You force the music section to wear Axl Rose’s fur-coat-and-biker-shorts outfit, and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt and two tickets to a Live Nation club show of your choice taking place in Vancouver within the next four weeks. Here’s this week’s winning whinge.
Dear Payback Time: Regarding Kristi Alexandra’s review of the Guns N’ Roses show. The show must have started after your bedtime as it seems you were sleeping for much of the show. The night started with the lacklustre, tinny, and distorted performance of Duff McKagan’s Loaded. His band looked like zombies. That was forgivable due to the fact that this was the second show in two nights, after Duff’s homecoming in Seattle. Axl and friends started one minute past the actual scheduled time of 11 p.m. It ended at 2:09 a.m. so was actually three hours and eight minutes, not two-and-a-half hours. Their sound was excellent and the hired hands seemed to enjoy themselves and were into the show. The stage had decent lights and was not over-the-top, as that would go against what the band always stood for: hard-hitting, straight-up rock ’n’ roll. The place was 75-80 percent full and not half-empty. If you are going to quote Axl, then do so correctly. After kicking out the rowdy he said, “That guy looks like Kumar,” which does not make Axl a racist. That is an observation. Axl also did banter with the crowd. He said it was the first time in 100 shows he had to have someone ejected and it felt good. Axl even apologized for the riot and said he hopes to be back sooner rather than later. Some other highlights of the 34-song marathon that you missed were DJ Ashba mid-song jumping off-stage onto the hockey boards and running halfway across the arena and the fan who had a sign saying she was Mrs. Rose. As well, I found Axl’s multiple hat changes amusing. Who cares what he looked like? His voice was incredible and sounded no huge flaws. I was sitting close enough to see that he wasn’t lip-syncing and actually had emotions.
The only complaint I heard was that beer sales closed at the same time Guns took the stage. On the way out I heard many people saying “Wow, what a great show it was” and even a few saying “best show ever”. This tour should have been appropriately titled The Axl Rose Redemption Tour.
> James Lewchuk
Kristi Alexandra writes: Dear James—in the immortal words of John Lucas, “This is why I get paid to write concert reviews and you don’t.” But I’ll bite. I’m glad you brought up our friend, Kumar. From where I was sitting, your “That guy looks like Kumar” sounded a lot more like “Hey look, it’s fuckin’ Harold and Kumar over here,” as Axl pointed into the crowd at a South Asian fellow who started a fight. Then, Rose’s string of expletives at the guy—who, I’ll admit, very much deserved to get put out on his ass—was followed up by his saying “Goodbye Kumar!” That might have been fine if the guy perhaps actually did bear a likeness to Kal Penn, the actor who plays Kumar in the Harold and Kumar flicks. But let’s be honest: he really didn’t resemble our lovable stoner buddy, Kumar, at all. But to your point, please let me know when The Axl Rose Redemption Tour does hit Vancouver. I’ll be sure to catch up on some much-needed sleep that night.
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