- Guns N' Roses – June 8th 2010 – Moscow (Russia), Olympiysky Sport Hall -
I need to say, I'm not a big fan of Guns N'Roses, although I think that Appetite For Destruction is a great album. But it was the first visit of this band in Russia, so I could not miss this event. Two days before Guns N'Roses performed in St. Petersburg and I heard the enthusiastic opinions of my friend Peter about this concert.
The event should take place in Olympiysky sport hall – giant closed stadium accommodating up to 200,000 people, which we used to call 'the barn'. 'The barn' is very corrupted place, only naive people pay the full price for tickets there. If you are smart enough you always have a chance to go for a half-price or even less, paying to the necessary people who could let you go straight to the standing pit. And I wanted to go to the standing pit only. Not only to feel the atmosphere better. Olympiysky is famous with its bad acoustic and if the people near the stage can hear rather good sound, the sound at the tribunes is more like 'sonic mush'.
The concert should be started in 19:00, but usually none of the concerts starts in time here. Also I knew (from my friend Peter) that Canadian support band Danko Jones will play before Guns N'Roses, although it wasn't announced anywhere.
About 18:00 me and my friends (10 people) were near 'the barn'. We were very surprised with the quantity of people who were on their way to the venue. I never thought that there are so many Guns N'Roses fans in Russia, especially now, when Axl is the only original member. Another surprise was that all the shops around didn't sell beer or any other alcohol. When I asked why, the seller of drinks section answered that the authorities prohibited it because of the concert.
The official price of tickets to the standing pit was about 130 EUR, which is very expensive even for Moscow (and here we have probably the biggest prices for concert tickets in the whole world). Soon even these expensive tickets were sold out and only tickets to the tribunes remained. But our aim was the standing pit.
My friend called to one of the persons who already conducted us to other concerts before for cheaper price, and he said that today it will be very difficult. Another person who does 'conducting business' said that probably it will be real, but we need to wait. So we started to wait. Some of the journalists wanted to interview us for TV, because, as they said, we were the most colorful persons there, but we were not in the mood to give interviews and refused them. I said, that I can give any interview if they pay 100 $, so they dropped out.
About 19:30 the guy came to our group and asked if we want to go to the standing pit. We asked about price and he wanted 50 € from everybody. We said that it's very expensive and in the end he agreed to conduct us for 38 € per person. He gave us plastic passes of technical staff and conducted to the venue. The passes were with the photos (I had a girl's photo), so we needed to wag with them to give no chance to security to see that the photos aren't ours. So we successfully entered inside where our savior took the passes back and put the bracelets (fake of course) onto our hands. We paid to him and went to the standing pit, again successfully.
The venue was filled probably at 95%. Only some bad seats at the tribunes were empty. We were from the right side of stage where Danko Jones already started to play. I cannot say that I liked this band, but at least it didn't irritate me. They finished in 20:30 and we started to wait for Guns N'Roses.
It was really hot and suffocating in the crowd, as we waited for more than hour already. Some girls fainted and were taken out from the pit. One of my friends called to his friend who was close to the organizers of the concert. This man told that in 18:00 Axl still was in St. Petersburg, and when he was said, that it's time to fly to Moscow and 200,000 fans wait for him, the singer answered that it's his business, when to start the concert and if to start it at all. Meanwhile people at the venue started to be angry. As the result, when Guns N'Roses started in 22:00, the maestro Axl was met with the screams 'pi-da-ras' ('fag' in Russian) and more international 'fuck you!'.
The first half of the concert the sound was terrible, then it became more or less normal. But the worst thing was the voice of Axl. Moreover the singer looked like he was drunk. We can see the boar-like man who walked along the stage with very important appearance and even didn't try to sing normally. The other musicians were OK, but they just did their jobs, although, in my opinion, three guitarists and two keyboarders is 'slightly' over the plank. Guns N'Roses played more than 2 hours, and the biggest part of the concert was very boring, even when they performed their old famous hits. The visual show was better – explosions, fireworks on stage, big screens, etc. They excluded Don't Cry from their Moscow set-list, although they performed it in St. Petersburg. To say the truth, I thought that even 38 € for such concert was too expensive. The performance ended in 00:10 and we left the venue very tired and disappointed.
Now some facts I knew after the concert from different sources. One of the requirements of Axl before the show was a special room, decorated with fabric, with candles and red flowers. The singer arrived to the venue from St. Peterburg about 20:00, but didn't start the concert until 22:00. One of the gig's organizers said that Axl just didn't want to go onstage and added that Moscow fans should be happy that the concert happened at all.
Now I can only say that I saw Guns N'Roses live for the last time in my life. Even if they come to Russia again someday, even if I have a chance to go for free, I will never visit the concert of this band again.
01. Chinese Democracy
02. Welcome To The Jungle
03. It's So Easy
04. Mr. Brownstone
06. Richard Fortus Guitar Solo (James Bond theme)
07. Live And Let Die (Paul McCartney cover)
08. This I Love
09. Rocket Queen
10. Dizzy Reed Piano Solo
11. Street Of Dreams
12. You Could Be Mine
13. DJ Ashba Guitar Solo
14. Sweet Child O' Mine
15. Another Brick In The Wall (Pink Floyd cover)
16. Axl Rose Piano Solo
17. November Rain
18. Bumblefoot Guitar Solo (Pink Panther theme)
19. Knockin' On Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan cover)
23. Paradise City