With the events of last week still fresh in my mind, I’ve been able to reflect on the contrasting Guns N’ Roses-related experiences the past couple of months have thrown my way.
Last Wednesday, I was treated to the most bizarre concert-going experience of my life, as Axl Rose showed up an hour late for the fourth show running, got pissy with the audience for booing him and subsequently left the stage when a water bottle was thrown limply in his general direction from the crowd. A third of the crowd had left by the time he returned, 45 minutes later, to sleepwalk through his contractually obligated set. I’m still not entirely sure what to think of it all.
Compared with my experience when Slash came to town in June… well, there is no comparison. The man took to the stage on time and blasted through a mix of cuts from his recent solo CD, old Guns and Velvet Revolver hits and even a couple of Snakepit songs for the diehards. Frontman Myles Kennedy (better known for his work with Creed offshoot Alter Bridge) was a bit of a let-down… at least, it seemed that way, until Slash belatedly revealed that Kennedy had been suffering from flu and had barely been able to speak all day.
It’s an interesting contrast: the self-absorbed rock star who can’t even bring himself to show up for a $10 million-dollar gig on time, and a true professional who will play through the pain barrier because he actually needs to work for a living.
On a completely unrelated note, close your eyes and listen to this video. Tell me you don’t hear shades of 1988 Axl in the gaps between Kennedy’s more rich vocal tones on the Guns classic ‘Rocket Queen.’
Axl storming off the stage in Dublin: