Guns N' Roses Rock Rio; New Pictures; Live Bootlegs Surface!!!  

Frank Meyer, Managing Editor
Monday, January 15, 2001 03:34 PM

Guns N' Roses Play Rock In Rio To Ecstatic Reception; Audio Bootlegs Of Live Shows Surface On The Net

As live bootlegs of the Guns N' Roses' new line-up surface on the net, GN'R singer (and the only original member) Axl Rose took his new outfit to Rio De Janeiro for the Rock In Rio Festival last night and rocked the elated crowd of 200,000.

On Sunday, January 14th at 2am, the retooled GN'R blazed through a two-hour and fifteen-minute, 22-song set that leaned heavily on vintage Guns
material but, like the Las Vegas set on January 1st, featured some choice selection from the upcoming Chinese Democracy album. Opening with "Welcome to the Jungle" Axl screamed, "Do you know where you are? You're in the jungle baby! You're gonna die!!!" as his band tore into the classic cut with precision and aplomb.

Dressed in trainer pants and an open shirt, Rose stormed the stage, the same one he stalked when GN'R played the festival in 1991, with an abundance of energy and bravado. Like the days of old, he controlled the show with iron fist, at one point toward the beginning of the set, yelling at a security guard, "Get that guy out of here. Are you listening to me Mr. Security guard? That guy. Out." Rose also used a translator for his between song speeches, of which there were many. At one point, Axl even mentioned his former bandmates, saying, "I know that many of you are disappointed that some of the people that you came to know and love could not be here with us here today. Regardless of what you have heard or read, people worked very hard -- meaning my former friends -- to do everything they could so I could not be here today. I say fuck that. I am as hurt and disappointed as you that unlike Oasis, we could not find a way to all just get much for the past. This is 'Live and Let Die.'" The band then tore into the Paul McCartney classic made famous by the old line-up.

The new line-up - currently featuring Buckethead, Robin Finck, Tommy Stinson, Paul Tobias, Dizzy Reed, Chris Pittman, and Brain - ripped through the classics like they'd been playin' 'em since '87, but it was the new songs that many were curious to hear. Rose debuted two songs that were not in the Vegas set, "Madagascar," in addition to the five others that he debuted during the New Years Eve performance, "Oh My God" (the only one to have been released, on the End Of Days soundtrack), "The Blues," "Silkworms," "Chinese Democracy," and "Rhiad & The Bedouins." In addition to the obvious hits, the band played several GN'R tunes that had not been played since the very early days, including "Think About You" and "My Michele." Rose also addressed the old school Guns heavy set, saying, "We've done one show before this and already we have been criticized for playing old songs. But I have no intention and I never did of denying you all something you enjoyed. And I thought it was only fair for you to see that this new band can play the fuck out of these songs. It's very hard to ask a musician to learn to play the part or parts played by other musicians before that. These guys here have worked very hard."

He closed the set with, "I love you. I will be back here next summer with a whole bunch of new songs. Be good to each other and we'll see you later." For the hardcore Guns fans who can't wait that long, many of the songs from the New Years Eve show at House Of Blues and even songs from last night's show are already surfacing on the internet. Audio Galaxy , Napster, and are among the sites that feature both new and old songs from the two concerts. All the versions appear to be bootlegs made by audience members and are rough quality (though the Rio ones could possibly be from the soundboard, but a rough mix for sure). A run through of the tunes reveals that "The Blues" is a "November Rain"-style piano ballad, "Silkworms" is an electronica influenced opus, "Rhiad & The Bedouins" is an upbeat rocker with cool Zepplin-esque verses but a so-so "Oh Oh Oh" chorus. The best tune is the title track from the new album, a balls out rocker in the tradition of Use Your Illusion. "Madagascar" has yet to surface. In general, the live versions are definitely much more rockin' than one might suspect, and less industrial sounding than many feared. We'll just have to wait and see what the studio efforts sound like.






Copyright © 2001 Jarmo Luukkonen