July 27th was the date of a historic concert for St. Louis. It was the first time in 26 years that Guns N Roses made a stop here. They haven’t been in the Lou since the infamous Riverport Riot in 1991; the band was on their Use Your Illusion tour. Now, we all know that Axl Rose has a temper, and he likes to do things his way. For example, one night Axl was two hours late to his concert because he wanted to finish watching The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. This kind of attitude carried into the unfortunate night in St. Louis in 1991. The band was well into their long set list when someone started taking still photos of Axl. That’s when Axl stopped the concert to address the guy taking pictures; he didn’t want people taking pictures of the performance. He then took matters into his own hands. He jumped from the stage and tackled the man. In the process, he injured a few other people. Finally, he threw his live microphone to the ground. The sound that resulted from that emulated that of a gunshot.
This brings me back to the historic concert. The opening act was The Deftones; they were…an opening act. Their mix was too loud; yes, it was a rock show, but come on. I could barely hear the vocals, but when I did, I cringed a little. I’m not sure if they understand what music is. I most likely will not be seeing them if they ever come back in town. GNR should have toured with a better band, or no support band at all. After the opening act, there was about a half an hour set change. Then, GNR finally took the stage. They opened with It’s So Easy, followed by the recognizable, and catchy, Mr. Brownstone. (You can see the whole set list here: https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/guns-n-roses/2017/the-dome-at-americas-center-st-louis-mo-6be5fed2.html). To my surprise, Axl Rose still sounds really good. He’s not as great as the recordings in the ‘90s, but who is anymore? The set list was an almost unbearable 31 songs; they played straight through the all of the songs with no intermission. The concert would have been more enjoyable if it were shorter.
During the concert, Axl barely touched on the subject of the riot, but he did mention that the last time he was in St. Louis was half his lifetime ago. Along with that triumphant return to STL, the tour marked the reunion of most of the original band members. Only Axl Rose, Duff McKagan, and Slash reunited. Steven Adler, the original drummer, joined prior select dates; and, Rhythm guitar player, Izzy Sradlin, did not make any appearances.
The show ended with one of the most recognizable tunes of the ‘80s: Paradise City. Overall, the show was worth seeing. One incredible thing about the show was seeing, and hearing, Slash in the flesh. This guy has been one of my musical inspirations. He can play the guitar like no other human being can. The meticulous, intricate solos really made the show.