Guns N' Roses
American Airlines Arena
Saturday, October 29, 2011
The Axl Rose Band (along with the city-sized, million-dollar operation that carts it around, sets it up, breaks it down and then fondles its jewel-encrusted testicles until it's time to clean up after the ritual, nightly "excretion") had the heel of its pointy stilettos pressed with just enough pressure on the audience's supple taint as to keep the masses screaming, hollering, begging, Thank you, Sir! May I have another?
Like any good leather-boy playpen, the AAA had rules and regulations posted big and bold at the entrance -- no recording, no reefer. An announcement rang out on a loop authoritatively telling patrons that purchasing a scalped ticket would land them behind bars.
Did you know Buckcherry was still a band? Yeah, neither did we. But that band's opening set -- resplendent with a big-ass "BUCKCHERRY: LOS ANGELES" pirate flag -- was the start of Axl Rose's intensely drawn-out tease.
Immediately after the opener finished its set, a small army of rocker bros in Buckcherry t-shirts swarmed the stage and broke down the set. About 45 minutes later, it was time for the Guns N' Roses crew members to do their thing. And then what followed was another hour and a half of absolutely nothing, in which the crowd schizophrenically whipped itself into multiple frenzies -- first cheering for its hero, then impatiently booing him, only to return once more to begging for his presence.
Before a single lick was even played, a seriously inebriated man passed out in the audience and, unconscious, was crowd-surfed to safety, where he proceeded to vomit in front of thousands of people who cheered him on and screamed things like, "Can you get me ecstasy?"
Have you ever heard a band booed before it even took the stage? Saturday night was our first time.
Eventually, though, The Master and His Scabs leisurely made their way to the stage in a blaze of pyro, flashing lights, jumbotrons, screaming women, screaming men, rock 'n' roll devil horns, and fist-pumping. And then Axl and minions gave it to the audience the way they like it -- loud, hard, and for a long, long time.
The Critic's Notebook
Random Detail: We stayed busy between bands speculating about the weirdest thing on Buckcherry's rider.
The Crowd: Rockers, headbangers, metal mamis and their Judas Priest papis, high-school kids, families, couples dressed like they were going to the opera, one old hippie in a Ben and Jerry's tie-dye shirt that you could see from across the arena, children in Guns N' Roses apparel. Halloween costumes included the requisite sexified everything (cop, angel, devil, nurse, groupie), Homer Simpson, and multiple young men dressed like Slash.
Overheard in the Crowd: The entire row of bros behind us kept screaming "C'mon, you asshole!" as the wait between bands agonizingly crept toward 2 hours.
Guns N' Roses Setlist
-"Welcome To The Jungle"
-"It's So Easy"
-"Riff Raff" (AC/DC cover)
-"Live And Let Die"
-"This I Love"
-"My Generation" (The Who cover)
-"Street of Dreams"
-"You Could Be Mine"
-"Sweet Child O' Mine"
-"Whole Lotta Rosie" (AC/DC Cover)
-"Knockin' On Heaven's Door" (Bob Dylan cover)
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-"Out Ta Get Me"