Live Photos and Gig Review Credit: Dave Burke (Photographer/Live Gig reporter)
Steven Adler may not be a household name, but as one of the founding members of Guns N’ Roses, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inducted drummer’s swingy style & loose groove were instrumental in making the band’s debut “Appetite For Destruction” and the follow up “G n’R Lies” worldwide phenomenons .
It’s been said that a band is only as good as it’s drummer and after Adler’s serve drug addiction lead to his 1990 dismissal from the band, Guns n’ Roses was never truly the same.
Adler’s substance abuse has been well documented, his, overdoses, stints in rehab, run-ins with the law and his 1996 stroke have played out in the public eye, being told & retold from his own autobiography to highly publicized stints on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab & Sober House programs.
Now with several years of sobriety under his belt and a few guest appearances with the reunited Guns n’ Roses on their 2016 “Not In This Life Time” tour Adler is once again hitting the road playing the Guns n’ Roses classics that brought him to the attention of rock fans over 30 years ago.
Whether it was backstage greeting fans with enthusiastic hugs and kisses or his beaming smile on stage, Adler appears to relish his second lease on life and brings that enthusiasm to his playing. His band, consisting of guitarists Michael Thomas, AJ St. James, bassist Tanya O Callaghan, and vocalist Ari Kamin are all top-flight musicians and skillfully bring the classic Guns n’ Roses material to life.
Kamin who had been fronting a Guns n’ Roses tribute band when Adler first encountered him while playing on the Not In This Lifetime tour in Argentina is a near-vocal doppelgänger for legendary G n’ R frontman Axl Rose and instrumental in capturing some of that original G n’ R magic.
The band treated the fans gathered at the Green Bay Distillery to a fourteen song set consisting of the near entirety of Appetite For Destruction, as well as Reckless Life form G n’ R Lies, Civil War & You Could Be Mine from Use Your Illusion II. Civil War has the distinction of being the last song Adler had played live with Guns n’ Roses during his original tenure with the band at 1991’s Farm Aid concert, with You Could Be Mine being the band’s first single released without Adler on drums.
Adler & band finished the night with the proverbial show stoppers Welcome To The Jungle and Paradise City with those gathered singing along with every word, fists in the air.
Without new material to promote or even a dedicated website, Adler is currently only doing periodic mini-tours, but if your a fan of Appetite era Guns n’ Roses I’d strongly suggest snapping up tickets when he comes to your area.