Monday, October 22, 2007

My Thursday was better than yours...

(originally written about a year ago...)


So right now I'm bored, hung over, and very tired. I guess I'll just write about last night, since there isn't anything better to do at work…

First of all, I'll clarify: I'm not a writer, I'm not a poet, I'm an engineer.
My forte is not story telling and using eloquent phrases;
but numbers, robots, and drinking in may places.
I do not wish to impress you with my rhetoric and prose,
but rather state the fact that my Thursday was better than yours.

It was a cold windy night in San Francisco. Typical autumn evening, not much planned for a Thursday night except... well a small concert. The place was a world famous concert hall. You might have heard of it… you know, a little place called The Warfield. Epic performances have shaped that small venue, so much that now major names sacrifice the number of possible attendees and tickets sold just for a chance to play in the historic auditorium. To play in a place where Hendrix, Zappa, James Fucking Brown and countless other "legends" have rocked out and poured their sweat onto the stage… well, that's just magical. And magical often is a word used to describe concerts there. Anyway, I digress…

So who was going to play? Who could, in 2006, a year… a decade, with no real rock stars, live up to the challenge? This time, it would be two giants, who after being dormant since last century, last millennium, seem to be rising from their ashes, dusting off, and getting ready to kick major ass!!!! You might know the guys from their past, but let me tell you, you will soon know them for their present and their certain successful future. Both acts featured lead singers of world famous rock bands that refuse, and I repeat… REFUSE to lie down and die. Who are these people? How about a man called Sebastian Bach, and a god who goes by the name of William.Axl.Rose.

Did that sink in yet? AXL F'n ROSE. Yes. He IS back. And from someone who saw him in his "prime" 15 years ago, I can tell you that, like a good scotch, Axl has gotten better with time. Hard to believe? Read on…

The tickets were marked with "doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm ". Naturally, people showed up earlier than that. Who would dare miss even a second of this epic show? The single file line formed and stretched 3 blocks down busy Market Street (one of the most famous streets in SF) and then around the corner for 2 more blocks. The line was interesting to say the least. Young rockers, old rockers, people who never grew up, and people, who grew up listening to Guns, but now have been tamed, fallen victims of corporate America. I was one of these people, and all of us had that special twinkle in our eyes. The twinkle that knows that this night will be special. This night, and this night only, we were going back in time. To better and happier times. Back before 401K worries "Large cap or small cap?", back before rent was due "Shit! Did I pay the utilities?", back before having to put up with shitty music on the fucking radio for 99% of the time. Back to a time when you could go to the store, buy a GnR cassette, and run home to your tape player, max out the volume, and rock out to Appetite for Destruction, Lies, Use Your Illusions I & II. Yes my friends. Those were the days. And for tonight, those days were here.

7pm turned to 8pm. 8pm turned to 9. The lines did not move one inch. Yet, no one complained, no one seemed impatient. Everyone knew, bearing the cold, bearing the wind, no matter how long the wait, tonight would be special, and worth it all.

9:30 rolls around and suddenly, the doors are opened. Quickly we storm in. I look at my ticket again, it reads "floor, general admission". SWEET!! BTW, this is a side story, so ask me later how I got two tickets for a sold out show whose face value was $85 for only $50 each. The day of the show, mind you, and people were selling seats in the back (not even in the general admission standing area) for over $200!!! Anyway, again, I digress…

Anyway, we make our way to the front of the floor and pick a spot, center stage, 8 feet from the stage. From the corner of my eye, I see a familiar face. I stop the waitress before she passes by. It's a hot short girl with nice jugs, damn I love the type. Anyway, I recognize her cause she also works at The Fillmore (another world famous concert hall in SF). She knows I'm a good tipper and she remembers me (I went to another concert at The Fillmore last Sunday) so she keeps bringing me the drinks all night. I danced with the Captain and my good friend Jack. Tonight was a NO BEER night, partly because I had donated blood earlier in the day and the nurse told me not to drink beer tonight (hahahaha she didn't say anything about liquor, right????) and partly because I didn't want to have to go pee every five minutes and miss part of the show.

Anyway, after a few tangos with Mr. Daniels and Mr. Morgan I was ready. This would be a night to remember. Skid Row. Guns n' Roses. If ANYONE could put the WAR back in Warfield, it would be these guys.

10:00 pm. The lights go out. The crowd roars. This place is packed, and you can feel certain energy in the air. Flash of light, music and everyone, I mean EVERYONE is jumping. Here.We.Go!!!!!!!!

Sebastian Bach nailed it. He played his old stuff, he played his new stuff. He played everything. And the intensity was amazing. The crowd was really into it, and his show by itself would have been worth the price of the ticket. However, he was not going to be the main attraction, and he knew it. He let us know that he was done and told us to get ready for "Guns and Fucking Roses!!!!!!!!!!" Then he left the stage. I did tell you that this was a special night, right? Well, he did such a bad ass job that we asked for him to return. The whole concert hall echoed his name. Within minutes he was back on stage. One more song! and he brought out a surprise guest. As his musicians go into "Youth Gone Wild", Sebastian brought a familiar face to the stage. Anthrax's Scott Ian (bald guy with a long pointy beard) ( http://www.mtv.com/news/images/i/ian000202.gif) came out and totally shredded on the guiiiiiitar. They both jumped around, as did we, and everyone sang at the top of our lungs. After all, WE ARE THE YOUTH GONE WILD at least for tonight.

Now it was 11:00 pm . Sebastian Bach, the opening act, had just played a killer show for an hour. Not bad huh? This would bet even better. During the break, I take a quick pee break and get more drinks from the big jugged hottie. Life is good. I realize that I have been on my feet since 6pm, 5 hours. And the best is yet to come. Good thing I brought comfortable kicks. 11:30 , lights out.
The whole place is shaking. Trembling. San Francisco earthquake? Not a chance! Its GnR baby!!!!!!! The loud screams and stomping on the floor are almost deafening. Almost. From the distance, you hear a very familiar guitar riff. The same way Appetite for Destruction begins; the same way Guns n' Roses was introduced to the world, this would be the same way to begin show. And of course, Axl had to welcome us, "Welcome to the Jungle"!!!!

Mother fucker the sound was good!!!!!!!! Words can not describe it so I won't even try. Axl walks out, gives a famous scream, then BOOOM!!!! A loud explosion and tons of fireworks and lasers shoot out in every direction. Fire, smoke, explosions, lasers, rock and roll, and Axl… did I just die and go to Heaven? This can't be real, can it? I only paid $50 for this, is that even fair?

The song was perfect. Axl's singing has gotten better in my opinion. Enough old school effect to stay true to it roots, but with the new touch of the new musicians. The three guitarists are amazing. Each could be a lead guitarist for any rock band, yet all three are here on the same stage. They have big shoes to fill, but they are doing fine.

Next song in the album? Next song in the concert! "It's so Easy". And these guys did make it seem easy to just kick so much ass. They followed that with one of my all time favorites, "Mr. Brownstone". At this point, I look over at my friends and they tell me that I look like a little kid on Christmas, smiling ear to ear. Yes, this is even better than that. Now it's time for "Live and Let Die". Fuck this is so good, everyone is singing, everyone is jumping, and everyone is dancing in the slow parts. More light shows, more fireworks and explosions. This is just too much for me to process!!

Then it's time for one of the many solos to come. Everyone leaves the stage except for Guitarist #1 (sorry, I don't know the new guys' names). Guitarist #1 plays an awesome solo and plays with the crowd changing the tempo and allowing us to be part of it by our clapping, marking his tempo for the solo. Then, he leads into what could be arguably the most famous guitar riffs of all time… "Sweet Child of Mine". He is joined by the rest of the band and holy shit I think I just soiled myself. This is just too good.

Like you guys know, this song has multiple solos, for each solo (and this was common throughout the night) each of the 3 guitarists would play a part, or two or more would play in duet. Midway through the song however. Axl stops the music. He points at a guy in the middle of the mosh-pit and yells, "YOU! RED SHIRT! Get the fuck out!" Immediately security pounces on this idiot and kicks him out of the show. As they kick him out, Axl asks "Did your mommy pay for your ticket? That's why you don't care about wasting others money?" ahhahaha Axl explains that he saw the guy punch some people and that he doesn't want some douche to ruin the good time of everyone else. He smiles and says "Where were we?" and they jump into one of the solos and continue the song. The old Axl would have jumped down and kicked the dude's ass, but this is a more mature, more refined Axl. Hahahaha Axl even asked the dude "What, you think you're a bigger asshole than me? I'm the biggest asshole in here!".

Next is a version of "You Could Be Mine" that was truly orgasmic. I mean three lead guitarists, standing on tall speakers, battling out with riff after riff. I think I came a little.

Then they slowed it down a little bit, with "Knocking on Heaven's Door". This was another one were the fans were loud!!! Axl calls, we answer. No question about that. After that they rolled a grand piano onto the stage. This could be interesting. "Hey!! I know that guy!!!" I say (he had been in the back corner playing percussions and keyboard the whole night, but I hadn't paid much attention to him). Ladies and Gents, it's Dizzy Reed, the only other member of the original line up that still tours with Axl. And he played a masterful piano solo. Wow, this guy is real talent. It's weird to see a dude without a shirt, covered in tattoos, with long threadlocks for hair, playing such a beautiful, classical piano melody. But this was a special night, so anything flies. As he is playing, all the lighters come out looks soooo cool. Spotlight on Dizzy and he shines. Then they break into a new song, sorry don't know the names yet. But it is loaded with piano melodies and guitar solos. Awesome. Can't wait for the CD to come out. Axl stands on the piano to sing, guitars all around him, Dizzy pounding on the piano. My head is about to explode this is so damn good. This is the tits!!

Now, its guitarist # 2's turn for a solo, everyone leaves the stage to rest and this guy enjoys the spotlight. This dude is fast. He is shredding that guitar!! He is then joined by Guitarist #1 and they are dueling with a very familiar melody. WHAT THE FUCK IS IT???? The guitars sing, no one has a microphone, so the guitars have to do the singing, they sing, "You are beautiful no matter what they say, Words can't bring you down. You are beautiful in every single way, yes, word's can't bring you down. Don't you bring me down today." Now these are two dudes dueling on guitar, making this song less gay than the original version hahahaha. Then they start dueling in other songs, back and forth, one trying to outdo the other.

Then they go into another one of the new GnR songs. It was pretty cool. Then they roll out the grand piano again, and this time Axl sits down to play. He plays a very long solo and then leads into "November Rain". Wow. Talk about a hard song to match to the CD. They did it better. More solos. This was insane. In the final guitar solo, there was a huge fire ball that went from the stage to the fans (I felt the heat) then giant sparklers that kept going for the duration of the song. These guys were playing guitar surround by flames from the sparklers, and if you hadn't had an orgasm yet, this was the time, my friends. Joy joy joy-gasm faces all around. No one could believe what was happening as the fire/sparkler waterfalls kept falling on the stage and everyone keeps rocking!!! How these guys didn't catch on fire, I'll never know.

Then, Axl brings out Sebastian Bach to the stage. Holy fucking shit. This is about to go up another level. They sing a little piece of "Nice Boys" a-capella. Now if you don't recognize this song, here's a hint. It was first released in their debut sampler called Live like a Suicide in 1986. (before their first real disk, Appetite for Destruction 1987) It was later re-released in their second real album Lies, in 1989. Anyway, they just sing a few parts of that song, and then the guitars break into "My Michelle". Only this time it's not just Sebastian Bach as a lead singer, it's not just Axl Fucking Rose as lead singer… it's both of them. They trade lines, sing together, etc… wow. Just wow.

Then Mr. Bach leaves and GnR plays "I used to love her:" Followed by a brilliant rendition of "Patience". Every single solo, was, well, not a solo, at least 2 guitars played each solo together, in harmony. Then, it was Guitarist #3's time to play a solo, and he too rocked. I can not say enough about how good all three of the guitarists are. It was a real treat to experience that. He played a little bit of a stolen solo from John Petrucci (guitarist to Dream Theater), but hey, it's cool to do that as a tribute. Then, he did something allsome. He played "Don't Cry" without really playing the rhythm section. He played solo, playing just enough notes to let the crowd sing the lyrics, while he played some beautiful melodies on the guiiiiitar. This was one of my favorite parts of the show. Next time you see me, ask me to show you the video on my cellphone, I have parts of every song on there (that's how I can write this description w/ so much detail). This was an amazing song. No one singing except for the guitar and the people. Beautiful.

Then Guns came back out and played "Rocket Queen". WOW! They were playing EVERYTHING! That was it. They exit. Not for long. Just like in "Get in the Ring" the crowd yells "Guns…. And… Roses!" "Guns…. And… Roses!" "Guns…. And… Roses!" for a few minutes.

Then the boys come back, and play a new song. And then… the only way to put icing on the cake. " Paradise City " Near the end of the song, where it gets all crazy ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!!!!!!!!!!! More fire bombs, smoke explosions, LASERS, lights, and then, BOOOOM confetti, everywhere. PAPER IS FALLING FROM THE SKY!!!11!!!. PAPER IS FALLING FROM THE MOTHER FUCKING SKY!!1!1!! Big pieces of red, white, and blue paper all over the fucking place. It looks like it's snowing, and it goes on for minutes. Everyone is covered in it. People's heads are about to explode. System overload!! All that is awesome is GnR and GnR is all that is awesome. Just when you think it can't get any fucking better, Guitarist #1 jumps off the stage and lands on the crowd. Now people's heads ARE exploding. Pop. Pop. Pop. More heads explode. I cum, again. The mother fucker is crowd surfing on his back, and still shredding on his guitar. He passes by me and I help him keep cruising, he goes for a while and then they push him back on the stage. All three guitarists are shredding their fucking guitars. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH muther fucker!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

"Good night San Francisco !" They exit the stage. Then come back, all 8 of them to bow down to a standing ovation. It goes for minutes, they keep bowing and we keep clapping and screaming louder and louder. I look at my watch, its 2:15 am. These dudes played for over 2 hours. Bach played for 1 hour. I just saw people's heads explode. Hundreds of people cum in unison. Like I said earlier, this is a place famous for magical performances and I can't fathom anything more magical that what I just saw tonight. This was my night. This was my night.

What did YOU do this Thursday?

1 comment:

DaVinci said...

Domingo se la come!!