I’ve only seen Guns N’ Roses once before, back in 1991 before the “Use Your Illusion” albums came out. The only two line up changes were Matt Sorum on drums, replacing Steven Adler and the addition of keyboardist Dizzy Reed. The show was pretty good, even though the band didn’t take the stage until much later.
Fast forward twenty years with a new line up that is now eight members strong, with the only two members holding over are Axl Rose and Dizzy Reed.
The idea that a band can keep going without what has become known as the classic lineup is nothing new. Lots of bands have a revolving door of members come and go. But GnR is held to a different standard. Watching this new line up live showed this die-hard fan that even new members can really play well. The show started late, but was on time [the band took the stage at exactly 11pm]. All of the band members started at full throttle.
Axl and DJ Ashba
DJ Ashba is the lead guitarist, a position once held by Slash. Other than the missing top hat, this guitarist proved to be a phenom and quite active on the stage. I was impressed by this guy, who also shreds for Nikki Sixx’ band Sixx:A.M. not to mention the early 2000 group Beautiful Creatures.
Axl on piano
The songs were varied, from the opener “Chinese Democracy” moving right into “Welcome To The Jungle” with the concert ending with “Paradise City” – with a diverse set of other GnR classics to newer songs all in between. Two AC/DC covers “Riff Raff” and “Whole Lotta Rosie” and a piano medley of Elton John starters by Axl made this three hour show rather enjoyable. Axl’s vocals were top notch for a 49-year-old singer. No real missteps here.
End Of Show – Take a Bow
My overall thoughts going into this show were wondering how I would keep thinking about the missing classic lineup during the show. But as the lights came on after the show, I really was quite impressed at what Axl and Co. can perform. Tommy Stinson, Richard Fortus, Bumblefoot, Frank Ferrer were all on top of their talents, coming together to make for a night [and early morning] of great music.
Charlie, Algernon, Rick
On a more toned down rock and roll note, the indie band known as Miniature Tigers played an after midnight show at Bar Deluxe later in the week. Lead singer Charlie Brand is joined by Rick, Algernon and newest member Brandon to kick up a nice set of tunes.
Brandon on bass
“Gold Skull”, “Japanese Woman”, “Sex on the Regular” and “Boomerang” worked well. There were a few mixing board mishaps, but other than that, this band proved to me once again that they are not to be missed when they come to town.