Saturday, December 16, 2006

how all we need is just a little patience, mmm yeah

guns n' roses + sebastian bach
mcafee coliseum - oakland, ca
december 15, 2006

okay, i'll take this in segments.

the scene: oakland. george bush's america. i'm guessing seven men for every females. and of those seven, four have goatees. and six of them are wearing black. and three of them are looking for a fight, and two in return are happy to oblige. i know this. i saw most of them get together. also, three of them are wearing a gnr t-shirt just purchased. and two of them were gonna be seriously pissed when they realized that bart stopped running at midnight. yep, those people. it was basically a raiders game, except not as peaceful.

the opening act: to say sebastian bach was a trainwreck would be minimizing the damage. i mentioned throughout the show that it wasn't a performance as much as it was a checklist. it was every rock cliche you could think of, from his calling for everyone to raise their cellphone up high (the new lighter) and practically begging everyone to sway them to ripping his shirt off to well, if you've seen a concert, then he did it. if he were kidding, it would have been brilliant. but he wasn't, so it was still brilliant, just not to him. if this were an effort to prove he hasn't changed in eighteen years, then he was successful. he could still rock terribly.

the main event: after bach was done at 11:30 (which is usually the ending time for most concerts), they still had to put gnr's stage together - which should have taken 30 minutes, but it took them an hour to get on stage. so yeah, we wound up hearing the first riffs of "welcome to the jungle" at 12:30. but oh, what a riff. i swear to god, there's very few things that can give you chills up your spine any more than being in an arena and hearing that. loudly. and in isolation. one riff at a time. holy crap, my lord. and then there's axl looking...well, heavier...and, to be honest, happy on stage. let there be no confusion: axl rose is a rock star. he's got it. and he's assembled a band that's about as tight as you can expect from a band called gnr. great great stuff. in fact, electrifying. you can say what you want about the superficiality of heavy metal, but guns n roses transcended all of that with superior craft, skill and musicianship. the songs are gorgeous and intense and everything that the 80s music scene should have been, except it was far too late to save it.

wow. talking about riffs.

anyways, they were fantastic. and having lars ulrich play with them for a song didn't suck either. the one thing that did suck was that they did go on at 12:30 and, after they played "nighttrain" at 2:30 in the morning, well, we were exhausted (plus, seeing a brawl happen right in front of us didn't lighten our moods). so, expecting an angry mob, already incensed that beer sales had stopped and spurred on by the already intense music they paid for plus with the future realization that they had no train to take them home, while watching a show at a much later time they expected, we felt that it was a good time to leave - even if they didn't get to the whole cliched "encore" thing. i mean, we heard everything we wanted except "paradise city". no complaining, other than if i knew i'd be on my feet for seven hours, i wouldn't have worn my chucks.

but would i see them again? hell yeah. i'd just get seats next time. and a case of jolt cola.

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