Five hard rock musicians will rope in bangers from Guns N’ Roses Saturday night.
Pretty Tied Up, a Michigan-Kentucky GNR tribute band, will unleash their favorite Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff and Matt renditions as part of a headlining set at Road Rangers in Taylor.
“Let’s just say everything from ‘Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide’ up until ‘Spaghetti Incident’ is going to be on the table,” said Brandon Fields, aka Slash. “That’s the good thing about being in a tribute to Guns is that they’ve got such a deep catalog. We might have some special guests jamming with us as well.”
Fields will jam with bandmates Kevin Shannon (Axl Rose), Kyle Mikolajczyk (Izzy Stradlin), Dustin Witt (Duff McKagan) and Garrett Ramsden (Matt Sorum) for one of their final 2019 appearances in metro Detroit.
He formed the project earlier this year with Mikolajczyk and Ramsden after their previous GNR tribute band, Uzi Suicide, went on hiatus.
“Guns N’ Roses is my favorite band of all time. These are songs I’ve always wanted to play live and couldn’t necessarily pull off in my other projects,” Fields said. “I made the Facebook page before the band lineup was even finished, and Kyle instantly shot me a message asking what was up with it.”
After teaming up with Mikolajczyk and Ramsden, Fields invited longtime best friend and multi-instrumentalist Witt to join the lineup as well as hard rock vocalist Shannon. The quintet quickly blew up the hard rock music scene in Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee with growing roster of live dates.
“Obviously, whoever is doing Axl’s job is going to have the main attraction in my opinion, so you’ve got to have somebody who’s going to put on a show. Kevin does a good job. Kyle, Dustin and Garrett do an awesome job of holding the rhythm section down as well. Garrett is an absolute monster behind the kit, and I don’t think there’s anybody who would be a better fit for us,” said Fields, who lives in Lexington, Ky., and named the band after a GNR “Use Your Illusion II” track.
“Dustin’s a very smart musician and has been my partner in crime for a few years since he joined my solo band. You never have to worry about him messing up. Kyle plays everything he needs at the right time. He’s in like 10 different bands, and you definitely don’t get to a point like that being an amateur.”
Fields developed a deep appreciation for GNR after receiving a “Greatest Hits” album for Christmas in fifth grade. He soon delved into the band’s extensive catalog and played “Appetite for Destruction” on constant repeat.
GNR’s music also nicely complemented Fields’ growing love of the axe, which he picked up at age seven after watching his father play. He continued to hone his guitar chops while living all over the east coast and teaming up with Witt in high school.
“Guns ‘N Roses has without a doubt shaped the musician I am today,” he said. “I probably drove my parents insane with the amount I listened to them growing up.”
Like Fields, Mikolajczyk held a mutual respect for Axl, Slash and the GNR crew while growing up in Canton. By age 12, he picked up his first guitar, a Guitar Hero game controller, and later sold merch and volunteered as a roadie for the Detroit metal band Kro-Magnon as a teenager.
After becoming Kro-Magnon’s bassist, Mikolajczyk quickly became a well-respected musical mainstay in Detroit and later formed HazardHead, a band influenced by GNR and ‘80s hard rock, in 2011.
“Since this is our favorite band, we take it very seriously to relay the amazing music and performance that everyone knows GNR by. We do our best to buy the outfits and instruments to look as close to GNR as we possibly can,” Mikolajczyk said. “I have an apple cap made by Marc Vachon, who is a longtime stylist for GNR, Slash and Izzy.”
Today, Mikolajczyk plays in several other tribute projects, including Whiskey A Go Go (‘80s hard rock), Bloodstone (Judas Priest) and Little Liars (Joan Jett) as well as Black Feather, Sever It All, Seven Story Fall, Swizzille Trip, the Kyle Mikolajczyk Blues Revue and The Johnny Fangers Band.
He also performs as a solo artist and books, manages and promotes local and national pop, rock and blues acts through MetalAfro Management & Promotions. Mikolajczyk books acts regularly through the Diesel Concert Lounge in New Baltimore, including Ultimate Tribute Fest! and other hard rock shows.
With 2019 winding down, Mikolajczyk, Fields and the Pretty Tied Up crew will close out the year with a New Year’s Eve headlining show at the Halo Bar and Grill in Tazewell, Tenn.
“It’s about 20 minutes from where Dustin and I graduated high school in Virginia. A lot of family and friends are going to get a chance to come see us with this band,” Fields said. “We’ve got four albums and two EPs to pull material from so nothing is ever off the table as far as our show goes.”
Pretty Tied Up also will perform at a Jan. 25 Ultimate Tribute Fest! with several tribute bands, including Black Sabbatical (Black Sabbath), Psychotic Paradise (Tesla), T.N.T (Ted Nugent), Alan In Shackles (Alice In Chains), Headknocker (Foreigner) and Forever Foo (Foo Fighters), on two stages at the Diesel Concert Lounge.
“We have so much planned for 2020. All I can say is stay tuned to our Facebook page, and catch us when we come to your city,” Mikolajczyk said. “We are booking all over the U.S. currently.”
Pretty Tied Up with special guest T.N.T
Saturday | Doors 8 p.m.
Road Rangers, 23925 Goddard Road in Taylor