Project Description

STEVEN ADLER

@ Amplifier Capitol

(Live Review)

18/05/18

Reviewer: Melanie D Griffiths

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Do you want to see real a rock n’ roll survivor, because Steven Adler is it. Coming out of the depravity of Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip like many rock brats Adler and his other bandmates in Guns n’ Roses quickly cut through the noise to releasing the definitive 80s rock album, Appetite For Destruction. Those songs, depicted a hectic lifestyle of wild times, drugs and women however for Adler he fell deep down the rabbit hole of addiction and was eventually kicked out of the band in 1990.

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Steven Adler (Formerly of Guns N Roses) @ Capitol – By Karen Lowe

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Since then he’s gone through rehab a number of times, pursued several other creative projects but as he sat on Capitol’s stage with his mother Deanna, answering questions from Cherry Bar’s James Young, there was no doubt that Adler’s desire is to get back into the band.

And Adler looked, well… good! Sober, healthy looking, wearing permanent smile this is a man who’s made it to hell and back a couple of times and has lived to tell the tale, which he did, along with his mum in a somewhat superficial Q&A session that only allowed 2 questions from the audience, with one of course being, “Will you be getting back with Guns n’ Roses?”

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Steven Adler (Formerly of Guns N Roses) and Deanna Adler @ Capitol – By Karen Lowe

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It’s a shame really because this is a crowd that no doubt would have loved to delve a little deeper. These were the true GNR’s flock, like a casting call for Wayne’s World, it was a time warp back to black Ts, leather jackets and wild hair.

Soon after the Q&A, his band Adler’s Appetite came out and went through the songs from Appetite for Destruction along with a few other fan favourites. The big question is, does Adler still have it? With relief, I can say, yes. Relief because he seems so earnest that the collective will of the crowd was vibing for him to do well, but from the first attack of opener Reckless Life and into It’s So Easy, Adler looked strong. After each song, he would rise from the drum kit to bask in the adoration of a crowd who were happy to oblige.

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Steven Adler (Formerly of Guns N Roses) @ Capitol – By Karen Lowe

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It’s been suggested that Adler’s style of drumming was a key element to GNR’s sound, and it was absolutely the driving force behind Adler’s Appetite. Former American Idol contestant Constantine Maroulis fronted, along with a skilful yet-not-Slash Michael Thomas (guitar), Sean McNabb (bass) and Carl Restivo (guitar), and very early on the tension in the seams were visible.

How does a band approach legendary songs, performed by iconic artists without becoming a skewed imitation? It’s something Adler’s Appetite hasn’t resolved yet. It’s not fair to expect Thomas and Maroulis to be an Axl Rose or Slash but through My Michelle and Mr Brownstone, the feverish intensity just never peaked. Without claiming the songs and making it their own, the band played support to Adler’s dreams and came off as a Guns n’ Roses cover band, rather than reaching for their own identity with Adler’s Appetite.

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Steven Adler (Formerly of Guns N Roses) @ Capitol – By Karen Lowe

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Still, for a crowd craving a fix, the songs were received with excitement especially for sing-a-longs Sweet Child O’ Mine and Civil War. Finishing the set with Rocket Queen, they had satisfied those who wanted to see this legend. Earlier Adler said, “Basically what we are gonna give you tonight is the same show we used to give in 1986”, it was an ambitious idea and one that may be aimed at showing others that he should be reinstated into his former band.

That flash of excellence sparked during encores Welcome To The Jungle and Paradise City as he gave it everything he had, grinning from ear-to-ear. Yet it wasn’t the same, it was merely revisiting old ghosts. Whatever happens in Adler’s future, given the attention he may be able to make something new, great and completely his own.

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