I had no idea what to expect, because the only times i've been to a stadium are for NBA and WWE. It was a lot less busy than a sports event, i guess because people knew Axl wouldn't come on till after 11. There were a handful of people having fun with hairspray and leather pants, but most of the crowd was older - regular dressed couples and bald guys in Appetite shirts. Fuckin... you couldn't bring alcohol in! WTF!!! So you had to drink in the outside ring thing around the stadium. Couldn't smoke inside. And if you wanted to bring water in they wouldn't give you a bottle, you got a paper cup. Fuckin man. See this is why i don't go to rock gigs hehe.
Anywho, got in while Rose Tattoo were on. I was originally keen to see them, but after hearing reports from other cities that they were doing anti-immigrant redneck rants in between songs i didn't really want to help make up a crowd. Listened to Nice Boys from the door with my beer. Good song. Then it was time to chug a bunch more beers and venture into the moshpit for Sebastian Bach. You know i always thought he was a bit of a dick and i never really got into Skid Row back in the day, but man he's a showman. He really got the crowd going, stopped a song to bitch at security about how they were treating people recording on cellphones (shining flashlights in their eyes/at the phone, pulling them out of the crowd etc), had something to say for every moment... He was probably the best front-man i've seen since Ice-T (though not as good as Ice-T). And damnit hearing 18 And Life live was cool. He also came back later to duet with Axl on My Michelle. (Picture-perfect 80s rock'n'roll moment.)
Sound quality was fucking shit, by the way. You'd think being front and center in the mosh pit i'd need earplugs. Not really. Some tracks echoed off the roof and around the stadium so i kinda did, other songs you could just talk to the person next to you. Most songs the crowd singing along was so loud you couldn't hear the band vocals. A lot of the top end just disappeared into whatever weird hole you get in big stadiums. I've noticed the same thing in very large nightclubs too so i think it's just a problem with trying to get sound out to a big area. It fucking sucks. I tried to ignore it, but fuckin, still shat me a lot.
So ran back to grab another paper cup (for fuck's sake) of water after Sebastian Bach finished then pushed back to about 5-6 rows back in the mosh pit to wait for G'n'R... who came on 45 minutes late. People were bitching, but you know it's part of the thing. And when those Welcome To The Jungle notes started it really didn't matter. Axl's definitely still got his voice. The new band is tight, though the guitarists aren't as good as Buckethead was. They had a few breaks for solos that were okay, but not too jaw-dropping. Robin Finck brought some soul. Bumblefoot had some cool wah action. But maybe i'm expecting too much from my solos after seeing Steve Vai who was just stupid good.
The finale was fucking awesome. Finally i had a moment where it was like... THIS is why people go to rock shows. Paradise City got the mosh going again, and i was in the second row at this point. Then the fireworks hit - they'd been going all night, but these ones stuck around for a while, then shitloads of red ticker tape pieces went flying everywhere for a few minutes and the band kept playing harder. If you turned around to look at the stadium from the stage angle there were just all these little red pieces of paper floating around all over the stadium, looked like rose petals flying everywhere. It was just fuckin awesome. More gigs should do that. They should do it at raves. The show ended some time after 2am.
I'm really happy i went. NIN was one thing - they were my favorite band in my teens - but NIN is really about studio work, perfect production. G'n'R, though, they were my favorite band when i was a kid (i never got into grunge so they continued as a favorite band right up until 94ish) and they were a live band, i mean that's the whole point yanno. I always felt like i missed something not being able to go when i was 13 :-) It's still real hard for me to get into the whole "stand around and watch a band perform" vibe, but fuck, it didn't matter. It was Guns'n'Roses yanno. Fuck. Cool.
I am now going to snuggle on the couch and watch DVDs and eat junk food. I bought two movies i have no idea if they'll be any good - Nacho Libre and I ♥ Huckabees. I also bought Bright Lights Big City because it was $5 and Boston Legal Season 1 because it was $40 instead of $60. Poo to expensive DVDs. I'm considering switching my region 4 collection to region 1 and buying everything on Amazon since it comes out in America sooner and cheaper. Ah how awesome it would be to live in America...