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Guns N’ Roses Vancouver Concert Delivers Great Music and the Powerful Voice of Axl Rose

Dec 17, 2011

Vancouver, B.C.-

Hours after watching and listening to the super-charged Guns N’Roses concert at the Pacific National Exhibition, I am still suffering from a glorious musical hangover. But the difference is that instead of getting a headache, I am more or less suffering from lack of sleep and a hunger for more of that music metal spectacle that is Guns N’Roses.

Arriving to the stage after an opening act at 11 pm, Axl Rose and his glorious band took to the Vancouver stage delivering more than two and a half hours of foot-stomping energy, charisma and bundles of musical genius. And the Vancouver fans who had been waiting outside in the rain for hours to be frisked and cleared of any contraband booze and other things deemed too risky, including my coffee (!), couldn’t have been more happier.

And with strong vocals that thunder and send as much force like a hundred lions roaring, it’s clear that Axl is still king of metal. And while he seems more comfortable now in blue jeans and jacket, compared to his earlier and younger days where he was prancing around in short outfits, and so forth, the man still delivers songs at an earth-shattering pitch and could be heard at optimum blast even from seats further up in the stadium.

He effortlessly sailed his way through tunes like my personal favourite, Knock on Heaven’s Doors, and brought his vocals to majestic delivery in more than 30 tunes, including November Rain, Welcome to the Jungle, and Sweet Child o’ Mine and the exciting Paradise City.

The play list was surprisingly varied and broad, ranging from hard-core metal sound, to the soft and playful Henri Mancini Pink Panther theme music, to the wild and sexy James Bond opening music –all done with skilful genius by the current Guns N’Roses members. Axl gave ample stage time to showcase the talents of fan favourites like Richard Fortier on rhythm guitar and Ron “Bumberfoot” Thal on lead guitar and Dizzy Reed on keyboard.

And if the name of the band GunsN’Roses may sound dangerously punk metal to some people not yet introduced to this veteran band, it’s an illusion and in the ear of the beholder. In fact, it could be argued that the genius of this band is its music is hard and soft, romantic and forceful, loud and low –many things to many people.

To categorize Guns N’Roses would be a mistake. And for some people like myself who just were introduced to a GunsN’Roses concert for the first time in my life, the experience couldn’t have been more knockdown, glorious fun. Herein lies the basis for my music hangover.

And if the wide-ranging music was not enough to titillate the crowd, folks got to see flashes of fire, light and even free-flowing confetti sent to the crowd as though Axl and the Guns N’Roses band were saying, “We’re back, we’re powerful and we aim to rock this world.” Welcome to Vancouver, Axl and the rest of GNR. Come back real soon!

(Editor note: This is the first time GNR has played in Vancouver ever since their Vancouver 2002 concert was cancelled due to a reported flight delay, causing some fans to go stir-crazy and bring their frustration out to damage the stadium.

Axl apologized to the crowd for the cancellation, and joked earlier that if he had known there would have been that kind of reaction to the concert’s cancellation, “he would have come a week earlier.” Later, at the end of the evening, he apologized again and gave tribute to the Vancouver fans.

During the concert, he showed he was clearly in control, personally dragging out one young fan from the front crowd and kicking him out “for fighting” and saying this was the first time in over 100 concerts he played that he had to do this.

Indeed, fans and drunkenness seems to go hand-in-hand as though partying and concert going were one and the same thing. Prior to the concert, some fans were openly drinking, and some were even kicked out at the door even before the concert. However, the crowd was mixed, ranging from quiet teens, preteens with their parents, and all the way to the fifties and more. )

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