I made the active decision at the beginning of this years fashion week to sit-it-out. Gone are my wily days of mingling with the skinny minnies decked out in this season's hottest ensemblage. The open bar nights that end with the close minded mornings. The bitch list, trying to explain, "But I was at the show." A host of invites flooded my concrete inbox, and my dam crumbled and I let them pass on through.
But one invite stuck out. A live set at Hiro Ballroom. Guns 'N Roses in all their one man band (Axl Rose) glory. Having caught their intimate set at Rose Bar two years ago, and having greatly enjoyed it, I figured this would be one worth the trek. Quick footnote on the set two years ago: I went to the after-party which proved to be one of the more surreal experiences of my life. It was like a reenactment of the 1980's party years. Women, young and old raged after Axl.
"Axl do you remember the Norway tour way back when?" He'd shrug his shoulders, and she'd lean in and whisper something in his ear, giggling softly. When she pulled away, he'd look at her and say, "Cool baby." Sebastian Bach showed up and tried getting some of the metal head fairy dust that was fallin' off Rose, but he slipped and broke a bottle of Jack instead. Rose was clearly older, but he still had a devilish twinkle in his blue eyes. When he smiled you saw who he once was. After the after party, we late nighted it at Dark Room on the Lower East Side, where I kissed a tall PYT goodnight as the sun rose up.
Hiro Ballroom proved to be a much less "intimate" set, and much more a slamming party. Walking in I caught Jamie Bell and Evan Rachel Wood small talking by the door. The lights were low, and the crowd was heavy. Bodies everywhere. Upstairs balcony. Full. Downstairs dance floor. Full. Everywhere you looked, beautiful people in black sucked in their cheeks and asked when Guns 'N Roses were coming on. The Deleon tequila bar had closed by the time I got there, so I sucked on an 8$ Corona and found some friends in the VIP area up top. We were seated a few people over from Matt Damon, his wife, Chelsea Clinton, her husband, Justin Timberlake, and his best friend.
I eavesdropped on the convo two dudes were having next to me, "Yo, I'd totally hook up with Clinton," one whispered.
"Oh for sure," the other whispered back. "But I'd straight up bang Damon."
The other pulled his face away, as if struck by a bad smell. "Obviously." A twitchy nosed girl plopped herself down on the seat head behind me. She introduced herself with a firm handshake and asked if I had a light, holding up a splif. I did. She did. We did. Good things.
At 12:30 Guns 'N Roses came on. Axl Rose lookin' all the paunchy 50 years he is. He started off with a little Chinese Democracy. The sound was no good, but the energy was there. The shrill screams intact. And the slithering snake moves that worked along with "Live and Let Die," hailed back to the days of legend. Highlight of the show came when an audience member threw a glass at the guitarist, who then dropped his axe, and jumped into the crowd to kick the shit out of the assailant. The music stopped for a second and Axl narrated the happenings saying, "Awww he's fuckin' gettin' it!"
After the set, word struck of an after party at Electric Room, but a three hour party is all my weary head can take these days. I hopped in a cab and headed home. Maybe I'll hit up a few more parties next year?