Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sometimes dreams really do come true!

I showed up on the shores of the US of A for the first time almost twenty years ago, in April of 1991. And being 13, I promptly headed across the street to Lexington Mall (which no longer exists, but holy crap(!) - they've got a wikipedia page!) to explore the American musical phenomenon, an experience that ended with me walking out of the store with a tape (yes, I said tape) of Guns'N'Roses, Use Your Illusion I. 1991 was a pretty big year for the band... I proceeded to listen to the tape... a lot! (there were a few Russian tapes mixed into my Walkman repertoire at the time, but they were quickly fading away - hey look, wikipedia also has a page about Наутилус Помпилиус, crazy!) I proceeded to like the music... a lot! I made sure to acquire the rest of the band's albums, even the hard to get European Live disk set(!), upgrading them to CD's in due time, continuing to like everything I heard (well, except for The Spaghetti Incident?, which was terrible!). I never seriously considered seeing them in concert - the videos on MTV were pretty cool, but I can't imagine a big band like them choosing to visit Lexington, Kentucky in those days.

Fast forward almost twenty years to present day. A band named Gun'N'Roses still exists, but the only original member is Axl Rose, who has apparently been enough of an ass to the rest of his former band-mates that they don't appear to wish to have anything more to do with him. They also still make music on occasion - the Chinese Democracy record took more than ten years to finally get released... and was unabashingly awful! So, they were out. On the other hand, there was still Slash, he of the eccentric looks, the floppy hair, the top hat, and the guitar skills to merit having been called one of the top five guitarists of all time... Slash continues to perform, with a band of his own now, continues to have a feud with Axl, and has had nothing to do with The Spaghetti Incident? or Chinese Democracy, I like to think. Instead, he is now touring this land of ours with his own band, and this past Saturday, here he was in good 'ol Seattle, putting on a show.

Not that you can see all that much - cameras weren't allowed at the Showbox, so this is courtesy of my iPhone, but that's Slash, top hat included, right there in the front!

They proceeded to rock the house for some two hours, playing some of their new material, some of their older material, and a whole bunch of Guns'N'Roses original material! Now, I can't tell you if this really qualifies as dreams actually coming true, seeing how I never really thought or dreamt about seeing them in concert back when I was in high school, but today, I can very honestly tell you that I was never expecting to hear 'Welcome to the Jungle,' 'Civil War,' 'Paradise City,' and 'Sweet Child O' Mine' playing live! The new lead singer doesn't quite screech to hit the high notes the way Axl used to, but Slash is still there being badass, and the whole atmosphere is still amazing... electric... insanely loud!

"Sweet Child O' Mine" - Iconic Guns'N'Roses! That's right, the iPhone will do video too!

The band was quite awesome, and surprisingly humble as well - for guys who've been playing huge shows all over the world for the past 25 years, they seemed genuinely excited to be there. They might not command the same audiences they did back in '91, but they did seem quite genuine when thanking all of us for being there! I was excited to be there as well!

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