For me, it’s always been about the music. My father was editor of the iconic hard rock publication RIP Magazine, which was birthed when Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction appeared out of nowhere to take over the world.
When I informed now author Lonn Friend that I was going to review Guns N’ Roses, it was as if my life had come full circle. “You know, Meg,” said my dad, “You actually saw GN’R when you were an evolving fetus. Through the portal of your mom’s womb, you witnessed Axl Rose stage dive at the Park Plaza Hotel during the 3rd Anniversary RIP party in October 1989.”
Ever since that prenatal concert experience, I’ve longed to see the explosive energy attributed to “Paradise City” live and hear the revolutionary defining screams and squeals of Axl Rose in person.
GNR Performing “Paradise City” Live
Last Thursday night, despite the ramblings circulating around as a result of mixed reviews and harsh criticism of Axl Rose’s performance during GNR’s Chinese Democracy tour, Rose’s persona and pipes soared to infinite degrees in the quaint Fillmore Club in Silver Spring, Maryland for three and a half electrifying hours.
Starting just after midnight, the show contained a hearty combination of old and new by intertwining many of the band’s classics with those songs born from the second incarnation of the group that’s poised to enter the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame next month.
The faithful crowd mimicked every heroic lyric as Axl wailed memorably through beloved ballads like “November Rain,” Sweet Child of Mine,” and “Patience.”
For the 2,000 lucky locals in the sardine packed room, there was sheer acceptance of all the material passionately delivered from one of rock’s most enigmatic and dazzling figures.
Guns N’ Roses’ songs have helped define a generation of music. They were raw, unscripted and jammed pack with the luscious allure of pure sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Guns N’ Roses was not just a band. They were a movement, a musical revolution of human expression, imagination,and freedom.
And it is clear that the songs of such an archetypal band in human history will continue to reverberate, influence and delineate for decades to come.