8A - Monday, November 27, 2006
The Michigan Daily - michigan#ly.com
By TED CHEN
Daily Arts Writer
The old saying is right - "No man is bigger
than the team." Look at Guns N' Roses. Over
its 20-year history, the
rock group may have had Guns N'
more player changes than Roses
a football game, but the Saturday
name lives on in the hearts
At thef'alace of
of seedy bar jukeboxes. Aubur, H is
GNR visited The Palace
at Auburn Hills on Saturday to promote their
long-awaited and still unreleased 10th album
Chinese Democracy. Skid Row's Sebastian Bach
opened to a lukewarm response from the still-
unfilled arena, but by the time GNR stepped in
(20 minutes late), the near-sellout crowd shook
The Palace. But though fans rocked away to
classics like "Welcome to the Jungle," "Sweet
Child of Mine" and "Knocking On Heaven's
Door," many looked unmotivated by GNR's less
Internet speculation has it that such a chilly
reception will probably greet the overdue
release of Chinese Democracy. Without a new
album in 10 years, the band's popularity has
been steadily on the wane (thus the Palace's
older crowd), and GNR has been digging its own
grave with the disc's constant delays. Their last
album, 1993's The Spaghetti Incident?, consist-
ed solely of punk covers - not what pure GNR
fans (or even first-timers) wanted to hear.
It's probably the colorful GNR backstory
that's kept them afloat - drugs, alcohol, law-
suits, violence, bandmember dramatics and an
ever-increasing image of volatility. Drummer
Steven Adler quit the band to recover from
cocaine and heroin addictions, and popular
lead guitarist Slash and original bassist Duff
McKagen left following Spaghetti. Singer Axl
Rose carries the flag as the last original mem-
Ax) Rose tries to hold his beloved Guns N' Roses together.
ABOVE RIGHT: Robin Finck thrashes in Slash's shadow. Bf
ber. Even the band's fans have been unpredict-
able: rewind to '91, when a riot broke out after a
show was canceled. A year later two fans were
actually trampled to death.
At least one member of Saturday's crowd
seemed willing to keep up with tradition. A
man on the floor got rowdy with other fans and
officers quickly cut through the intoxicated
mob to cuff him and drag him away - all before
GNR even took the stage.
ABOVE: Ax himself, going easy on the bad back.
ELOW RIGHT: Tommy Stinson hold it down.
most to satisfying effect.
But for fans who knew what was going on,
Rose blatantly screwed up the second verse
of "Chinese Democracy," which invites more
skepticism as to his own longevity. Rose is
perhaps the biggest threat to GNR's brand, for
though the band would have folded a decade
ago without him, he's also been a huge factor in
the quick removal of band members. Depend-
ing on your source, he's either the band's driv-
ing soul or its stubborn antihero.
Is Rose the brand itself? Fans clearly
acknowledged his presence and patented stage
vigor with the loudest cheers, although the
timbre of his voice is fast deteriorating. Many
times during the performance it sounded like
his throat was at its shatter point. Rose might
have realized this, because the show's reper-
toire included many solos from the rest of the
team, Robin Finck on guitar and Dizzy Reed on
Get fans more acquainted with the new
members, and when Rose croaks, the survivors
will still have a boat to salvage. He may share
the same name as the band, but no man is big-
ger than the team.
The rest of the regularly scheduled show
was spectacular (if not totally original) with
a two-level stage, plenty of pyrotechnics and
the standard rockstar attire of tight jeans and
unzipped leather jackets. More than 20 songs
were belted out, including a few encore pieces,
for Kazakh award
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