Two "Huh!" concerts—Ronnie Spector and Guns N' Roses
Interesting concerts seem to come in pairs, and so it goes this weekend—Ronnie Spector at the Seneca Niagara Casino on Saturday (Jan. 23) and Guns N' Roses at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton on Sunday (Jan. 24).
Is interesting too mild a description? Perhaps. Ronnie is the legendary voice of the Ronettes, the Phil Spector-produced girl group whose classics include "Be My Baby" and "Baby I Love You." While her voice isn't quite what it used to be—not really a criticism, as she's sixty-six years old—she's fresh off a pretty great new album, The Last of the Rock Stars. Featuring everyone from Keith Richards to Patti Smith to Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, it includes such Ronnettes-y treats as "Ode to LA" and "There is an End." I'd expect the concert to draw mainlt on the classics, but it'll be fun to see Ronnie sing these new tracks, especially in the intimate confines of the Bear's Den.
Meanwhile, Guns—a.k.a., Axl Rose and some hired guns—are on a Canadian tour, the first group of North American dates since the anti-climactic release of the long-delayed Chinese Democracy. And the early word on the handful of already completed shows is pretty unanimous: they sound great, the show is crazy long, and the setlist a nice mix of hits and newbies.
The sad part is, tickets are still on sale ... floor seats! And there's no word on shows south of the border, making the whole thing seem, well, as odd as it is. But I'm not sure there's a place in the world I'd rather be on Sunday. It's Guns N' Roses, with Sebastian Bach opening! For possible laughs alone, it's more than worth staying up late.
Photo by Debra Greenfield.