If you’re a rock fan like me, then you know that this weekend was pretty epic for rock music. I’m speaking, of course, about the return of Guns N’ Roses and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Granted, I didn’t attend any of these shows, so my views are from an outside perspective. That said, if you were there, please give us your perspectives in the comments below.
Guns N’ Roses
Rock music has needed a shot in the arm for quite some time. The Guns N’ Roses concerts have catapulted rock music into the limelight in a way we haven’t seen in some time.
There have been other reunions that had the potential to be as big as this but fell short. Led Zeppelin made huge news when they got together for one show (with Jason Bonham filling his dad’s shoes). But, they didn’t go any farther than the one show.
Van Halen made big news with their reunion with David Lee Roth. Their reunion has lasted longer, but Roth’s performance has been a far cry from his original heyday.
Even without all the original members, this reunion already seems bigger. That may be due in part to the aura of danger that always surrounds this band. Everyone is expecting the tour to implode at any time. Their volatility has always fueled Guns N’ Roses and kept everyone’s attention.
The surprise show at the Troubador last week didn’t dampen the excitement for the two shows in Las Vegas. We finally know who’s in the band, but how would it all come together? Well, here’s what we know so far that will fuel much of the success of their summer tour:
- How They Sound: The band sounds incredible. All parties have been active lately, so I don’t think anyone was expecting a trainwreck. But, the biggest question is if Axl’s voice would hold out. Lately, his voice has sounded good at times and just awful other times. Well, so far, his voice sounds the best I’ve heard it sound since they started touring again.
- What Version of the Band This Would Be: With no Izzy or Steven Adler, it was clear this wasn’t going to be just a celebration of the Appetite era. With no Matt Sorum or Gilby Clarke, it wasn’t going to be an Illusions era focus either. It’s a continuation of the modern day Guns N’ Roses. They even included a couple songs from Chinese Democracy. At least, they’re \ the two strongest songs from the CD, Chinese Democracy and Better. If you’re holding out hope that you might hear a Velvet Revolver or solo Slash song, I wouldn’t hold your breath. It’s still clearly Axl’s band. The set lists have been a good mix, though.
- What Kind of Surprises Can We Expect: It was fun to see Sebastian Bach join the band on stage for “My Michelle” during their second show. Axl and Bach have remained close over the years. But, the biggest surprise so far isn’t even a person. When word came out the Axl had broken his foot, he vowed that the show would go on. How would he do it? By sitting on his own rock throne, of course. But, not just any throne. The actual throne that Dave Grohl had created for the Foo Fighters last tour. Grohl might just have a side business creating touring rock thrones.
- Will Axl, Slash and Duff Get Along: It looks like they’re all enjoying themselves so far. I don’t think they’ll ever shake the perception that it could all come crashing down in a split second. But, I think that’s part of the draw. People love to speculate on what might set one of band members off. Will Axl start the show at a reasonable time (midnight for the two Vegas shows)? Who know what kind of stipulations are in their contracts? You can bet that everyone is covered (band members and venues) in case it goes south.
- Will There Be a Place for Dizzy: Of course. Other than Axl, Dizzy is the longest tenured member of Guns N’ Roses. Let that sink in.
It’s been fun to watch the excitement so far. While I wish it was all five original members, I’m still glad to see the big three. We’ll see how long it lasts.
2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions
In a year that offers one of the best “rock” classes that we’ve had in a while, the induction ceremony seemed to come and go with barely a blip on the radar. For some reason, it was on a Friday this year. There was a little controversy…if you can call it that.
NWA called out Gene Simmons for saying he can’t wait for hip hop to go away (Simmons answered back here). They included the obligatory disclaimer that they are rock and roll (please, just stop already…). It seems there are more and more inductees that have to justify their inclusion.
Controversy came from new inductee Steve Miller. He criticized the Rock Hall for his treatment. He would like to see the whole process changed including “who you can invite, what you can do, how long you can play, what you can say…”.
Luckily, the biggest news of the Rock Hall inductions was good news for Cleveland. Cleveland will now host the induction ceremony every other year. Cleveland.com’s Chuck Yarborough explains why that’s important for Cleveland in this article. He also gives a great explanation of the two Rock Hall boards and the differences of each. It puts a lot of the activities as they relate to Cleveland in perspective.
Getting the ceremony every other year is a huge win for Cleveland. It will hopefully help to rebuild Cleveland’s reputation and credibility for supporting rock music. Too many rock bands skip Cleveland. I’ve always felt that the Rock Hall should help to make it easy and attractive for bands to come to Cleveland.
Things are looking up in the rock world. Exciting things are happening that hopefully we can continue to build. Enjoy it and support the rock bands that come to Cleveland. The more we support the bands that come, the more that will make sure to include Cleveland on their next tour.
Image Source: Cheap Trick via Mike Burns Wikimedia Commons