It's official. The new Guns N' Roses, which according to many featured neither guns nor roses, has canceled its tour after Axl Rose pulled a no-show at the "First Union" Spectrum in Philly last week. "Chants of "Axl sucks, Axl sucks" and less polite sentiments followed [the cancelled show]," writes MTV News reporter Jon Wiederhorn:
and then the crowd became unruly. For around 10 minutes, cups of beer, bottles, ceiling tiles and other debris rained down from the upper tier, and audience members on the floor started flinging seats at the stage, mixing board and each other. Several fights were reported, and there were 15 complaints of injury, police said. Of those, five people were sent to Methodist Hospital for evaluation. There were no major injuries reported, and no arrests were made.
I wouldn't read too much meaning into that riot. Having seen plenty of shows at the Spectrum, I'm guessing the violence would have been worse if the show had actually happened.
Former GNR members Slash, Izzy Stradlin, and Duff McKagen are said to be working on a non-Axl reunion, but what's most impressive is the almost-celebrity firepower Axl managed to attract to his own effort. Tommy Stinson lived up to his name as a Replacement in Axl's new band, and lonesome Beastie Boy Mix Master Mike was the warmup act. And then there's Buckethead:
Lead guitarist Buckethead was the most unusual, however. The quirky guitarist wore a KFC bucket on his head, which at one point in the show was adorned with Christmas lights, as well as a mask. His solos included playing all the Star Wars themes, among other songs, and a showcase of his martial arts skills with nunchaku clubs combined with robotic movements. After that solo, to an eerie musical backdrop he bizarrely pulled little toys out of a bag, and threw them at the audience.
Maybe America just can't handle a true Rock And Roll Circus anymore….