May 25 1991/Guns N Roses/Skid Row
Memorial Day weekend in the good ol U.S of A and we scored tickets to the second show of the Use Your Illusion tour. Milwaukee was the start of the tour with two dates sold out at about 40,000 per show. So we zipped down to Milwaukee and off to Alpine Valley which is a huge outdoor facility located kinda in the middle of no where or so it seems as back than it was one road in one road out. All the bands choppered in to do there shows as a little under a year earlier Stevie Ray Vaughn(rip) was killed when the chopper he was in crashed on the hill.
The day off the show it just rained and rained so by show time we were drenched, unfortunately our tickets were up on the hill and not under the canopy but who gives a crap this is Gunners for Christ sakes and how long before Axl goes off the rails? Could it be the second show of the tour??
Skid Row was the opener and the funny thing is that both bands on the bill were plugging new albums that weren’t even out yet. Skid Rows record Slave To The Grind was not gonna be out until a few weeks later in early June whereas Gunners double set of the Illusion albums wouldn’t be released until about 4 months later in September ??!
Skid Row hit the stage flying and I remember the opening track was Slave To The Grind and man there was Nuthin as heavy as this track on the debut….they played songs which got em there and on previous tours (Aerosmith/Bon Jovi) Sweet Little Sister,18 And Life,Piece Of Me,a cover of Train Kept A Rollin and as well Monkey Business and crowd sing a long fav Get The Fuck Out all delivered with the final Youth Gone Wild! An energetic set that’s for sure….good primer for the soon to headliner.
So since we got our tickets back in Feb of 91 I ordered from some bootleg guy a copy of Gunners Rio show from January of 91 just to see what they were doing and they were already playing tunes live from the illusion albums already….so I had a bit of idea of what may be played and boom here they are opening with Right Next Door To Hell and here comes Axl sporting his bulletproof vest (check out the vid above ) and into Mr Brownstone and man they were on fire. Say what you want now about em but back than early 1991 they were the biggest band in the world and here they are playing tune after tune lets see they played 18 songs that night 7 of which the masses had never ever heard yet except for some of us who spent ridiculous amount of money on bootlegs. Some of the Illusion songs were,14 Years,Dust N Bones,Civil War,Estranged,Double Talkin Jive and of course a few covers which everyone new like Knockin On Heavens Door and Live And Let Die. From Appetite they played Welcome To The Jungle, My Michelle, Sweet Child and of course Paradise City but there was so much that wasn’t played(Rocket Queen,Night Train) which baffled me but hey this is Gunners there gonna do what they want.
As for Axl he just chirped at some dude in the crowd about sumthin but it ended up being nothing…..In other words the Axl Train stayed on the tracks that night in Wisconsin ……
The above video is from the Alpine Valley shows as MTV was there filming the kickoff at Alpine Valley…..