UPDATED: Guns N' Roses at House of Blues, 5/28/2013

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UPDATED: Rocks Off just got off the phone with someone in the GN'R camp, who told us it was she who pulled our credentials, and that Axl had not even read our post from earlier Tuesday. So there it is.

Guns N' Roses, Venomous Maximus
House of Blues
May 28, 2013

An aging has-been milking the nostalgia circuit for a few last, big paydays. A petty dictator running out a squad of mercenary ringers onstage every night and calling it Guns N' Roses. For the more cynical observers among us, that's kind of been the rap on Axl Rose for quite a few years now: The Guns N' Roses of 2013 isn't a band, it's a business, with W. Axl Rose as its unquestionable president and CEO.

But that's not the truth. Certainly not the whole truth, anyway. To Axl Rose, Guns N' Roses has never been about business. It's personal. Yesterday, I found out just how personal.

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Photo by Nathan Smith
The line to get in outside House of Blues Tuesday night
On Tuesday morning, Rocks Off published a blog entry I wrote exploring the backgrounds of the modern-day Gunners who would be backing up Axl at the House of Blues later that evening. I wrote it because, like many fans, I didn't know much about them, and I wanted to have some idea about who I'd be seeing and hearing at the gig.

Along the way, I took a few jabs at Axl and the gang. I happen to think that they were pretty tame, and that the tone of the piece was all in fun. Not everyone agreed. Specifically, Guns N' Roses' camp did not agree. They (and by "they," I'm pretty sure we're talking about one guy in particular, here) took it personally. And so, they decided to revoke the Houston Press' media credentials to cover Tuesday night's GN'R concert.

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Dick move? You decide. Had it been any other band, that probably would have been the end of it. But Guns N' Roses is personal for me, too. The group was in its creative peak just as I was beginning to explore music for the first time growing up. Their songs' dangerous mystique and their videos' lavish vision captured my imagination as a boy, and I've never quite gotten over it.

In short, seeing Guns N' Roses play live was on my bucket list, and even if the original band is gone for good, surely the 2013 version still has some of the old spark left. I wanted to experience it for myself, whether Axl wanted me to or not.

So I logged on to StubHub and bought a ticket. To quote a famous man, "Suck on that."

I wasn't the only one psyched to see GN'R. The show was sold out, even with general-admission tickets selling for $133. Just as excited to be in attendance were the men of Venomous Maximus, the local kings of occult metal, who were tabbed to open for Guns. Beginning with the first note of "Path of Doom," Venomous instantly filled the venue with its heavy, rollicking sound, making no effort to hide their glee at sharing a stage with one of rock and roll's most legendary bands.

It's no easy task opening for Guns N' Roses, but Venomous Maximus played fearlessly. Some folks dug 'em, some folks hated 'em and some folks ignored them. That's the gig when you're jerking the curtain. With any luck, they'll get to abuse that big, loud HOB sound system again very soon.

Once Venomous departed, the waiting began. The wondering began. Would Guns N' Roses show up on time? Would Axl sound good? And if one or more of those things didn't happen, would a riot break out?


Location Info

House of Blues

1204 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music


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38 comments
Mario Garcia
Mario Garcia

we don't need no civil war...what's so civil about war??????

taylorsix1323
taylorsix1323

"It's taken quite a few years for Rose to assemble a group that he trusted to deliver his musical vision, but it was obvious on Tuesday that he'd done it." Yes! He has!! And to those with any question please Go to a show and see for yourself.

shawn-perry
shawn-perry

As someone who has seen both incarnations of G N' R live, the new band blows the old band away and it's not even close. 


regent040
regent040

I got the email from ticketmaster advertising this show and seriously considered going, but I couldn't do it.  This incarnation of Guns N' Roses might be great musicians, and I'm sure they are (I am a Tommy Stinson fan since back in the 80's when the Replacements changed my life) but it's not the same. It'll never be the same. Nothing will recapture that magic that Axl,  Izzy, Slash and the rest of them had on that first album.  No band since them has exuded sex and sleaze and danger as largely as GNR did in their late 80's - early 90's heyday. They were loud guitars, mountains of drugs (and by drugs I mean heroin and cocaine, the real stuff), tattoos (back before everyone's grandmother had tattoos), the hottest stripper and  supermodel  groupies,  and Jack Daniels whiskey all rolled into one band whose members were flipping the bird and laughing their asses off at anyone who stood in their way. I had high hopes Axl and Izzy were going to be the American songwriting version of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and keep that thing going for at least 4 or 5 albums, but alas, it didn't happen. All we really got is one incredibly great album (by the monstrosity that was Use Your Illusion, Axl's ego had taken over and Izzy Stradlin had begun to check out). Now we are left with memories and thoughts of what could've been?  Going to see them play at the House of blues, no matter how talented the new musicians are, would've only left me feeling disappointed.

69park
69park

Yeah. Dick move. No one is more disappointed than someone that LOVED a band then sees them 20 yrs later and they no longer have it... Had nothing to lose and everything to gain by sending a REAL fan.    


Anse
Anse

This is going to sound pretentious as shit, but bear with me...I think of G n R as the John the Baptist prophet-in-the-wilderness preparing the world for the appearance of Nirvana shortly after, who will go on to lead a pop culture shift that must and will end in the sacrifice of the grunge christ-child. Okay, so I smoked a lot of grass back in the day and dreamed that up in an afternoon safety meeting with a couple of fellow heshers sometime in 95 or 96. It sounded pretty intelligent at the time, as I recollect. But Guns was definitely different. A throwback of a sort, before the bubblegum hard rock bands made us forget what it was supposed to sound like, and yet they were completely unique. It's sad how far gone they went after that first album. Lies was good, too. The end is always nigh when a ballsy band starts playing piano with orchestras, though. I don't begrudge anybody for going to this show but it wasn't worth the ticket price or the late night for me. I may be younger than Axl, but I've got the bed time of an old man on school nights.

Noah Ramon
Noah Ramon

And not a single "Get in the Ring" joke yet. HOUSTON I AM DISAPPOINT

Shanna Bonana-Butler
Shanna Bonana-Butler

The house of blues chef came in and bought rainbow trout to feed axle rose from my husband, Central Market Seafood manager :)

Joseph Holloway
Joseph Holloway

Eddie has it right. Why would anyone pay to see them anymore?

Eddie Brito
Eddie Brito

Why would anyone pay to see GnR now anyway?

missyjane
missyjane

I'm glad you had a good time. I saw the original Guns twice and got my fix. Once Axl stopped showing up for shows on time I decided not to waste my money.

Marlon Quiroz
Marlon Quiroz

Sounds to me Houston press is just a hipster hypocrite why talk smack then end up going to the show.

Joe G. Camacho
Joe G. Camacho

I'd rather watch "Glitter"...in 3D...twice. ........lmao...

_sid.
_sid.

Cute how you intertwined negative tweets with a fair and balanced story. I also thought the background on the musicians was excellent, who would have guessed pretty in pink is the driving rythem section of the new GnR; and Tommy Stinson is a rock god long before Slash, Izzy, Gliby or Axl.

I was fortunate to see GnR at a small Walters-like venue in Syracuse, NY on a tour pre-Appetite for discussion, You see, back before digital piracy and song 'leaks", you actually had to tour, tour a lot, to get any attention and hope that you got picked up on Letterman or MTV rotation. Two years later, or maybe four, I saw them at MSG and it is still on my list of top ten, if not five shows ever - and I have seen a lot of unique historical shows.

I would have liked to be at HOB yesterday, but only after reading your story :who the hell is even gnr nowadays"... because, then I realized how good a band they can be. But at $135, I will see a million bands at Summerfest, all digitally remastered and most accompanied by a drum machine and backing track.

Kill GnR, you kill Rock and Roll.

Chris Dougherty
Chris Dougherty

i woiuld NEVER pay 135 to see GnR without the original line up

David Gonzalez
David Gonzalez

why the fuck do "fans" pay so much money when they dont know the songs and just want to hear the old music the radio already plays

James Fremont
James Fremont

Axl Rose is a magnitude-15 on the Doucher Scale, so this is none too surprising.

Davewithonee
Davewithonee

Toyota Center to HoB in less than two years. Walters next time through? Hope your writing career fares better.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Unfortunate lack of professionalism but a truly profesional and surprisingly--I couldn't have been as magnanimous--objective review. Well done, Mr. Smith.

H_e_x
H_e_x

They had to check for cameras lest someone take a picture of his hair plugs.

Jeff Hunter
Jeff Hunter

Glad you persevered. I appreciated your coverage of the band members yesterday. If you had written that a few months ago when tix went on sale, I might have bought one. Axl has always had a beef with writers who cover him in anything-less-than-stellar light...cue "Get in the Ring"...

Caleb Fraid
Caleb Fraid

Way to go, not letting 'em stop you. Sounds like I missed a good show.

Davewithonee
Davewithonee

@AnseI think Nirvana was a reaction to the mindless self indulgence of GnR. More like Barrabas than JTB.

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