Guns N’ Roses – better known by the old schooler such as myself as Axl & Roses these days – kicked off their residency at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, NV on October 31st. Author, journalist, musician, internet radio host, long time BW&BK supporter and good friend Joel Gausten was in attendance and checked in with an exclusive review of the show. An excerpt is available below:
By Joel Gausten
“One-hundred minutes. That’s how long it took Axl Rose and his current incarnation of Guns N’ Roses to take the stage at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on October 31st AFTER the 9:00pm start time actually listed on the damn ticket. While a local opening band called 333 did their best to placate the crowd with their brand of Nickelback-lite alt metal (and came back and played an additional 20 minutes AFTER ‘Thank you, good night!’), the groans from within the crowd grew louder with each passing minute. Was that bastard going to screw his audience AGAIN, even on the first night of a lengthy residency in Vegas? Would the headlines about Axl’s erratic behavior once again take center stage over the guy’s unbelievable talents? Would this guy flat-out suck? Anyone who has witnessed the train wreck that occurred at the band’s recent Bridge School Benefit gig surely couldn’t know what in the world to expect as the lights finally dimmed on the Joint’s stage. Would this much-hyped string of shows be the final nail in the coffin for one of Rock’s most incendiary acts?”
“Not a chance. When Guns N’ Roses hit the stage, Axl’s tardiness simply didn’t matter. With the opening surge of ‘Chinese Democracy’, it became instantly obvious that the show was going to deliver. The seven-piece backing band was flawless, while Axl’s agile stage moves and shockingly-strong voice provided an instant reminder of why this band (even in its radically re-configured current form) was still worthy of a fuck being given about them by the world-at-large in 2012. By the time the band reached the one-hour point, they were simply the greatest band on the planet. When Axl let out his explosive wail during ‘Live And Let Die’, you could hear the collective gasp of thousands who were now fully aware that the guy still has it. Highlights included a fiery ‘It’s So Easy’, ‘Mr. Brownstone’ and ‘You Could Be Mine’.”
Click here for more.
And while you’re here, check out Joel’s published works at Gausten Books. Tune in to his internet radio show Glory Is Noise on listener-supported Radio Free Satan. Each episode, he offers an eclectic mix of music and exclusive interviews with mainstream and underground recording artists. He’s even put up with me, which was a blast, and the broadcast revealed I really do have a Canadian accent. The show’s Official Facebook Page can be found here.
Also, a personal thanks to Joel for stepping up. Fact is he did this of his own free will and not because he was lured with the promise of free Canadian beer or a pre-paid Costco Gold Card. This was a very simple exchange of support, which we’ve been doing for several years now. One of the things that makes the metal scene work at its most basic level.
Check out an interview I did with Joel a few years back for a look at his work as a writer and a musician:
Photo courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Las Vegas. Check out their photo gallery from the gig here.