Why Axl Rose and Guns N' Roses Kick Ass in 2012
Thu, 15 Mar 2012 14:03:56
How many rock 'n' roll frontmen still have the mystique that made Robert Plant and John Lennon veritable divinities?
You're not going to find the answer to that question on Twitter or anywhere else online for that matter. At the end of the day, the music must speak for the artist in order to build the aura of otherworldliness which all of our favorite singers ultimately share. The performance is also certainly an integral part of as well, but the music begets the show. Mystique can't be bought, taught, or won. It is cultivated and preserved though.
Even while playing intimate gigs during the Guns N' Roses "L.A. Takeover" this past week, Axl Rose still emanated a timeless majesty that eludes so many modern singers. He was certainly up close and personal, but there's a divine magnetism to his performance style that elevates him to true rock god status. Moreover, he captures the danger and attitude inherent in Guns N' Roses with as much bombast, bravado, and brilliance as ever.
On both nights, "Chinese Democracy", "Better", and "Shackler's Revenge" bristled with a reckless aggression that charged the venues with raw adrenaline. Those Chinese Democracy tracks tightly wove industrial and metal together with Rose's inimitable vocal range encompassing a myriad of inflections and tones. Rose cruised across the stage swiftly as he belted out each song with panache, power, and poetry.
At the same time, he could get close to the crowd's hearts while still leaving a lot to the imagination. "November Rain", "Don't Cry", and "Estranged" remain the kinds of ballads that can be played at weddings or funerals. Everyone can apply his or her own story to those gems, and watching the diverse audiences of new and old school fans sing along on Friday and Monday, that was abundantly clear (and loud). Rose has constructed such deep emotional tapestries that he doesn't need to let anyone in on the narrative. They're open to interpretation, and that's what makes them classics. That's why we're still singing them back to him today.
Then there were the sexified thrash monsters that can still bring any stadium worldwide to its knees. "Welcome to the Jungle" felt even more deadly with the three guitar assault of DJ Ashba, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, and Richard Fortus, while "Rocket Queen" could charm the pants off anyone with Frank Ferrer's slick drumming and Tommy Stinson's potent bass thump. Let's not forget all of the intricate flourishes from Chris Pitman and Dizzy Reed on the keys. It's like watching the ultimate rock 'n' roll orchestra.
Rose sounded uncaged on "You Could Be Mine" which still terminates with a heaviness that few bands can cop to. Even after three plus hours, you feel close while looking up. That's the mark of not only a great rocker but an artist for the ages.
We can't wait to hear what he does next and ponder all of the wonderful thoughts that it inspires…
See our review of the House of Blues show here!
See our review of The Palladium here!
See exclusive live photos of the band here!
See our exclusive on Guns N' Roses and The Unstoppable Axl Rose here!
See our review of Chinese Democracy here!
See our review of The Forum show here!
Photos: Corey Soria