Axl Rose promised some "surprise gigs" at the tail end of a verbal assault on a fan, and Guns n' Roses wasted no time making good on the frontman's promise. The band staged a late-night performance at the John Varvatos boutique in New York City — a.k.a. the former home of CBGB — as part of Fashion Week festivities last night. More than an hour after Breaking band Alberta Cross warmed up the crowd, Axl and Co. finally took the stage at the boutique, rocking a 17-song hits-filled set that lasted until 2:45 a.m.
After a tour of South Asia and a trek across Canada, last night's Fashion Week gig marked the first Guns n' Roses' performance in the U.S. since a brief, two-song set at another fashion-related event in Los Angeles in February 2007. "This was the best fucking show of our tour!," exclaimed Axl to a fashionable crowd that included Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Sean Lennon, and buddy Sebastian Bach.
Fittingly, the concert began with "You're Crazy," a song Axl and his old Gn'R bandmates performed when they played the actual CBGB venue back in 1987 (Watch the video here). From there, Guns n' Roses took a musical odyssey throughout their entire catalog — except for The Spaghetti Incident? — including four tracks off Chinese Democracy. The three-song encore featured "Sweet Child O' Me," "This I Love" and finally "Night Train."
Alberta Cross frontman Petter Ericson Stakee tells Rolling Stone the band was surprised to learn Axl was in the house. "When we turned up for soundcheck it was the first time we heard that Axl might play after us," he said. "We thought it was hilarious that we were gonna be the support band for Guns n' Roses."
As Rolling Stone reported yesterday, Axl is rumored to have another secret show up his sleeve, as the New York Post whispered about a potential gig at NYC's Rose Bar. Until then, check out the set list, courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan, below:
1. "You're Crazy"
2. "Mr. Brownstone"
3. "I Used to Love Her"
4. "Welcome to the Jungle"
5. "Street Of Dreams"
6. "Sorry "
7. "It's So Easy"
9. "Rocket Queen"
10. "Catcher in the Rye"
11. "My Michelle"
12. "Knockin on Heavens Door"
13. "Whole Lotta Rosie" (AC/DC cover)
14. "Paradise City"
15. "Sweet Child o' Mine"
16. "This I Love"
17. "Night Train"
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