Note: this article has been updated to replace Corey Feldman with Corey Haim.
Guns N’ Roses' ongoing "Not In This Lifetime" reunion tour has been music-headline fodder for months now. This publication has also had a few things to say about it. Personally, I’ve been a fan since 1987 and have long been looking forward to seeing the heavy rock gods perform their hits live, and even the B-sides. That is, until Friday's NRG Stadium opener, Skrillex, was announced. Enter tailspin of despair. Skrillex? That Corey Feldman-looking muppet in the fake hipster glasses? Really? With the be-bop synthesizer shit music? You’ve got to be kidding me. No, just NO.
That’s exactly the moment I refused to buy tickets to this show. If that seems extreme to you, then you must be too young to remember the tour when Metallica joined GN’R, and both bands destroyed eardrums and rocked asses off. Back then, tours used to look like rock version of Clash of the Titans, where the bands complemented each other’s music. Adding Skrillex, though, reeks of some corporate marketing ploy to either boost millennial ticket buyers or an attempt to make this show friendly to parents and older teens. Wrap your brain around that thought for a minute — Guns N’ Roses as a family event. Either way, it’s wrong. So wrong. Five acts we'd rather see instead:
Dozens of bands across Texas would look better on this bill easily, far better than Hot Topic Hairdo Boy. Not to give too much away (come back tomorrow), just anybody but this kid. No metal fan wants to see music made from a computer behind a DJ booth, unless GWAR comes out and kills them first. Or unless you want a few thousand drunk and rowdy metal fans boo some techno-trash charlatan offstage real quick. Metalheads love their genre for the dexterity and talent that comes from musicians who actually play instruments.
A GN'R COVER BAND
After watching the above reunion video of “Welcome to the Jungle,” and then wiping real, wet tears away upon the realization that even a reunited GN’R is still not GN’R, let’s get someone onstage who can foot the bill. I mean, have you seen the ticket prices? Let’s be honest, those days of when Axl and Slash played in time, in tune and cared about their own performance quality are long over. Certainly a cover band will exceed the disappointing YouTube snippets I’ve seen so far. Besides, cover bands actually care about mimicking the songs correctly, and are genuinely concerned about entertaining their audience. When was the last time Axl cared about any of those things? Houston’s own Appetite for Distraction would be an incredible opener, and perhaps even remind the original members of GN’R what they’re supposed to be doing onstage.
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THE CHUCK E. CHEESE ANIMATRONIC BAND
Sure, the frozen expressions and creepy robotic movements of Chuck E Cheese’s band are enough to provoke nightmares and fear, but isn’t that what a metal show is really all about? Metal is supposed to be frightening, inspire doom, call up the dead and evoke music's satanic, rebellious side. Haunted toys that operate independently in the dead of night or even sing a dying-battery version of their cheerful repertoire would be far more entertaining than watching Dubstep Dipshit behind his turntables. And how is Chuck E. Cheese’s music any different from Skrillex’s, come to think of it? It isn’t.
I would rather watch that day-glo vermillon reptilian asshat, his itchy Twitter trigger fingers and his plagiarizing mail-order bride build a wall, paint it and watch it dry for two hours than hear one note from Skrillex’s ringtone machine.
NICKELBACK or CREED (tie)
I realize these are two separate bands, but they come from the same earworm-infected, disease-ridden, flaccidly impotent genre craptastically known as "modern hard rock" — almost the opposite of cock rock, but more like castrated rock. These meglomaniacal bands not only make cringeworthy, depressing tunes but somehow maintain a national audience and regular radio rotation. If that’s not enough evidence that God is dead and the apocalypse is nigh, the fact that this detritus is still preferable to listening to Skrillex should be even further proof that the Antichrist himself has laid hold on our existence. Somebody please tell that demon with seven heads to lay his cursed hands upon a guitar and save us all, lest synthesizers, computers and iPhones destroy what’s left of metal.