all-new G N' R rip through two of four Hammerstein shows

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE

Police reported that Friday night's line to get into the first of four Guns n' Roses warm-up shows at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom spanned nearly five blocks. A late sound check prevented fans, decked out in vintage G n' R tees and swilling booze in brown paper bags (some of whom were later served public drinking tickets), from entering at the scheduled door time of 7:30 p.m. At around 8:15 p.m., the line began to inch forward, bringing fans waiting since 11 a.m. closer to the door. At neighboring bars, laid-back tailgaters were getting lit to classic Guns n' Roses singalongs. With anticipation mounting, devotees were hoping for at least one G n' R song out of Axl before he possibly walked offstage -- a "Welcome to the Jungle" opener? Others feared that the man himself wouldn't go on at all, and the collective buzz would only lead to rioting.

With the pile-up outdoors, Bullet for My Valentine received a bigger crowd than usual for an opening act. But another hour of the Hammerstein mix tape would pass, with the crowd shouting out the "Hey" in Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll, Part 2" on autopilot. Finally, at 11:02 p.m., the house lights went dark. "Are you ready? Let me hear you. Are you ready?" came an announcement from offstage. An ambient bass and string overture was drowned by the thunderous roar of the crowd, which grew even louder at the opening guitar riffs and pyrotechnic explosions of -- surprise -- "Welcome to the Jungle."

With Axl Rose's piercing howl, the crowd was assured at last the show was actually happening. Dressed in a black silk shirt and big, black, bug-eyed sunglasses, Axl, charismatic as ever, flew across the stage zigzagging between the seven members of the new Guns n' Roses lineup -- guitarists Robin Finck, Rich Fortus, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, bassist Tommy Stinson, drummer Brain, keyboardist Chris Pittman and Dizzy Reed.

1987's Appetite for Destruction classics "It's So Easy" and "Mr. Brownstone" followed. Axl and Co. would go on to perform almost every song of the 1987 chart-topping release during the first two nights, but while the evening was basically dominated by old G n' R classics, Axl didn't hog the spotlight. Each of the three guitarists took the front of the stage for solos. Axl, however, was the rock icon, and he pulled some larger-than-life moves, stretching his arms out in time with the flames that shot from the stage during the chorus to "Live and Let Die."

While Friday night's crowd didn't start surfing until an hour in, during another Appetite for Destruction staple "Out Ta Get Me," Sunday night's audience -- not as crowded, with scalpers dumping last-minute tickets at thirty bucks a pop -- featured an instant mosh pit. Fans were surfing by the second number, "It's So Easy." "Damn!" Axl pointed out at Sunday's crowd. "We had people screamin' their heads off Friday, but you guys are kickin' the shit out of them! Happy Mother's Day, motherfuckers!"

Axl would eventually dedicate Sunday night's show to his mom and rekindled buddy, Sebastian Bach, whom he said he hadn't talked to in thirteen years. "I was trying to save my life, and [bach] was trying to destroy his," Axl told the crowd. Both nights, Bach took the stage screaming "You're fucking crazy!" before the two buddies, arm in arm, launched into "My Michelle."

Low points included guitarists Robin Finck and Rich Fortus delivering an unexpected yet oddly powerful dueling guitar instrumental of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" -- which probably only Fred Durst enjoyed. Yes, Durst was among the VIP crowd, which also included Lenny Kravitz, comedian Jimmy Fallon, Goo Goo Dolls frontman Johnny Rzeznik, and actors Mickey Rourke and Shannon Elizabeth.

The most moving moment in the show was probably "November Rain," with Axl on the ivories, singing "Do you need some time on your own/ Do you need some time all alone/Everybody needs some time on their own" -- letting his lyrics speak for ten years recovering from Guns n' Roses' messy breakup. "I think we're doing pretty fuckin' all right, considering we have a guitarist that joined our band last week," quipped the frontman, referring to Bumblefoot during the song's signature intermission on Sunday night.

The weekend shows also included staples "Patience," "Sweet Child O' Mine," "You Could Be Mine," "Rocket Queen" and the encore, "Paradise City" -- with Axl coining New York his new "Paradise City." Each show ended with a shower of confetti -- a shower that, in the dim light, seemed to herald a real return for Guns n' Roses, or at least a sign that Axl is out to rock again. With Axl out of rock & roll rehab, he's no longer a notorious recluse -- just notorious.

As for one of rock's most famous unreleased albums, Chinese Democracy -- the band played a few already leaked tracks, including "Madagascar," "Better" and "IRS" -- Axl had just a few words.

"In regards to our new record . . . hold your breath for a little longer for that," he said. "I want to thank you for that."

No problem, Axl. Lighters up: "Everybody needs some time . . . on their own."

CHARLEY ROGULEWSKI
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2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA Empty Re: 2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA

Post by Blackstar Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:46 pm

Review in KNAC.COM, May 14, 2006:
Guns N' Roses In New York City

By Debby Rao, Boston Contributor

Hammersmith Ballroom

They're back!!! Guns N' Roses, one of the most controversial rock bands of the 80's are back in full force taking New York by storm with a fury that hit like ya like a freight train.

Guns N' Roses performed their first concert since 2002 last night at the historic Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. Last night's concert was the first of four sold out GNR shows which are slated to take place May 14, May 15 and May 17. All four concerts sold out in 3 minutes. Pretty amazing for a band who hasn't toured since 2002.

Last time I saw GNR perform was on the Use Your Illusion Tour in 1990.at the Worcester Centrum. I have always loved their music, and tonight's concert was everything I thought it would be. Up Close and Personal, In Your Face, Axl Rose at his best!!!

Driving down 95, it may have been raining buckets but nothing could damper the mood for the day. We were going to see GNR perform in a very rare club appearance.

New York City was alive and well, the city that never sleeps, and that sure held true tonight. It is good to see somethings never change.

This was my first time seeing a concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom. The historic venue which is right int he center of Manhattan and was the perfect venue for this GNR concert. The place doesn't have a bad seat, and the sound system was amazing.

We were right down on the floor, and had a great view of the band. Opening the show was Bullet For My Valentine. I recently got to see them perform on the Rob Zombie Tour. Their modern day set with great melodies was better received on the Rob Zombie Tour. It was clear the audience was their to see one band their heroes Guns N' Roses.

The excitement in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. hit the stage right at 11 P.M. and played till 1:15 A.M. in the morning. GNR performed most their hits, taking their fans into the future with this stellar new line-up that includes new guitarist Ron Thal of Bumblefoot fame , who didn't disappoint the die-hard GNR fans.

Opening with "Welcome To The Jungle", Axl Rose dressed in a black long sleeve shirt, and jeans with his newly dread locked hair in a ponytail took complete control of the stage. Axl was back, in great voice, and looking amazing. It was clear to see, that Axl is back for the long haul and ready to rock.

GNR first part of the show inspired their old school hits which included ,"It's So Easy", Mr Brownstone ," and "Live and Let Die." GNR sounded really tight as Brain played down some of the hardest hitting drum solos that you could imagine.

One of the most amazing of GNR's sound that I enjoy enjoy is the amazing keyboards. I have seen GNR keyboard player Dizzy Reed perform with his band HNB many times and let me tell ya tonight Dizzy was on fire. Tickling the ivories on his grand piano solo leading into "The Blues." Tonight it was so great to be able to see Diz perform with one of the greatest rock bands of our time, . Axl sang his heart out on this song, and proved his diversity as a singer.

Axl also sat down at the piano on "November Rain" and performed one of the most touching moments of the evening. This song has always been one of my favorites and seeing Axl perform this song tonight was simply amazing.

Tonight's GNR concert was prompted by spontaneity and even included a special guest star. No it was not Slash or Izzy, but 80's rocker Sebastian Bach. Seeing two of the best 80's singers singing "My Michelle" was simply.priceless!

GNR performed the title track off of their upcoming album, Chinese Democracy and song "I.R.S." These songs best describe GNR in 2006 very modern with a touch of old school. Another one of the highlights of the show was my all time favorite GNR classic,"Patience." Axl shined.

As the evening was coming to a close, one thing was for certain. The momentum of the band never let up. All eyes were on Axl Rose as he captivated the audience with his magical stage performance. GNR ended the night with guitarist Robin Finch blistering solo into "Night Train" and closed with the ferocious "Paradise City."

The audience went into a frenzy, headbanging when Axl sang, "Take Me Down to The Paradise City" as Axl and his new version of GNR rocked New York City hard. Never looking back, only looking into the future. The baddest of the bad boys is back, Mr Axl Rose. Ready to reclaim his throne as one of the best rock "n"roll singers of our time.

Get ready to witness one of the best rock and roll shows this year, as GNR invade New York City all this week. The band will be touring Europe this summer. They say timing is everything. Axl Rose has surely picked the best time to make a comeback. 2006 is shaping up to be the summer where old school metal rules the concert scene.

GNR are back with a vengeance, and making their old school rock and roll roots come alive once again, as Axl Rose proves he is indeed one of the best rock and roll singers of our generation.

GNR Setlist


Welcome To the Jungle
It's So Easy
Mr. Brownstone
Better
Live and Let Die
Sweet Child O'Mine
Knockin On Heaven's Door
Madgascar
You Could Be Mine
The Blues Dizzy Solo!
Out to get Me
November rain
My Michelle - Sebastian and Axl
Chinese Democracy
T.W.A.T
Patience
I.R.S.
Nightrain
Paradise City
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2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA Empty Re: 2006.05.12 - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, USA

Post by Blackstar Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:58 am

Review in the Chicago Tribune, May 15, 2006:
Guns N' Roses' Axl rises from darkness

By Bob Gendron
Special to the Tribune


NEW YORK

Welcome back to the jungle. Again.

Amid speculation that ex-members Slash and/or Izzy Stradlin were rejoining music's longest-running curiosity item, Guns N' Roses played its first show in nearly four years and kicked off a sold-out four-night stand in New York City Friday night at the intimate Hammerstein Ballroom in preparation for a European tour.

The sentimental rumors proved unfounded, but the band unveiled its newest guitarist (shredder Ron Thal, a.k.a. Bumblefoot) while its 2-hour concert answered several questions -- chiefly, whether the formerly worldbeating act had anything left to offer after last being seen on a disastrous 2002 trek notable for erratic performances and a premature ending.

Activity in the GNR camp began stirring earlier this year when reclusive frontman and lone original member Axl Rose began appearing at hip gatherings. Shortly thereafter, Internet leaks and airplay of unreleased tracks reignited hopes that the band's forever-delayed "Chinese Democracy" album was nearing completion.

Rose didn't address the now-mythical project but divulged that he's been hanging and partying in New York. Smiling and joking, his persona was far removed from that of the introverted leader who previously struggled with depression and direction.

Wearing a black leather shirt, blue jeans and boots, the mercurial singer was a flash of SoHo cool and Hollywood glam, his serpentine-dance a mix of defiance and sexuality. Rose still has cornrows, and he appeared physically lean and in great spirits. Confidently prowling or manically darting about the stage, he consistently hit piercing highs that probed melancholic pain and flexed a range of shivering wails, shuddering croons and scorching yowls that attacked like a starving animal ripping into prey. Led by stage-diving guitarist Robin Finck, Rose's seven mates executed signature riffs and bluesy rhythms with a sonic fullness that suggested that, this time out, they prepared.

What "You Could Be Mine" and "Mr. Brownstone" sacrificed in swagger, they gained in heaviness and smoothness. A blistering "Nightrain" was capped off by Rose, on his knees, belting out a white-hot refrain. That sight, and the worshipping crowd, brought back visions of the group's heyday, on which the set list heavily leaned.

GNR played six unreleased songs, each somewhat known due to unauthorized online availability. The piano-laden "The Blues" and "Madagascar" were exercises in dramatic epic-pop balladry; "Better" cut its teeth on a serrated groove, and "I.R.S." flirted with burbling electronics. While all featured catchy hooks, "There Was a Time" impressed with a budding progression and cathartic conclusion.

Near the concert's finale, bassist Tommy Stinson told Rose how much fun he was having. The singer embraced him, symbolizing the chemistry that the group maintained throughout the evening. GNR V.5 still has plenty of noticeable kinks -- the new material hasn't completely jelled, the group needs to more frequently deviate from the standard outlines and the ferocity could be heightened. But at a show where Rose's soulful conviction and gospel harmonies took "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" to church, it was hard not to believe that he may have finally found a way to channel his demons.
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