Recently I got to partake in the awesomeness that was Guns N’ Roses reunited in 2016, a concert I guessed would have been an impossible dream even a year ago given the long-standing animosity between Axl Rose and the rest of the band and the longstanding love affair between Axl Rose, madness, and Twinkies.
But the band reunited, I was able to benefit with tickets gifted unto me, and it was, musically, altogether badass. One of the best concerts I have ever been to. But the awesome cheesy layer on top disguised a layer of foul casserole beneath, replete with canned peas and pumas. All was not what it was cracked up to be, and there’s a price to pay for resurrecting ‘8 0s superstars in 2016.
# 4. The Greatest Generation
I’m no spring chicken anymore; I grunt when I sit and when I poop and when I think too hard. My glory days of power drinking are behind me, and now I drink to forget, to sleep, and to feel better about life in general. And sometimes to moisten the ol’ coal chute when things get backed up. But I was really young when Guns N’ Roses were in their heyday, and I grew up with them, kind of. So find them live now wasn’t too weird. I’m not decrepit or senile. However, the vast majority of the crowd attending the concert was.
Every rock show attracts an older crowd, but the curious skewing of numbers at Guns N’ Roses was a bit intimidating. I was afraid that if the crowds rocked out too hard so many hips would break that my ability to administer first aid would be taxed to the extreme, to say nothing of my fear of performing chest compressions on dames who had boob jobs back in 1983 and now looked like skeletons smuggling Valencia oranges.
Or, in a few occurrences, some very droopy pumpkins .
A sea of men with salt-and-pepper hair down to their waists wandered the crowd below my overpriced VIP riser seats, many of them trailing ladies in leather miniskirts with teased ‘8 0s hair that stood a solid foot from their scalps, ready to hop on the hood of any nearby Corvette with an albino serpent should the opportunity arise.
They say stone ‘n’ roll will never succumb, and in a terrifying way, that’s real. Every ballad you ever heard is captured in the time you heard it , no matter how long you continue to drink from the incorrect cup in that cave with the old Templar Knight. So when the opportunity arises to see a band no one supposed would ever play together again after 1995, what happens is you get people like me who can still bend over to tie their shoes without assistance and a sea of others who can’t feed hard cheese before bedtime. They were totally awesome when the songs “re coming out” originally, but now they’re taking heart medication while they do their shots.
I see you, Richard Fortus .
I’m not saying it’s incorrect for old people to like any kind of music. You rock out to some Waka Flocka if you need to, granddad. It’s simply that many of them seem to have not left the time in which they first heard that music, and it becomes weird, like when your mothers tried to be hip and maybe started rapping at the dinner table one time when you were in high school and you thought your brain might start hemorrhaging at any moment.
# 3. Los Hooligans
Friends 4 Ever !
Can you insure what’s happening in this image? I took this in a panic over the shoulder hoping not to be seen. Not out of anxiety, more out of — is there a word for not wanting assholes to sweat on you? If so, I presume it’s German. That’s what I was feeling. This group of fellows, and God bless their little hearts for being so into having fun that they were drunk beyond the ability to maintain balance, they were sweating like overly friendly Uber drivers on a July afternoon, and they were shirtless. And be-wigged. They all had wigs on.
Why the hell would they think that was cool ?
The Hooligan crew were pretending to be Guns N’ Roses, I believe. One guy had the leg of his gasps fashioned into a denim hat on his head, though, so maybe he attempted to re-create ‘8 0s sitcom sensation Blossom . I can’t say. I refused to construct eye contact with them, let alone speak to them. But for the popular songs that had been released as singles, they were ready and able to dance and sing the chorus, because those were the words they knew, before at least one of them fell out and spilled a drinking all across the back of my calves, constantly constructing me wonder if someone was vomiting on my shoes.
And I always keep them seeming so pristine .
Remember Top Gun ? There’s that one bar scene where, inexplicably, every pilot sings “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” by The Righteous Brothers and, for a non-musical movie, it’s a pretty rousing musical number? Remember the stellar musical entry of the nerds in Revenge Of The Nerds at the end of the cinema that wins them the right to head the Greek Council? Another fine musical performance in a non-musical film. Now, life not being a musical itself, I can appreciate the times when people come together to put on a hell of a performance. The timing is right and suddenly everyone at prom is doing the same synced dance moves and Teen Wolf is there to prove he can be himself and still be cool. So if you’re at a Guns N’ Roses concert, and you’re about four beverages into the night and feeling simply saucy enough when “Paradise City” starts playing, of course you can sing along. Hell, I did. But I did not Russian folk dance my way through half the song list, because that shit would be inappropriate even in Footloose , and you remember how preposterous Kevin Bacon’s angry solo dance in the warehouse is.