While MOST of the internet was pretty excited to hear that Guns ‘N Roses would see a re-united line-up featuring Axl Rose, Slash & Duff McKagan sharing the stage this summer….not everyone feels that way.
Following this weekend’s Coachella performance where Angus Young joined the band to treat fans to a taste of the upcoming AC/DC sound as fronted by Axl Rose….
This The Daily Beast writer thought it was less-than-awesome:
It’s been 23 years since Guns N’ Roses—the actual version, sans Buckethead—have graced the stage on tour together. Coachella’s mélange of frat bros and their H&M collection/flower crown-donning female counterparts were, for the most part, conceived long after the hard rockers stopped dancing with Mr. Brownstone, but that didn’t stop the Indio, California, festival from wheeling out the ghosts of ‘80s past for a headlining performance Saturday night.
Have you ever wondered how you could possibly make the typical douchebags that attend Coachella even more unbearable? Switch out their “Reagan/Bush ‘84” muscle tees for sleeveless Guns N’ Roses shirts and tie an American flag bandana around their head. Now have them sloppily jump around in a sold-out crowd to their high school football warm-up tracks.
Rather than serve as a triumphant return to the stage, the GnR performance was more reminiscent of what Christmas is like—if you too had a drunk uncle that always refused to leave the couch while screaming incoherent profanity to the rest of the family from across the room.
Lead singer Axl Rose managed to make it all the way to the first night of their U.S. reunion tour before his frail, bloated bod gave in, resulting in a broken foot. Rose was gifted an arena-style version of Game of Thrones’ Iron Throne by fellow rocker Dave Grohl, who was forced to use it to finish out the remainder of the Foo Fighters’ tour last year following his own injury. Thus, instead of Axl’s trademark writhing, sinewy, sexy dance moves—which, granted, would have been neutralized anyway given his corporal neglect—the Coachella audience was left with what seemed like a story time session, featuring a largely unrecognizable rock star sweating profusely in his chair, as if enduring a particularly painful deposition, while driving any shred of his badass legacy he had left further into the ground.
Like Joe Dirt crossed with Professor X, Rose was limited to swaying about in his rocker-throne as he attempted to pantomime along to celebrated tracks like “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Paradise City,” and “Mr. Brownstone,” as well as less celebrated tunes, e.g. the McKagan and Slash-less “Chinese Democracy.” Somehow, a lifetime of zero cardio, hard-partying, and an unfortunate penchant for plastic surgery left the Ginger Rock God gasping for air more times than showcasing his impressive vocal range, screaming that unmistakable high tenor into the mic.
With the handful of hits taken from their landmark 1987 album Appetite For Destruction, as well as some lesser-known tunes, the cool Indio desert magically transformed into a happy hour karaoke session that one immediately regrets having agreed to meet their co-workers for.
Of course, no Coachella headlining performance would be complete without a few noteworthy celebrity cameos (from musical artists, not Kendall Jenner).
Where do you stand?
Personally, I think Axl sounded great, especially sitting on his ass. No one seems rusty to me…