Where were you when Guns N’ Roses released Appetite for Destruction?
It was July 21, 1987. At that time, I was within weeks of going into Grade 4, and I suppose the only “appetite for destruction” I had then was oriented toward my insatiable desire to play Super Mario and stomp on the heads of little goombas.
That time proved to be a pivotal one not only for Guns N’ Roses, but for the hard rock genre in general as it welcomed a brand new powerhouse whose first studio album would go on to top the Billboard charts and be certified platinum 18 times over.
Indeed, the face of hard rock changed the moment that the piercing voice of Axyl Rose co-mingling with the crunching Marshall-stack-fueled electric guitar of Slash first paraded onto the airwaves with hits like It’s So Easy, Paradise City, Sweet Child o’ Mine and Welcome to the Jungle — named the greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.
And last Saturday night, the appetites of many Island GNR fans were satisfied as Appetite for Destruction was rocked out live in its entirety by local cover band Copy Cat.
Part of the band’s Classic Vinyl Live series, which last month featured a full performance of Bryan Adams’ Reckless album and next month will feature Kiss’ Alive!, the show attracted all kinds of hard rock fans set to shake it loose to the hits of ‘80s yesteryear.
Copy Cat is made up of lead vocalist Brady MacDonald, bassist Craig MacDonald, lead guitarist Brett Oliver, rhythm guitarist Donovan Morgan and drummer Chris Wood.
And after about an hour-long set of various classic hard rocking tunes for the gathering crowd, at about 12:30 a.m., the band was set on stage to kick out the 54-minute long Guns N’ Roses album from start to finish.
Like ominous rolling thunder coming over the hills, churning sounds of electric guitar soared through the bar, as the unmistakable opening chords to Welcome to the Jungle welcomed us to the experience. And before long, the cutting voice of MacDonald was belting out “bring you to your shana-nana-nana knees, knees!” and “I wanna hear you scream!” as audience screams echoed back in response.
Yes, to an outside pedestrian on the sidewalk, it may have looked like a band playing in a bar, but inside, when the question was asked, “You know where you are?” clearly the only answer was, “You’re in the jungle, baby.”
“How many o’ you guys are on the night train tonight?” asked MacDonald, as the five-piece ensemble soon blasted into Nightrain, which was both kind of joyously insane and a well-articulated facsimile of the original all at once.
The cuts continued with tunes like Out ta Get Me and Mr. Brownstone. Probably the highlight of night was when they tore into Paradise City as the crowd surged around the stage and seemed to sing along to every lyric chanted out. Wood’s steady pounds on the drums were like cannon fire, the guitars were pumping and the energy was at its peak all around.
Of course, tunes like Sweet Child o’ Mine and the culminating finale of Rocket Queen were also huge, as the Hunter’s crowd gladly ate up all of the Appetite that was dished out for them that night.
Keep an eye on Copy Cat’s Facebook page for their upcoming shows, and for the Kiss fans out there, do keep in mind the date of Saturday, March 22, when Copy Cat will come “alive” with Kiss.
Next week: I’ll be telling you about pianist Sarah Hagen,who is at the Dr. Steel Recital Hall tonight.
Todd MacLean is a local freelance writer and musician. If you have a comment or suggestion for a review, you can get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 626-1242. But he won’t be offended if you don’t.
1. David Myles – The Mack, today at 7:30 p.m.
2. Pianist Sarah Hagen: Rachmaninoff Preludes Op. 32 and more – Dr. Steel Recital Hall, UPEI, today at 7:30 p.m.
3. Jack Frost Children’s Winterfest – various locations, today through to Sunday. Featuring Snow Kingdom, Sesame Street Live, fireworks and much more. Information on activities and times is at www.jackfrostfestival.com.
4. Thom Swift – The Dunk, Breadalbane, today at 7:30 p.m.
5. Revue Dinner Theatre: Glitz – Rodd Charlottetown Hotel. Opens tonight and runs select weekends in March at the Charlottetown Hotel and Summerside’s Brothers 2.
6. Baile Beag: Sheila Fitzpatrick with Jon Matthews and Randy Cheverie – Benevolent Irish Society, today at 7:30 p.m.
7. Old Triangle night of blues – tomorrow at 5 p.m. Chris Field and Logan Richard (of Ripped Paper) at 5 p.m. and Theresa Malenfant and Katey Day take the stage at 9 p.m.
8. Oscar-Palooza at the Havilland – Haviland Club, Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Presented by the Island Media Arts Co-op (IMAC). Guests are invited to wear hollywood attire, and there will be “Who Are You Wearing?” prizes for best outfits, as well as snacks, triva, a cash bar, and even P.E.I.’s own paparazzi.