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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Kerrang! | July 1992

GUNS N' ROSES, METALLICA, FAITH NO MORE RFK Stadium, Washington, DC

Chris Smith

Friday, July 17


IT'S DAY number one of the 'greatest show on earth', with the court jesters on hand to make sure the speakers work. Actually, Faith No More - for it is they - seem fairly serious today, stomping stern- facedly through the likes of 'Midlife Crisis', 'Woodpecker From Mars' and 'Surprise! You're Dead' There is, however, the irrepressible 'We Care A Lot', perhaps the greatest dance song ever written for those odd occasions when 50,000 of your best friends come by and are looking to shake their booty. The overall effect, especially with Jim Martin's guitar completely inaudible, is of Dr Frankenstein's drum machine (aka Mike 'Puffy' Bordin) come charging out of Transylvania to lay waste to us all.


Old Dr F, however, hadn't counted on the giant, cloven-hoofed beast waiting just around the next bend - 'Creeping Death' is here, with Metallica riding high in the saddle From the outset, this band could not be any more 'on'; loose in all the right places and absolutely fire-breathing. By the time 'Sad But True' reaches us - just four songs in - it is clear that there is no venue Metallica could not dwarf with their presence. Hell, let's just throw the f**kers in the bottom of the Grand Canyon and have the biggest concert ever! Lars goes nuts on 'Shortest Straw', attacking it with such ferocity that it's transformed on the spot into perhaps the longest punk song ever. As 'Whiplash' gets introduced to close the main set, pandemonium ensues, with King James stepping back to reign o'er his chaos while Mr Newsted handles vocals. 'One' is the end of it all, its presentation truly epic as Kirk Hammett leads the way in what is perhaps his crowning moment to date.


The half-time show of floor lights and big screen titty-flashing sets in as we await the main event. Guns N' Roses have turned into a love/hate affair of late. If you're lucky, you either love them or you hate them. There are some, however, who have been cursed with doing both at once; I am among this latter group. Right now, I pretty much love them not because it's the season of the olive branch and all that, but because they've actually shown up to PLAY! Gone is the lumbering arena-beast from last Summer, replaced by a real rock 'n' roll band.


You still can't look too closely at all the parts. Individually, they all have their moments when they look a little too comfortable on a stadium stage, the rot having begun to set in. If you focus on the songs, however, damn near everything seems to be gold. The nitro-stomp of 'Nightrain' and the Latin styling of 'Double Talkin' Jive' could fuel a party anywhere. 'Civil War', still the most lucid and compelling song they've done (especially when Washington, DC is the setting), and 'Patience' are as consecutively captivating as they are different. 'Sweet Child O' Mine', 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' and 'Paradise City', meanwhile, prove the world to be a heroically okay place after all.


There are some duds inexplicably flat readings of both 'Welcome To The Jungle' and 'You Could Be Mine' foremost among them - but when 'November Rain' manages to overcome all its crap '70s radio flashback trappings to emerge as a bit of a corker, you know things are going well.


I just can't understand why it is that Metallica looked so much bigger up there...



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