last night, Nov. 18, at The Roxy in Los Angeles
By Jose Martinez
Ladies and Gentlemen, it does exist!
Pigs may very well be flying, Hell may finally have frozen over, and democracy
may have actually struck China because I just got home from listening to the
long awaited, much anticipated (and maligned) Chinese Democracy.
The rock & roll equivalent to the
fabled unicorn (you know, they just don’t exist), let me tell you first hand
that Axl Rose’s revamped Gun N’ Roses’ Chinese
Democracy is for frickin’ real! As fans lined up alongside Sunset Blvd’s
famed Roxy, back where the band started oh so many years ago, no one knew
exactly what to expect.
Invited guests like GNR alumni Del
James (whose short story “Without You” inspired the “November Rain” video), as
well as former Geffen A&R exec Tom Zutaut who originally signed the band,
and LA club legend Dayle Gloria made their way into the venue, along with GNR
bassist Tommy Stinson in attendance, most fans hoped and prayed for a surprise,
unannounced performance by the band. But that wasn’t the case.
Instead, a packed Roxy crowd got to
hear the new album (available exclusively this Sunday at Best Buy stores, as
well as online at BestBuy.com and iTunes) in its entirety. Blaring through the
club’s sound system, this was the ultimate stereo experience. Kicking off with the title track to Chinese Democracy, fans were treated to
a record that is simply unparallel to anything else out right now. The record
(which will be reviewed more thoroughly next week) runs the gamut, from heavy
rockers to lush (semi ballads) to songs that go back and forth in between. Axl
and Company took 15 years to make Chinese
Democracy and even though no record can ever live up to that hype, this,
after only one listen in a crowded club with several drinks, in my opinion, may just be the record of the year.
Even though I’ve heard all but two of the
14 tracks in various stages of illegal downloads over the years, they still do
not disappoint. The songs that managed to remain leak-free like
“Scraped” and “Sorry” are absolute monsters. Axl clearly believes that bigger is better as these songs are on par
with epic classics like “Estranged” and “November Rain.”
the return of Appetite as there
definitely is a nod to the Use Your
Illusions roaming, if not quite laser focus, sound, but it definitely has
that old school GNR attitude with a new, modern (dare I say grandiose) take.
4. Street Of
5. If The
6. There Was A
7. Catcher N’
9. Riad N’ The
13. This I
remaining Chinese Democracy listening
11/19 at 7:30PM
152 Luckie Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
11/20 at 7:30PM
444 Jessie Street,
San Francisco, CA 94103
11/20 at 8PM
CAVERN CLUB at HARD ROCK CAFÉ
22-24 Clinton St.
Boston, MA 02109
11/20 at 7 PM
St. ANDREWS HALL
431 E Congress St.
Detroit, MI 48226