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Philly bands come together for massive Guns N’ Roses tribute show at the Troc

Josh Middleton

October 20 will mark the 30th anniversary of an evening Philly hair-metal heads will never forget: when Guns N’ Roses—then relative newcomers—played the Trocadero in Chinatown.

They were in Philadelphia on their Appetite for Destruction tour, a celebration of their wildly popular debut album of the same name that sold more than 30 million copies and spawned decade-defining hits like “Welcome to the Jungle,” “It’s So Easy” and “Sweet Child of Mine.”

To mark the milestone anniversary, a bunch of mostly local bands and performers come together at the Trocadero on October 20 for a big ol’ GNR tribute concert called “Guns N’ Roses Was Here.” The show is produced by Philly journalist and Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret keyboardist Victor Fiorillo, who says he wants to take this opportunity to send up Guns N’ Roses because, well, we love them.

“Their [current] tour is the top-grossing show of any performer or act in the past year,” he says. “In fact, it’s one of the top-10-grossing concert tours of all time. Their success is due to the fact that they’ve created a pretty amazing catalogue of music over the years—and we want to celebrate that.”

He says this show will include covers of Appetite for Destruction songs, plus other greats from the GNR songbook. He’s pulled together a bunch of local metal bands such as Thorazine, the Flannel Chucks and members of Stinking Lizaveta and Misstallica, who will likely all do straight versions of GNR hits. But then there are folks like moody indie rockers Northern Arms and the showboat of showboats Johnny Showcase (who is apparently demanding a choir for his performance) who will put their own distinctive spins on the songs. Students from Philadelphia’s School of Rock will also perform, and members of metal band Welcome to My Face are coming back together for a reunion.

The show takes place on Friday, October 20 at 9pm at the Trocadero. Tickets are $15 pre-sale and $18 at the door, and can be purchased here. A few weeks before, on October 8, Guns N’ Roses come to the Wells Fargo Center on their Not in This Lifetime tour.

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