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Axl Rose

Guns N' Roses At XL Center

Guns N' Roses At XL Center

Guns N' Roses might represent the final stage of earnest rock-and-roll bombast before everything became fully ironic, retro, referential or conceptual.

For a taste of just how ridiculous and bloated G'n'R were at their peak, or maybe just past their peak, watch the video for "November Rain" from the band's epic 1991 record "Use Your Illusion 1." Axl Rose at a grand piano, with swaying back-up singers and somber orchestral accompaniment, Slash smoking a cigarette while he shreds on his Les Paul in the swirling dust of a prairieland churchyard. There's a nightmare, a wedding, a funeral — all kinds of stuff. It's absurd, but also awesome, a little like the band...