OK, so I can check all three of these of my list now- I’ve seen each of them up close over the past 6 months. In case you live in a cave, here are the line ups (click on the band name to see my past reviews):
GNR: Original members Axl Rose and Dizzy Reed. New members: Robin Finck, formerly of Nine Inch Nails, Richard Fortus, formerly of The Psychedelic Furs, Tommy Stinson, formerly of The Replacements, plus others.
VR: ‘Supergroup’ comprised of 3 ex-GNR members: Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum, plus Scott Weiland, formerly of Stone Temple Pilots, and Dave Kushner, formerly of Wasted Youth.
AoA: ‘Supergroup’ comprised of 2 former STP guys, the DeLeo Brothers- Dean on guitar and Robert on bass, plus Richard Patrick, formerly of Filter and Nine Inch Nails, and Ray Luzier, formerly of David Lee Roth’s band.
So, I could put NIN/Trent in here….but he would win in every category…
Here’s my research analysis:
Best opening act: GNR with Sebastian Bach. He just makes me laugh and I was totally transported back to 1990. OK, so I missed The Actual and I really just don’t like Hurt.
Best venue: Tie-GNR and VR, both at The Warfield. Best place to see a big act play a smaller show. Slim’s is Sucky McSucks-a-lot.
Best Rock Star time: GNR. Venue opens at 8, Bach goes on at 10, GNR goes on at 12 and plays til 2a. On a Thursday.
Best value: AoA. $20 a ticket compared to $75 for both GNR and VR.
Best fans: Tough one. I’d probably have to go with AoA because the band is really good to their fans, with M&Gs, etc.
Best stage set up: GNR. Pyrotechnics galore. No one does this anymore, so it was fun and…dramatic. Seriously, it was ‘look for the exits cuz I don’t want this to be like Great White‘ pyrotechnics.
Best outifts: VR. Hands down.
Most morphed since changing bands: Robin Finck/GNR.
Most mismatched to the band: Richard Fortus/GNR. The boy looks like he should be in NIN.
Best opening song: ‘Welcome to the Jungle’/GNR. When you’ve waited an hour and a half between sets, and you hear those notes when no one’s on stage yet, it just floors you.
Best closing song: ‘Goodbye’/AoA. Fitting.
Best on stage dialog: Tie. Axl had a fan thrown out for flipping him off, and Weiland asked a fan that was flipping him off if he wanted to stick that up his butt. Maybe it was the same guy.
Best old material from a former band: another tough one- I’d have to say ‘Hey Man, Nice Shot’ done by AoA.
Best version of STP’s Vasoline: VR. It just needs Weiland.
Best cover song: VR covering Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’.
Best unreleased new material: VR. GNR’s ‘new material’ is dusty….
Best guitar solo: VR/Slash. Fortus and Finck’s rendition of ‘Beautiful’ was just strange.
Best drum solo: AoA/Luzier. A) he had the biggest drum set I’ve ever seen, and B) wow.
Best choreography: VR. Weiland’s dancing+Slash’s guitar tricks=good time
Best recovered drug addict: AoA/Richard Patrick. Gave a little spiel about how he was supposed to play SF back in the early 2000’s, but something got in the way…rehab.
Most emotional performance: VR. I fell to pieces when I heard ‘Fall to Pieces’.
Best drummer: AoA/Ray Luzier
Best bassist: VR/Duff McKagan
Best rhythm guitar: GNR/Richard Fortus
Best lead guitar: VR/Slash
Best vocalist: AoA/Richard Patrick would win if there were a scream off death match. Weiland sounds the best with music backing him up…..and Axl has just massacred his vocal chords.
Best overall band: VR. GNR needs to release their album and get it over with, and AoA needs a new promoter or something.
“Living out the days and nights in absolute fearNever knowing when and where thethreat of the undead draws nearThoughts of…
“Now, listen up She’s a razor sharp If she don’t get her way She’ll slice you apart Now she’s a…
“Oh, they should have knownNot to play with the powers of HellSome people have lost their waySome people have lost…
“I’m the walking dudeI can see all the worldTwist your minds with fearI’m the man with the powerAmong the living,…
“And I find it kind of funny I find it kind of sad The dreams in which I’m dying Are…
“The sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive And the sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive, keeps me alive…
“It’s early morning, the sun comes out Last night was shaking and pretty loud My cat is purring, it scratches…
“We hold each other closer, as we shift to overdrive And everything goes rushing by, with every nerve alive We…
“I could talk about my world How you brought about ruin I could talk about your greed If you want…
“Always lived, very quiet lifeI ain’t never did no wrongNow I know that life without youHas been too lonely too…