News Segment


December 21, 2006

As symbolism goes, it’s hard to think of anything more fitting than what transpired during Guns N’ Roses’ ‘November Rain,’ at the band’s hometown performance Tuesday night. The show, held at L.A.’s Gibson Ampitheatre, became the second-to-last night of the tour after frontman Axl Rose announced the band was scrapping the last two weeks of the tour to concentrate on finishing its long-anticipated album, ‘Chinese Democracy.’

As the pyrotechnics came flying down, the drums literally caught fire. Depending on your perspective, the perfect metaphor was either when the drum kit sizzled behind the explosive perfomance, with Rose seated at the piano, or when he quipped afterward, “That’s a first: The f***ing drums caught fire. I like that. We might just ‘Spinal Tap’ the drummer. Blow him up.”

There are many doubters out there, after the decade-plus wait for ‘Chinese Democracy’ and with Rose being the only remaining member from the days when Guns N’ Roses ruled the world — though original guitarist Izzy Stradlin joined the band for a few songs Tuesday night — who would love nothing more than to relegate GN’ R to where ‘Spinal Tap’ drummers dwell.

The reality is, though — as evidenced by last night’s two-hour-plus perfomance, particularly on fierce versions of ‘Mr. Brownstone,’ a scintillating ‘Nightrain’ and the upcoming album’s furiously paced title track — that Rose, with his current version of the band, can still deliver a night of great rock ‘n’ roll. And, if the pop-rock sheen of ‘Better,’ the powerful ballad ‘Madasgacar’ and the Queen-influenced ‘The Blues’ rendered live are any indication, ‘Chinese Democracy’ will be well worth the wait.

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