I saw Skid Row open for Guns N’ Roses on May 25th, 1991

My teenage friends and I liked Skid Row just fine, but considered them a bit of a corny also-ran compared to the unhinged titans of rock we considered Guns N’ Roses at the time.  They had a hit with cautionary “18 and Life” about a young guy who drunkenly shoots his friend and gets life in prison, and a couple of other minor songs.  They weren’t a laughingstock like Winger or Warrant… my teenage friends and I basically respected them.

We were a little surprised when they took the stage at Alpine Valley and played incredibly energetic versions of all the songs we knew.  Sebastian Bach (born Sebastian Philip Bierk), the lead singer of Skid Row, was in top form and crushed the set.  We couldn’t help but be impressed.  It was the first time I’d ever seen an opening band really impress.  By the end of their set, the crowd was hungry for more, but they were clearly not allowed to overshadow the main event and apologized saying they really couldn’t do an encore and their time was up.  The crowd was disappointed but… hey, Guns N’ Roses.

It was actually a cold late May night.  Alpine Valley is an outdoor venue in southern Wisconsin, and general admission seats past the assigned seats in front have no shelter.  You’re just sitting on the grass in the elements.  As we began the long wait for GNR, it began to drizzle a little.  Axl Rose and company allowed us to wait in the wet cold for a little over THREE HOURS.  We really wished we could have had a longer Skid Row set.

By the time Guns N’ Roses finally came on, after 11pm, we had a long drive home, and we were underwhelmed by the first few songs and joined the slow exodus of soggy people filing home early in the show.  As we left we heard Axl Rose screaming at us, “Where you going, you wusses*?” (* He didn’t say wusses.)

The rumor is that Bach got fired from the band for being unwilling to open for KISS.  Side note: Bach was originally discovered singing at a New Jersey wedding by Jon Bon Jovi’s parents, who told him he should audition for Skid Row.   Skid Row didn’t last long after the night of the show we saw, but Sebastian Bach somehow kept going.  

He joined a rock supergroup with members of The Breeders, Frogs, and Smashing Pumpkins (hilariously called The Last Hard Men) but Atlantic decided not to release their debut album.  He auditioned for the fairly successful supergroup Velvet Revolver, but was rejected because Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash said, “I love Sebastian, but it, if you can imagine, it sounded sort of like Skid N’ Roses.”  (The lead singer of Slipknot was also considered, but ultimately they went with the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots.)

Sebastian turned to acting as well.  He played Riff Raff in a production of The Rocky Horror Show and Jesus Christ in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar.  He had a fairly long run on the sitcom Gilmore Girls as the lead guitarist of a band called Hep Alien (the most Girlmore Girls-ey band name I can possibly think of).  He appeared on the show Trailer Park Boys.  

He also appeared in countless reality shows including the VH1 reality show Supergroup (where he formed a super group with Ted Nugent, Scott Ian, Jason Bonham, and Evan Seinfeld and was named Damnocracy… you can not make this stuff up), Celebrity Rap Superstar, Gone Country, and a show called I Married…Sebastian Bach.

Incidentally, Sebastian Bach never stopped recording and releasing solo albums.  Most are forgettable but decent, but 2007’s Angel Down recieved a lot of critical acclaim and I must admit I found some retro pleasure in how hard it rocked.

Why am I telling this story? Well, today vocalist and guitar player Sebastian Bach, formerly of Skid Row, releases his solo album entitled Child Within the Man. Long may you rock, Sebastian Bach!

this blog post is now over, thank you for reading.
as a reminder, it was called: I saw Skid Row open for Guns N’ Roses on May 25th, 1991
it's categorized as: Albums, Concerts, Reviews, Uncategorized
link to it, please: Friday, May 10th, 2024

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