Friday, May 19, 2006

Guns n' Roses Play Surprise NYC Acoustic Show

And I didn't know about it. Fuckers.

From Blabbermouth.net, your favorite source for daily heavy metal news:

A BLABBERMOUTH.NET visitor by the name of Matt Goldenberg has submitted the following report:

"Okay... I can't really tell you how I found out or how I got on the list without betraying a friend's confidence, but I got a call around 6 p.m. [on Thursday, May 18] that Rosario Dawson, the actress from 'Rent', 'Alexander', etc., was having a birthday party tonight at a small club near my apartment [in New York City] that I'm told is called Plum (I feel like an idiot but I honestly have never seen a name on the marquee and now I can't find a club called Plum on CitySearch.com, so I apologize if that's not right) and that GUNS N' ROSES WERE GOING TO PLAY. Some of my co-workers and I were able to get our names on the list. I was told to keep my mouth shut because it was all supposed to be a secret.

"Anyways, I have been here once or twice before, and it's a pretty small, chic nightclub. It has two floors and holds maybe 800, 900 people tops — someone told me capacity is actually around 500 people, I don't know how accurate that is and tonight, it was definately filled wwwaaaayyyy beyond capacity. I don't mean to make light of a tragedy but if God forbid there had been a fire, it would have been The Station x10.

"So doors are at 11 p.m. and we show up around 12:30 a.m. and... we're told we can't go in. Allegedly Axl [Rose, GUNS N' ROSES frontman] got into a fight with a clubgoer (I can't verify this) and they subsequently shut down the doors. Of the dozen or so people I was with, all but my friend Ken split. It was at that point that Ken had the brilliant idea that maybe now they would let us in since there was just two of us. We pleaded with a bouncer who verified that we were actually on the list and — yes! — we were in.

"Like I said, the place was packed, but we managed to find another good friend who had a table up front near the stage. The joint was crawling with celebrities: Kid Rock, Mickey Rourke, Eric Balfour, and God knows who else. On the way up I heard buzz first that the original band was there (which I knew was B.S.), and then buzz that it was just Axl and Izzy [Stradlin] and Matt Sorum (which seemed feasible in light of Axl's recently making-nice with both former Gunners). I saw Dizzy [Reed, GNR keyboardist] wandering around before we took our spot upfront, maybe five or ten feet from where the band was and right next to Del James [Axl's longtime friend/assistant].

"The band finally came a little after 1 a.m. I think. The stage was incredibly small and everyone surged forward to the point where tables were knocked over; my legs and feet are currently soaked in champagne and God knows what else. Anyway, Izzy and Matt were NOT there (or if they were, they didn't play), and if Brain [drummer] was there, I didn't see him, either.

"But Axl, Robin [Finck], Richard [Fortus], Tommy [Stinson], Bumblefoot, Dizzy and Chris [Pittman] all took the stage. Everyone played acoustically except Robinwho played a semi-hollow Gibson, and Tommy, who played his usual bass; for 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door', Robin and Richard switched instruments. Chris and Dizzy played maracas, congos, tambourines, and occasionally the keyboard, which was crammed in the corner. Axl introduced the show as the 'karaoke version' of GN'R as a movie screen-sized monitor with all his lyrics was behind him.

"Everyone seemed to be in a great mood; they played some old tunes from 'Lies' that they haven't done since Slash was in the band, and Axl said they had learned the songs just 20 minutes before arriving at the club.

"Before 'I.R.S.', Axl asked the band if they felt like trying it even though they hadn't rehearsed it, and Tommy screamed out 'I'm fucking fearless, I'll try anything!' The three solos in 'November Rain' were handled as they have been (Richard Fortus does the first one, Robin Finck does the second one, and Bumblefoot does the big closing one) except that Richard and Bumblefoot played their solos acoustically, which sounded pretty awesome.

"Needless to say, the whole place went apeshit... it was a really intimate, really amazing show and a nice way to close out the week after the four Hammerstein gigs. I don't remember the precise order of the set list but here is what they played:

01. Used To Love Her
02. Mr. Brownstone
03. Welcome To The Jungle
04. You're Crazy ('Lies' version, not the 'Appetite' version)
05. Patience
06. Knockin' On Heaven's Door
07. The Blues
08. I.R.S.
09. Sweet Child O' Mine
10. November Rain (Axl on keyboards)
11. Paradise City

"I don't think I missed any songs; the whole show lasted a little over an hour, maybe. At the end, Axl came back out and said, 'I forgot to do something because I'm a fucking idiot,' before bringing Rosario Dawson out on stage and leading the audience in a rendition of 'Happy Birthday.' Then Rosario grabbed the mike and went nuts — 'THEY'VE NEVER PLAYED ALL ACOUSTIC, THIS IS HISTORY IN THE MAKING, HOW MUCH DOES THIS MAN FUCKING ROCK,' etc."
And, by the way, someone should point Rosario in the direction of the band's 1987 CBGB acoustic set that's floating around YouTube.

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