YouTube Live: Guns N’ Roses at The Ritz 1988

You can’t have an objective conversation about the greatest rock and roll bands of all time without including Guns N’ Roses. If you’ve tried, you’ve failed, and probably have little to be proud of. The only fleeting way to validate your argument would be to site the band’s shocking disappearance in the mid-’90’s, only to resurface, a generation later a shell (though still sonically bombastic) of the outfit that torched Hollywood from its 1986 inception to it’s 1994 demise.

Point taken. But let’s be certain about one thing: no band rocked harder than the Jack Daniels-swilling group that set fire to hair metal, and ignited a resurgence of urgent, incendiary [See Almost Famous to gather definition] odes to the decadence of an art form few took as seriously as ring-leader, Axl Rose.

To catch a thrilling display of the reckless onstage abandon taken by the forefathers of modern rock, check out the video below taken from a performance in 1988 at the Ritz in New York. Performing “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, Axl and Co. get off to a rough start (due to Slash’s obvious level of staunch intoxication), but meld into a reminded of what they once were: a simply brilliant live act. Be sure not to miss Axl’s obligatory ode to sex as he dispatches a blown-up condom into the crowd before diving into a searing vocal delivery that somehow manages to carry the band’s legacy by itself.


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