Theo Wargo, Getty Images Black Sabbath are riding high on the fact that their new…
- Posted on Feb 15th 2010 5:45PM by Simona Rabinovitch
The surreal soirée was GN'R's second unannounced New York Fashion Week appearance in the past few days. (Thursday they played the John Varvatos store, former site of CBGBs).
Hitting the stage after 1:30AM with 'You're Crazy,' notorious frontman Axl Rose and his new GN'R musicians bedazzled the small, jam-packed room with an hour-and-a-half of classics, as well as newer material from 'Chinese Democracy.'
Songs like 'Welcome to the Jungle,' 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door,' 'Mr. Brownstone,' 'Patience,' and 'Sweet Child O' Mine' jetted us into a rock 'n' roll fantasy, where booze is the fountain of youth, cigarettes are good for you, and sex is the engine of everything. (It was a good place to be for a night.)
"Is this really happening," slurred an awe-stricken lass who, to get a better view, had stumbled up beside me onto a red velvet platform fashioned from Rose Bar's elegant billiard table. While the sophisticated crowd was hardly wide-eyed, drunk girl summed up the overall vibe. There we were in a gorgeous space designed by Julian Schnabel, Warhol art on the walls, being entertained by larger-than-life legends sweating bullets just a few feet away, close enough for inappropriate eye contact. Sure, there was some inevitable pushing, shoving and posturing, but overall there were probably more smiles in that one room than most attendees had ever seen in a New York bar.
On stage was the "new" Guns N' Roses in all its glory, including bassist Tommy Stinson (formerly of the Replacements) and songwriting guitarist DJ Ashba, who has a big top hat to fill and rises to the occasion in terms of both charisma and guitar riffs. (He's also written and produced for Motley Crue.) Tattooed and shirtless beneath his vest and rocking more eyeliner than Lady Gaga, like the rest of the band, Ashba works the sexy LA glam look to the max, flirting with self-caricature but somehow never quite crossing that line. Yet mustachioed Axl was, of course, the main attraction. Sporting a cowboy hat, shades, and velveteen jacket, he didn't talk much. He didn't have to, his melodic caterwaul and snakelike dance moves said it all.
Love him or hate him, Axl is a rock star. So, as we do with all icons, we forgive them their attitudes, bad behavior, and tragic flaws -- allegedly banning Slash-related attire at a recent concert in Saskatchewan (which Axl denies), hitting the stage hours late in Toronto -- as long as they deliver when it counts.
After the final bangs of 'Paradise City,' the band disappeared and the crowd fled, heading, probably, to various after-parties and leaving an empty room strewn -- literally -- with broken glass and rose petals.