Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Guns N' Roses - 20060923 - KROQ Inland Invasion Review

First off, I drove out there on Friday night from Phoenix. That is roughly about a 4 ½ hr to 5 hr drive. When you get lost, it’s ummmm, a little longer.  I couldn’t find the venue to save my life, and it’s a wonder we got there when we did. Anyhow…

We got to the Pavilion at roughly 1:00 PM. After having all (3) of my lighters, a pen, and my USB Swiss Army Knife confiscated, we entered what turned out to the the biggest amphitheatre I’ve ever seen in my life. I let them confiscate this stuff, because it was literally a mile from where we had parked to the gate and most of it was uphill. I got it from work, so I was like, “screw it”.

As we were walking around, one of the KROQ guys came up to me and asked me where I got my shirt as it wasn’t the official shirt they were selling (I bought a few from some guy down the street for $10 a piece). He was actually impressed w/ it and we chatted for a while. After that, my wife and I were looking for a place to smoke as she had hidden some lighters in her bra, but there was literally no place to smoke in that place. Security was extremely tight. So tight in fact, that they had guys on top of the buildings watching everything.

We did eventually find a Harley Davidson place where they were serving alcohol and chilled in there for a while. We were also able to smoke in there, which was cool. They were playing the first band “Poets & Pornstars” on a closed circuit tv-screen in there. They seemed ok, but I wasn’t going to go sit in the hot sun to watch some no-name band I’d never heard of. Anyhow, we found out they were selling disposable cameras in there and I confirmed we were allowed to bring ‘disposable cameras’ in (wish I’d known that BEFORE driving to California) so we bought one. She’s getting the pics developed today, so I’m praying they turned out. After that, we headed over to the KROQ stand and checked out what was going on there for a little while, before going to our seats.

The first band we saw was ‘Atreyu’. They were pretty good, but I couldn’t really understand what they were saying. Then came ‘Rise Against’. Again, a pretty good band, but I still was having a hard time understanding them. ‘BuckCherry’ came out next. This guy was pretty good and got audience participation, but it was kind of hard to see what was going on, because you either needed to hold your arm up to block the sun.. He nailed Crazy Bitch, so I enjoyed their set. I think it was ’30 Seconds to Mars’ next, though I might have the bands out of order as I didn’t have a pen, so I couldn’t write it down. Tongue After that, was ‘Papa Roach’. This one I got into. They were really good live. If anyone likes them, then I recommend seeing them live. They were by far the best band of the day IMO. Then came ‘Muse’. I’m kind of kicking myself in the ass, but before they came out, we decided to walk around some more and hang out, so I didn’t see them. I’m going by what others have said “Muse was there? Wow”. Ummmm ok, I have no clue who this band is.  This is where I decided to head out and look for an ‘official’ shirt.. While waiting in line, I ran into somebody that was also there for a shirt. Upon talking to him, I found he also frequented HTGTH, so I at least ran into one person from the forums. This was illusionone. After buying my GnR 2006 American Tour shirt, the three of us chatted for a while when I needed to get food. I waited for a while for him to come back, however it was getting close to time for ‘Alice in Chains’ to come out, so we went back to our seats.

This deserves a separate paragraph, as AIC was really good. I was extremely impressed w/ the guy they got to take Lane Staley’s place. If you closed your eyes, you could believe it was really him singing. They were also really LOUD and the crowd was HUGE by then. It was trickling in all day (especially in the grass), but when they showed up at 9:00 PM, the place was packed. Even Chester from Linkin Park came out and did a really good rendition of “Rooster” before the show as over.

After the show was over, ‘Guns N’ Roses’ was scheduled to take the stage at 10:00 PM. I knew that wasn’t going to to happen, but apparently, nobody else was ready. I was talking with one of the security guards and he’d heard Axl was still in San Francisco. I highly doubt that was true, but who knows. Anyhow, 10 came and went and nothing happened. At 10:08 the lights went down and everyone started cheering.. I was on my feet and ready. My wife sat back down about 10:10 as she didn’t believe Axl had made it yet. I didn’t believe it, but at about 10:18 I finally sat back down. By this time, they’d playing the Inland Invasion intro thing several times and it was getting old. Not to mention, the videos they kept playing finally looped. It was somewhere around this time that I notice stuff is starting to fly toward us. I turn around and just saw bottle after bottle (and these long plastic things.. not sure what they were) being hurled at Loge. I know they were just trying to throw shit as far as they could, but it mostly ended up in Loge. We were in Loge 5, Row Y Seats 1 & 2, so we were pretty close to the action. I even got hit by a full water bottle in the hand. It hurt like a son-of-a-bitch too! I chucked it back at the crowd and flipped them off with a hearty “FUCK YOU!!!”. I couldn’t help it, that shit pissed me off, and we were there to have fun, not throw shit and ruin the show. I was getting worried GnR wouldn’t take the stage because of this shit.

The part that pissed me off the most wasn’t the fact that everyone was chanting “Bullshit” over and over again and throwing shit, but DJ’s from KROQ had been coming out before every band played ALL day, including Alice in Chains, (which was introduced by Dr. Drew & Stryker) and they never came out ONE TIME to calm the crowd down. They didn’t say “be patient” or “calm down or we’ll end this” or anything. Nobody had ANY fucking clue what was going on. Was the band there? Were they coming? Nothing. That’s the part that gets me the most. Anyway, off my rant and back to the quote, unquote ‘riot’.

My wife and I had decided to move closer to the front to get away from the flying shit. Somewhere around this time, the assholes in the grass (if you were there and didn’t start shit it wasn’t you) decided I guess that what they were throwing wasn’t doing the trick, so they started lighting shit on FIRE and throwing that at the seats!!! Security didn’t know what to do, as most of them were huddled in a crowd near us in the front of Loge 5. By this time, a couple of people said “Axl’s here” and to pass it around, so I did, even though I didn’t believe it. Then the lights went down and almost immediately, the crowd calmed down. No more stuff was flying and everyone started cheering. The headlining band “Guns N’ Roses” had finally arrived. I’m going to write the rest of the webcast, as I’m at work and don’t remember the setlist in order.

01. Welcome to the Jungle

When the first couple riffs of ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ started, everyone went nuts, including me. I couldn’t believe how incredibly LOUD it was. Then Axl belts out “Do you know where the fuck you are?!” and I noticed everyone around me were going crazy. As soon as the intro music started people were jumping up and down and screaming at the tops of their lungs.. including me..  I couldn’t believe it was actually happening! I had been let down in 2002 as the tour was cancelled two weeks before I was to see them, but this time they were here and in person, and I was there! I still can’t believe it to be honest.

02. It’s So Easy

This has always been one of my all time favorite songs by GnR. It was great when he went “fuck off” and everyone put up their middle finger. He sounded just like I remember him sounding back in the day..

03. Mr. Brownstone

That was cool, because my wife and I both looked at each other when he said “worrying’s a waste of my “fuckin’” time. I expected it, but it’s different when you see it in person.. The only part that I missed hearing was “Mutha fucka, Mutha fucka won’t leave my ass alone”. I think he still had a hell of a crowd during this time, because looking back, I could see several people in the grass. The place was friggin’ packed!

04. Live and Let Die

I could tell the crowd went completely nuts on this one. Those of us that listen to boots of other shows know that’s usually the setlist, but to actually see it in person is a completely different experience.. I’d say the audience was SO into this song, that you could literally NOT hear Axl screaming after the verses as there was that much screaming and cheering.. It was great to see that, but at the same time, was disheartening, because I wanted to hear him belt out the screams between verses on this song.

05. Robin Fink Solo

I really enjoyed the solos. I typically skip them on bootlegs, but they’re cool to see when you’re there. This one was fairly long from what I remember. There were some guys over in Loge 4 I guess (to my right) screaming “Hurry Up!” as I guess they figured that was wasting their time. I liked it though.

06. Sweet Child O’ Mine

When the familiar guitar riff started, the crowd went nuts. This was another one that I personally thought the crowd actually drowned out Axl while singing it. It’s awesome to sing along to the songs you know, but of course it hurts in the end when you have a copy of the show and can’t hear the lead singer. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing.. I really enjoyed it..

07. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

I really enjoyed this version. He seems to change it every time he performs it live, and this one was no exception. It was funny that you’d hear these few people around us going “hey hey hey hey yeah” not realizing he didn’t do that anymore.. heh..

08. You Could Be Mine

This was AWESOME! He nailed this song completely IMO and didn’t miss a beat. Plus he added the “with your ass in the air!” part, which my wife and I said to each other as well and then looked in disbelief as he had actually said it.

09. Dizzy Solo

Dizzy was awesome. When the intro to “The Blues” started, I was excited. I yelled “The Blues” and people around me were looking at me like they had no clue what I was talking about.

10. The Blues

I loved this rendition, however I thought this was the song were Axl’s voice was the weakest. It could just be me, but I feel like he wasn’t hitting it as well as the other songs. It still sounded awesome, just not as good as other recordings I’ve heard of it. When he jumped on top of the piano though, that was cool

11. Band Introductions

Axl said something about being the song of someone. I thought that was kind of funny. I think it was earlier, but he mentioned people meeting him in the parking lot before they came in. He said something like “So there were these mother fuckers hanging out in the parking lot” and then said something else and “Man, how lucky can you get?”. Well, that was my take anyway on what he was talking about. Those are some lucky fans.

12. Richard & Robin Solo

Both of them jamming out was awesome. I personally don’t know what Beautiful is, and can’t stand Christina Aguilara, but it was really good. Seemed a tad long, but I enjoyed it none-the-less.

13. Out Ta Get Me

Seemed like this one was a crowd favorite. I noticed tons of people went nuts when this one started. Was a really awesome version of this song too. Axl was on fire that night.

14. Band Jam

I can’t remember this one off-hand, so I’ll have to listen to the webcast.

15. November Rain

This was the BEST version of November Rain I’ve EVER heard. There seemed to be a lot of crowd participation on this one too. The showering sparks at the end was really cool and Axl nailed every key as well as doing the high-pitched parts at the very end, which I personally like better than the original.

16. Better

I can’t say enough about Better. I was excited as hell when they started to play this as it is definitely one of my all time favorite GnR songs and it’s new. This version was loud and the crowd seemed to get into it from what I noticed, but again I was in Loge and didn’t see the grass as clearly all the time.

17. My Michelle

I enjoyed it immensely. I knew Sabastian Bach was going to come out, because I was told by someone there that he was at the San Francisco show a couple nights before. I like him, but his voice is so weak compared to Axl’s that it doesn’t even compare. Either way it was still a good song and the crowd really like Bach being there.. you could tell.

18. Don’t Cry Solo

I had heard several times that Bumblefoot plays parts of Don’t Cry, but I didn’t expect the WHOLE SONG, and I also didn’t expect an extended version of it. He nailed it perfectly from what I could tell, but it was pretty long. The way I see it is this: If he knows the whole song, then they should be able to play the same the way it was intended. With a voice behind it.

19. I.R.S.

Again one of my fav’s. This one seemed a little weak to me too, but overall was a really good performance.

20. Patience

I like Patience, but this is not typically a song for the type of crowd that was there, well known or not. I noticed the most people leaving during this song. There wasn’t a lot of people that left, but there were a fair amount. I’m thinking because by then it was after midnight and people wanted to get out of there.

21. Night Train

Best version I’ve ever heard, hands down.. Axl nailed every note perfectly. He even did high parts and it was awesome. Everyone went nuts over this song.. I know I did.. I was so tired by now from screaming and jumping and head-banging.. you name it, that I’m surprised I had any energy left. When he said goodnight I saw so many people leaving. I mean literally running out of there. I know they want to beat traffic, but the lights were still down.. ummmmm duh.. Needless to say, they came back out a couple of minutes later.. what a surprise..

22. Rocket Queen

Another of my all-time fav’s. The extended intro made it that much better. Awesome song. The crowd seemed to be into this as well.

23. Madagascar

I couldn’t believe it when Madi started, because I love this song and I know they don’t play it all that often either. Best version I’ve ever heard. It was sweet how loud it was too..

24. Paradise City

By this time, I’d jumped over the barrier between Loge & the seats in the front section. I was trying to mimick Axl’s movements with his leg jumping up behind, but failed miserably.. I was done by then.. I couldn’t even hardly stand anymore, but yet I carried on.. When the confetti blew out toward the end, I had to have some of it, so I kept one red, one white, and one blue. Not sure why, but I did.. heh

As I knew that would be the last song, I waited until the very end after he said “babeh” and was going to say “Good Fucking Night” I was out of there as fast as I could to try to get into the parking lot before they left to possibly meet them or whatever, but there was a FENCE in my way all the way down to the bottom of the parking lot.. Tongue Oh well, I didn’t meet any of the band, but I had one hell of a good time.

-Dave

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