Friday, April 18, 2008

I knew where I was...I was in the jungle baby.

So. Thursday nights, eh? Thursday nights are good nights. There are always shows, or parties, or special cheap drink deals. And on Thursday nights, I'm usually pretty tired after a ten hour work day. There has to be something really spectacular going on for me to go out. Tonight, that thing was Appetite For Destruction, a Guns n' Roses cover band. 

Yes, I worked a lot today. And yes, it's been another exhausting week. And yes, no, whatever, I had nobody to go with (what the hell is your problem, everybody?). And yes, it started pouring rain outside. But how could I not go? This is the fake version of my favorite band ever in the world, playing at the Majestic, a club I've been meaning to check out when it's not like 18 and over dance night, and I can't miss that.

Slowly but surely, I started to receive signs. My friend Shane called and said he was going. I remembered I had free tickets waiting for me, courtesy of the wonderful dane101, and even my mother encouraged me to go. "Comb your hair and put on a little lipstick and go have fun" was her exact advice, actually. And so I went. And thank effing god I did.

I've seen a few GNR cover bands. I remember being 22 and going to see one in Addison, Illinois, with Sam, my boyfriend at the time. We were both huge GNR fans, and we drove almost an hour to this shitty roadhouse-type bar in the middle of nowhere and waited around for an hour, getting wasted on whiskey and sneaking out to the parking lot to make out. This band was called Night Train, I think, as I'm sure many GNR cover bands are named. "Axl" came out in tiny bike shorts and a bandana and I fell in love, much to the dismay of Sam. Slash was a little too tall and skinny, and the rest of the band wasn't even dressed up (what the eff dudes?), but goddamn. They played the shit out of those songs. And a few songs into the set, I had enough whiskey in me to believe that maybe I was really watching Axl perform. In Addison, Illinois. Yeah.

The second GNR cover band I saw was called Rocket Queen. I was fortunate enough to see this band in Hotlanta with my sister Sara and cousin Layla the night before the infamous annual Halloween party. We were also in the company of a POISON cover band, Fallen Angel, who opened the show. We began to do it up, as per usual when any members of the family get together; shots, drinks, beers, shots, know. By the time Rocket Queen got on stage, we'd been at the drink for quite some time and were probably about 60 sheets to the wind. Because of this, a lot of the details of this show are hazy. I do remember a couple of things...first of all, "Axl" was a woman. She was a badass. She even hit the low notes in Mr. Brownstone. Hell yeah. Secondly, I remember "Slash" drinking from a bottle of Jack Daniels that he kept onstage at his feet. Not one to miss a single moment of opportunity, I grabbed the bottle during a guitar solo, took a few swigs, and passed it on to my lady partners in crime. The rest of the night is a mystery to me.

The next night, at the Halloween party, all I drank was water. I was dying for people to leave by 11 pm. Layla, in the midst of a very lovely conversation with a handsome man, yawned the biggest yawn I've ever seen, right in his face. And earlier in the day, I think one of us may have vomited at Burger King. I won't say who. But I'm pretty sure it happened.

Anyhow. This is getting long. Okay, so last night, I saw yet another GNR cover band: Appetite for Destruction. These names are so unoriginal! Sara and I have an idea already for our GNR cover band. I can't tell you until I okay it with her. Appetite for Destruction at least looked the part. Axl was incredibly spot on. Even his face looked like the real Axl. He wore a red kilt and backwards baseball cap, as well as the "Charlie Don't Surf" t-shirt and those Nike high top sneakers. Awesome. And real hair too! Slash was pretty good...he smiled a little too much for me (one time was too much...Slash doesn't smile!), but his guitar playing was unbelievable. The solos were impeccable.  Duff was fantastic, but maybe only like 2 inches taller than me. Izzy was perfect. And then there was the drummer. Yes, they introduced him as Steven "Popcorn" Adler, but honestly, he looked more like a monkey-faced, skinny-ass Matt Sorum. Go ahead and call me a nerd...I take this shit seriously, and it's my effing blog. Eat it.

They played a pretty great set of songs. They started with "Night Train," "It's So Easy," "Don't Cry," and "Out to Get Me." The music was tight as hell, and the vocals were pretty right on. I nearly lost my mind when Axl started singing the lyrics "you're crazy bitch, but you fuck so good I'm on top of it." Is he about to sing fucking Buckcherry? Is he for real? Oh wait, no. He's just introducing the slow version of "You're Crazy." Don't worry. That was it.

They played most of what I wanted to hear. Unfortunately there was no piano onstage, hence no November Rain. I really kind of thought this would have been the night where my fantasy was to be fulfilled. You know, the one where the GNR cover band is onstage and has somehow forgotten how to play the piano part of November Rain, and they look out into the crowd and say "Is there anybody out there that knows how to play November Rain on the piano?" And I slowly raise my hand and say "I...I do!" And then I rock and they all fall in love with me. 

The crowd was weird as hell. But, you know, Guns N' Roses brings all sorts of people together. That's just how it goes. Shane got a couple of videos of the crowd, which I'll put up later. There were some people in their early 20s grinding up on each other and booty dancing during "Sweet Child of Mine." There was a group of 5 or 6 guys who were moshing and pushing each other during "Paradise City," but were also kind of giving each other backrubs at the same time. There were a select few men kind of standing by themselves, playing air guitar from time to time. One douchebag wore a Metallica shirt which, if you know anything, was a total faux pas. And then, of course, there was that one guy who hangs out the Annex who kind of looks like Slash, but kind of foreign, and asks for coke all the time. You know he was could he not be? 

I'd say the most hilarious part of the night is when I recognized the opening strains of "Get in the Ring," a song from Use Your Illusion II. In this song, Axl challenges several individuals, including various publishers of magazines who are "printing lies, starting controversy," to "get in the ring" so he can kick their bitchy little asses. And they actually covered that one. I don't know...I just couldn't really take it seriously after that.

Regardless. I don't think I'll ever miss seeing a GNR cover band. In fact, one of my favorite new bands, Yeasayer, was playing with Man Man at the High Noon a few blocks away, and a bunch of my friends were there, but that wasn't even an option. Go to a cooler club with two great bands and friends? No thanks, there's a fake band playing over here. I'm all set.

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