Steven Adler fans rejoice, he is back and showing everyone that he still bleeds Guns N’ Roses. Melbourne’s live music scene was flourishing last night with multiple gigs on offer, I was pleasantly surprised to see a long line snaking around 170 Russell, clearly Adler’s Appetite was the show of choice. DJ Cassie Walker had the tunes ripping, her head bopping as she sang along. Her song selection setting the tone for the night with plenty of old school rock tunes to whet the appetite, she did a great job getting the punters pumped and ready for the main event.
Well known Melbournite and owner of our very own Cherry Bar, James Young was our MC for the night. Decked out in an eye catching red suit and his trademark cowboy hat he took to the stage with Deanna Adler and her son Steven for a Q & A discussing Deanna’s book Sweet Child Of Mine and how Steven got his life back on track after years of addiction. It was a very candid conversation that that did not hold back on the depths of despair one must face before they make the choice to take hold of their life again. Steven certainly has taken hold and then some, travelling Australia with his star-studded band to deliver the iconic Appetite for Destruction. He has a new lease on life and is enjoying it to the full not wasting one minute with his new motto ‘Hugs not Drugs’!
The drinks were flowing fast and the fans were hungry for some live music as Cassie pumped more classic rock while the stage was set. As the lights went down you felt like you were dropped back into the 80’s and looking around at the crowd, it wasn’t difficult to believe. Bandanas were worn with pride and flannel shirts tied around the waist with ease, I easily slipped back into 1987, what a great year is was to be alive.
It was showtime and you could feel a sense of nervousness amongst the crowd, would this show live up to the hype? It only took Reckless Life to put everyone’s fears to bed, it was a killer opener and everyone breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed into a night of sweaty 80’s rock of the finest calibre. It’s So Easy, Nightrain and Mr Brownstone a winning trifecta to get the blood pumping. Singer extraordinaire Constantine Maroulis channelled his inner Axl with ease and was a fabulous choice for lead vocalist. His history of musical theatre showed through on many occasion, add to this his crazy eyes and undying energy and you have the perfect frontman. The rear screen alight with Adler’s Appetite in bold red was well used over the course of the evening. Running clips and video, with some quite interesting footage which added another level of depth to the show.
Gun guitarist Michael Thomas has been playing with Adler’s Appetite from its inception. His scintillating shredding skills and stamina were exemplary, he left nothing in the tank and gave the fans exactly what they came for. My Michelle had the girls fired up and then Sweet Child O’ Mine took it to a whole new level of crazy. The sing-a-long of ‘Where Do We Go Now’ reaching fever pitch, the fans revelling in the brilliance of one of the albums biggest hits. Anything Goes and Think About You slotted in perfectly before Civil War. Constantine channelling his inner angst and belting out this heartfelt song with the passion it so deserved. Sean McNabb of Dokken fame wasn’t just slapping the bass he was destroying it, his solo was unexpected but boy was it great. It was brilliant to see him step into the limelight, he was rewarded with a huge applause that opened into the man we were all here to see, Steven Adler.
Is there a drummer happier than Steven Adler? I don’t believe so, with a smile was plastered on his face for the entire night, it was infectious to all watching. He is loving what he is doing and he is doing it amazingly well. His skin hitting was fierce, his kit sounded amazing, as did the sound over the whole evening. His skills as a musician have only become more refined over time and his solo was a showcase of his amazing talent, the fans hanging on every beat spellbound for its duration.
Carl Restivo was the glue holding this tight knit unit together on rhythm guitar, his history in the industry too long to mention, he has written songs with the likes of Nuno Bettencourt and played with Extreme, Dave Navarro, Ben Harper and Billy Idol to name a few. The musical talent between these bands members was astronomically high, and it was such a pleasure to watch them all fuse together to become Adler’s Appetite.
You Could Be Mine and Rocket Queen saw out the set the fans dripping sweat by this stage but still eager for more, and knowing the album backwards we were certain they would be back with a few more. Welcome To The Jungle and Paradise City had the hoards losing their minds jumping and singing loud enough to raise the roof. It was the perfect ending to a sensational night of good old-fashioned rock of the highest nature and I envy Sydneysiders who get to witness it tonight.
The floor was awash with empties as I peeled my boots from the sticky floor, evidence of a night well spent, enjoying the songs of our youth. Did I feel young again? Absolutely, I was transported back to a time when my only worry was what record to put on next, happy days!! Thank you Adler’s Appetite for the fabulous memories and a most unforgettable show. You have certainly worked up our appetite and left us hungry for more, until next time!
Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale