Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Never Mind the Oxygen Tanks, Here's Guns N' Roses 

Five excuses to see Axl Rose's new band

Wednesday, Sep 13 2006
You're the type of person who gives someone a second chance (and a third, and a fourth). Many of you were probably traumatized by Axl's catastrophic (in his own words) appearance at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. So was he. But judging from GN'R's four shows at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom in May, Axl's dancing with Mr. Brownstone again — and in a good way. All the classic GN'R stage moves are back: the serpentine sway, the temper-tantrum-stage-stomp, the behind-the-shoulder-microphone-stand toss. Axl's even taking hits of oxygen again!

You saw the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah drummer's GN'R tribute band and weren't satisfied. OK, I admit, Axl's new version of GN'R is largely a world-class cover band. You'll also have to sit through more than a few pointless guitar jams. But I'll be damned if Axl Rose isn't the best Axl Rose impersonator alive! And I kinda like the band's bluesy sketch of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful." That song always makes me cry.

You're writing a dissertation on nonsense as signification in American pop music. "Ow!" "KUH!" "Hey, hey, hey." "No, no, no-ooh-whoa." I've already got your thesis sentence: Although many would argue that Axl Rose is a rock 'n' roll cliché, he is, on the contrary, the genius behind many of rock's most enduring clichés.

You want a free copy of Chinese Democracy. Several of the original tunes the new GN'R plays, especially "Better" and "The Blues," are surprisingly catchy, even if they're not as memorable as Appetite's dark odes to debauchery or Illusion's motor-mouthed psychodramas. All you need is a little tape recorder.

You're tired of being a closet GN'R fan. If you're still reading this, it's time to end the pain. I've been there before. Or as Axl and Elton might say, "I've seen that movie too-ooh-woo." What better place to come out?

About The Author



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"