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Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008

Velvet Revolver @ The Eagles Ballroom

January 25, 2008

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Now that Audioslave is defunct and Army Of Anyone is an official commercial failure, the door is wide open for a one true band to carry the torch (or cigarette lighter) in this era of fading rock ’n’ roll supergroups.

Even if it was only by default, Velvet Revolver are the clear chosen ones that thousands of loyal disciples have decided to follow.

Velvet Revolver has not only shown that they have legitimate staying power, but some serious crowd-drawing capabilities as well.While some of this is undoubtedly due to the multi-platinum successes of Guns N’ Roses (Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum) and Stone Temple Pilots (Scott Weiland), the Guitar Hero video games series has had arguably the most profound impact on the band’s career, introducing another generation of fans at a very young and impressionable age.After taking a glance at a very versatile, generational, near-capacity crowd at the Eagles Ballroom, it was obvious that all of these elements were in effect.

In a tribute to the days of yore, the band took the stage 25 minutes after their scheduled performance time and opened with “Let it Roll,” from their 2007 release Libertad. As Velvet Revolver continued to roll through a bunch songs from their only two album releases, including “She Mine,” “American Man,” and “Big Machines,” the audience returned the favor by cheering and screaming nearly as loud as the PA speakers . . . and then it happened:

Chicago!!” screamed singer Scott Weiland, who was abruptly greeted with an arsenal of boos almost 3,000 people strong.Weiland recovered by playing it cool and instructing the bar tenders to give everyone a free drink, which, of course, did not happen.

Anyone who was deeply offended by the frontman’s oversight soon forgot as Velvet Revolver gave the audience want they really longed for: “Patience,” “It’s So Easy,” and “Mr. Brownstone” from the GNR catalog and “Vaseline,” “Interstate Love Song,” and “Sex Type Thing” from the STP discography.Additionally, the band played Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” as an encore opener.

All in all, Velvet Revolver played a very tight two hour set that could have been both self indulgent and boring, due to the situational circumstances.Thankfully, they keenly gave the audience what they wanted to hear, in addition to a textbook lesson in rock stage “posturing” for the next generation of guitar heroes in the audience.

Oh yeah, Scott, you still owe me that drink.

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