Tag Archives: Guns N’ Roses

4 Things I Learned at the GNR Concert

4 Jul

GNR

“’Cause yesterday’s got nothin’ for me

Old pictures that I’ll always see

Time just fades the pages

In my book of memories”

-“Yesterdays,” Guns N’ Fucking Roses

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Guns N’ Roses’ original lineup reunited (well, mostly…Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin aren’t onboard) and started touring again after a 23 year breakup. Dubbed the “Not In This Lifetime” tour (based on what Axl Rose had previously said about the possibility of ever reuniting with Slash), they’ve only played a few dates so far. They kicked off the tour in Detroit, then hit FedEx Field in Landover, MD, which is where I saw them last week. Let me tell you something: they rocked my balls off. Like completely. I went in with balls and left with none. I think it happened during Slash ripping through The Godfather theme or maybe it was Axl screeching through Nightrain that did it. Doesn’t matter — they’re gone and it was totally worth it. And I learned a few things, like…

4. Sometimes You Can Go Home Again.

Generally speaking, when people say “you can’t go home again” they mean that the awesome things you remember from your youth will totally suck just like the biggest set of swinging, unwashed donkey balls when you experience them again once you’re older. That’s how I interpret it anyway. For just about everything – movies, video games, toys, music, Jean-Claude Van Damme (okay, not him; if anything his awesomeness ages like the finest bottle of wine…which he then dragon kicks into oblivion) – this holds true. So how would a reformed band that used to rule the world fair 23 years after breaking up? The answer: balls-fucking-tastic. They rocked the shit out of FedEx Field (and my balls; see above) for over two and a half hours. It was high-energy and pure fan service (you can check out the setlist here if you don’t believe me). Oh, and they showed up on time! And Axl seemed genuinely happy to be there! And his voice sounded awesome! I have no idea how he’s still belting it out at his age, but it was quite a thing to behold. Slash and Duff were amazing and the three newer members of the band tore it up as well.

The band had a bit of a reputation for starting ridiculously late or ending ridiculously early (and hating each other, but not anymore!). So maybe I could go home again in this case because my expectations were actually quite low going in.

3. Not Nearly Enough People Have Seen PCU.

I’d be willing to bet a bunch of you (the really cool ones with the most attractive genitals) know exactly where I’m going with this:

If you couldn’t spare 9 seconds to watch that clip (I get it, you’re totes busy), it’s a classic scene with Jeremy Piven and Jon Favreau. Favreau is going to a concert and Piven notices the shirt he’s wearing, then utters this all-time quote: “What is this? You’re gonna wear this to the show? You’re gonna wear the shirt of the band you’re gonna go see? Don’t be that guy.” I saw hundreds of people in GN’R. Shirts. Possibly thousands. Most weren’t even wearing some beat up joint that they were using to wax the car until the band reunited. No. Most people were wearing shit they bought ONSITE. That means they wore something else to the event, dropped $45 on a shiny, new tee, and changed into it so that the rest of us knew they were there to support the band. Thanks for that. That’s the kind of mentality used by five-year-olds the world over when they get a new pair of shoes that they just have to wear out of the store. Guys, you wear the concert tee AFTER the show so that people are forced to ask you about it and then learn that, “Yeah, I went to the GNR show. What of it?” Your friends will be properly awed and SO jealous, which is the whole point of going to events like this in the first place.

I’m not even going to get into the raging cock weasels who showed up dressed as Axl or Slash because the savage beatings I assume they received were probably punishment enough.

BTW, if you haven’t seen PCU, read this article. It lays out why it’s still relevant 21 years (now 22. Wait…that can’t be right. Wasn’t it just 1996 a few months ago? I am so fucking sick of Time Wizards making years last for only days now. It’s also possible that I’m old as fuck. Unrelated, I wish all these damn kids would get off my goddamn lawn. Motherless bastards) and why you need to watch it…you know, after you’re finished reading and sharing this post with every living being you know.

2. Without Hyperbole, I Can Say Cell Phones Will Be the Death of Humanity.

Take pictures, I don’t mind. Recording every second of everything you do? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY DO YOU DO THIS??? You know you’re never going to watch it again. Be honest. The only reason you’re recording it is so you can inspire Instagram/FaceBook/Twitter envy from your followers.

“Look at me! I’m out doing cool shit! Aren’t you jel? You’re totes fucking jel, right? Please validate me! I’m cool, right? I matter. I do matter? Oh sweet Jesus, what is the point of it all? Every breath we take brings us simply one breath closer to the always looming specter of death!! Life is but a grand farce.”

I’ve been to multiple fireworks nights at Camden Yards and saw that many people, rather than watching and enjoying said fireworks, recorded that shit on their phones. They recorded fireworks. On their phones. To ostensibly watch later.

Motherfucking fireworks.

Instead of watching them filtered through a tiny-ass screen maybe, you know, just fucking look up! Ever watched fireworks on TV? Pointless bullshit. They’re kind of meant to be experienced in person with the naked eye.

Pro tip: life is happening all around you — experience that shit! You don’t need to record it on a four inch screen so you can later show your relatives and distant acquaintances what a fucking whirlwind of an amazing life you lead. And you don’t need to record every waking second of your existence. You’re not a journalist nor a documentarian, so stop it.

1. Other People Are Just the Absolute Fucking Worst

For as much as I enjoyed the concert, this is the biggest takeaway from it: I cannot stand to be in the presence of other people. I mentioned the cellphones in the previous entry. Just about every single human in front of me recorded the show for long periods of time. This meant I had to try to see the band around extended arms and tiny screens shining light into my face. It was beyond obnoxious.

The eight-foot tall gentleman directly in front of me was apparently part snake as he shimmied from side to side from the opening bars of “It’s So Easy” to the closing chords of “Paradise City.” He blocked my view to the right, then the left. Right, left, right, left, ri…STAND FUCKING STILL AND BOB YOUR HEAD UP AND DOWN LIKE A NORMAL FUCKING PERSON, YOU SLITHERING ASSHOLE!! I paid extra for field seats only to spend most of the concert standing in the aisle in attempt to see.

Add to that people bumping into to me for the duration of the show and the ridiculous traffic trying to get out of there and I have to wonder why I ever go out in public at all. Good time, though.

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