Review by Joe Schaeffer and Band Photos by Katarina Benzova
Showtime began at 8:15pm. Members of the classic lineup Axl Rose, Duff McKagan and Slash along with keyboardist Dizzy Reed, guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer, and Melissa Reese also on keyboards hit the stage to an energetic crowd.
The band opened the show with ‘It’s So Easy’ from 1987’s ‘Appetite for Destruction’. The setlist, which was comprised of over 36 songs, dove into their impressive discography. Songs were culled from Appetite for Destruction, G’n’R Lies, Use Your Illusion I and II, and quite a few off Chinese Democracy. They even paid tribute to some fallen heroes of theirs with ‘Wichita Lineman’ (Glen Campbell), ‘Black Hole Sun’ (Chris Cornell of Soundgarden), a snippet of ‘Melissa’ (Gregg Allman) and ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ (Malcolm Young of AC/DC).
Axl provided the night with many costume changes. Shirts and Hats were exchanged quite a few times. Many of shirts were well drenched with sweat. His voice was surprisingly strong and mostly held up well during the massive 36-song, 3 ½ hour plus set.
He a true guitar master, Slash continues to prove himself. He showed off his epic guitar work on classic cuts like ‘Sweet Child O’Mine’ and ‘November Rain’ as well as long solos before ‘Double Talkin’ Jive’ and ‘Rocket Queen’. His guitar solo included ‘Speak Softly Love,’ which was the love theme from ‘The Godfather’ movie. Then later, Slash and Fortus drew amazing solos out of each other on an instrumental duet based on ‘Wish You Were Here,’ by Pink Floyd.
Great energy, fast paced, and what a nice long concert. The show for me was fantastic, loud and had raw power. The hits were there in full force and the energy coming from that stage was indisputable definitely worth the ticket price.
If there is one thing you can say about their fans is that they are completely passionate about them. Some have even traveled not only the USA, but the entire world to see them perform. One such fan is Los Angeles resident Margott Hinostroza. She attended her 70th Guns ‘N Roses show on this night. 29 shows were prior to their Troubadour show on April 2016. 41 times on the current tour that finished its Fall North American leg on this night.
The band will next hit Europe in June of 2018 for a few shows and Festival Dates.
The set list is as follows:
It's So Easy
Welcome to the Jungle
Double Talkin' Jive
Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney and Wings Cover)
Catcher in the Rye
You Could Be Mine
Attitude (Misfits Cover) (with "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory" intro)
This I Love
Civil War with Voodoo Child ending
Slash Guitar Solo
Speak Softly Love (Love Theme from the Godfather)
Sweet Child O' Mine
Wichita Lineman (Glen Campbell Tribute)
Used to Love Her
Out Ta Get Me
Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd Cover)
November Rain (including Layla piano intro)
Black Hole Sun (Chris Cornell Tribute)
Knockin' on Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan Cover)(with Only Women Bleed Intro)
Patience (with Melissa Intro)
Whole Lotta Rosie (Malcolm Young Tribute)
There Was a Time
The Seeker (The Who Cover)
Official Website is here:
The RUST Festival was originally created in 2005 as a tribute to the legendary US Festival’s “Heavy Metal Day”. It made its triumphant return but this time it was at Santa Anita Park on November 25th, 2017. DELUXE Presents which was formed in 2016 to produce boutique music festivals hosted Saturday’s RUST Festival return. It was dubbed “Black Saturday” and it brought out some of the heavy hitters in the rock and metal tribute scene in So. California.
Those who attended the all day festivities were treated to a day full of non-stop Hard and Heavy Music. Two stages were created to allow for a continuous flow of music.
The bands performing on the RUST stage included Hurrikane (Scorpions), Rhoads to Ozz (Ozzy Osbourne), Just Like Priest (Judas Priest), The Iron Maidens (Iron Maiden) and Bonfire (AC/DC). Capping off the day on the RUST stage were Fan Halen performing a set of classic Van Halen tunes that included a guest appearance by Van Halen’s original bassist Mark Stone.
The LEGENDS stage was filled with a full day of musical mayhem featuring tribute acts Motley Crue’d (Motley Crue), Paradise Kitty (Guns ‘N Roses), Master of Puppets (Metallica) and Black Sabbitch (Black Sabbath). The last band of the day on the LEGENDS stage, were none other than Led Zepagain. Led Zepagain are truly one of the best tribute bands around. The crowd was treated to an 80 minute set of the best from the Led Zeppelin catalog.
All the bands performing on both stages gave the crowd what they came for, a great time hearing the music that most of us grew listening to.
All in all it was a well run festival. The bands were on time for the entire day. There were a couple of minor technical issues but they were met head on. Chris Mitrovich, founder of DELUXE Presents and RUST Festival hinted as to giving it another run is 2018 and beyond. I for one would love to see it happen. I think a lot of those who attended feel the same way as well.
The Band List:
Fan Halen – World’s #1 Tribute to Original Van Halen
The Iron Maidens –All-Female Tribute to Iron Maiden – Long Running and World-Famous
Black Sabbitch – All-Female Tribute to Black Sabbath
Masters Of Puppets – World Famous Metallica Tribute
Bonfire – Tribute to Bon Scott-era early AC/DC
Paradise Kitty – All-Female Tribute to Guns N’ Roses
Just Like Priest – Full-Strength Judas Priest Tribute
Rhoads To Ozz – Tribute to Randy Rhoads-era Ozzy Osbourne
Hurrikane – High-Energy Tribute to Scorpions
Motley Crue'd – Tribute to all-eras of Mӧtley Crüe
Led Zepagain - The Most Accurate and Authentic Replication of Led Zeppelin
A collection of photos can be found here:
Official RUST Festival Facebook page is located here:
Official Website is here:
All Images © Joe Schaeffer Photography 2017