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Guns N' Roses
Sprint Center, November 12
We know: It's not really Guns N' Roses. It's just Axl Rose. And Axl Rose is an asshole. But listen: This show rocked. The seven-piece band (which includes three guitarists) played for almost three hours, the stage ablaze in pyrotechnics. Rose showed few signs of fatigue, crisscrossing the stage, running back and forth, spinning around and doing that dance move he's been doing since the '80s — the one where it looks like he's trying to get dog shit off his shoe. Things wrapped up a little before 2 a.m., when the drumbeat to "Paradise City" sent the remaining crowd into a frenzy. On the floor, women danced and shook their titties under a litter of red streams of confetti. It was really, really loud. And it was all worth it.
— Berry Anderson
Watch the Throne
Sprint Center, November 29
What to expect from the epic collision of egos that was the Watch the Throne tour: Would Kanye throw a temper tantrum? Would Jay-Z, in flyover country on a Tuesday, phone it in? The answers to those questions: not really, and definitely not. What we got were two stages, rising video-cube platforms, laser pyramids and two and a half hours of nonstop fun, courtesy of two of the biggest names in hip-hop. "Make some noise for the genius that is Kanye," Jay-Z asked of the crowd, as "I Want You Back" sped up into West's beat for "Izzo." On "Gold Digger," Jay ceded the stage to Ye, shuffling around in the background, dutifully playing the role of hype man, interjecting "That ain't right" into Kanye's tale of lady woes. On "99 Problems," Ye returned the favor, voicing the role of the meddling policeman. The hits were so bountiful and the performances so tight that when Kanye's prima-donna moment inevitably arrived — he halted "All of the Lights" not once but twice, citing a flawed lighting cue — it almost seemed rehearsed, a natural extension of the sheer entertainment for which we'd all come.
— David Hudnall and April Fleming