Heavy Metal Catechism

Celtic Frost goes beyond mere symbolism.

The last time Rose emerged from his cocoon, the results weren't pretty by most accounts — especially a 2002 show in Chicago, which Outtakes witnessed. That year's short-lived tour was plagued by late starts, fashion faux pas, and angry riots. It was ultimately canceled halfway through, Clear Channel perhaps fearing legal repercussions on account of the violence inflicted by angry mobs. Many presumed that the very public debacle would effectively end Guns N' Roses. And yet, 2006 finds Rose on the road again. Guns N' Roses' recent dates have not been without incident — Rose was recently jailed in Sweden for allegedly biting a security guard and was involved in an altercation in New York with fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger — yet to their credit, Rose and the rest of the band managed to complete the recent European tour.

It would be easy to dismiss Guns N' Roses at this stage, given the band's long silence, the replacement parts, and advancing age. However, as someone who witnessed the Chicago date on its 2002 tour, one of the few dates that was not canceled, I can report that Guns N' Roses, while perhaps not the juggernaut it once was, is still a mightily impressive vehicle when firing on all cylinders. The classics ("Welcome to the Jungle," "Sweet Child o' Mine") are, of course, unimpeachable, no matter if the guy playing the solos dons a chicken bucket as a helmet or goes by the name of Bumblefoot. But most surprising is how new songs like "Madagascar" and "The Blues" fit comfortably alongside more recognizable epics like "November Rain" and "Estranged." It remains to be seen whether the songs will come across on record, assuming they are released at all. But onstage, Rose leaves little doubt that he is right where he belongs. — Jonathan Garrett

Axl in classic pose
George Chin
Axl in classic pose

Guns N' Roses joins Papa Roach and Sebastian Bach on Tuesday, October 24, at BankAtlantic Center, 1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise. Tickets cost $39.75 to $77.75. Call 954-523-3309, or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

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