Seminal Rock band Guns N’ Roses are officially back on tour. After the shocking January announcement that Appetite for Destruction-era members Slash and Duff McKagan would rejoin the band for a few shows in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and two headlining shows at Coachella, fans have been chomping at the bit to see the band hit the road on a proper tour. Well, fans got what they asked for last night, as Guns N’ Roses played an incredible show at Detroit’s Ford Field last night to kick off their 25-date “Not In This Lifetime” stadium tour, as originally reported by Rolling Stone.Famous in more recent years for their absurdly late start times, Guns N’ Roses actually took the stage two minutes early at 9:43pm, possibly a tongue-in-cheek reference to their past transgressions, and definitely as a sign that they were ready to blow the roof off the place. The band opened with “It’s So Easy”, before setting the audience afire with their Appetite for Destruction hit “Mr. Brownstone.” GNR ran through most of their most famous tunes, as “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Rocket Queen,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “November Rain,” and “Nighttrain” were all played throughout the evening, leaving the crowd in awe as they got to experience this long-broken-up band playing one hit after another. Singer Axl Rose impressed throughout with his ridiculous vocal range, and Slash melted faces with his incredible guitar playing, including a show-stopping cover of “Love”, the theme from The Godfather that served as a de-facto intro to “Sweet Child O’ Mine”.Guns N’ Roses have always included a series of covers in their sets, and they are a band that always knows how to make the tracks their own. Last night’s show showcased some of their best covers, as the band busted out “Live and Let Die” by Wings, “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan, and “The Seeker” by The Who.Watch Guns N’ Roses tear apart their classic “Welcome to The Jungle” below, courtesy of YouTube user VideoGremmie:Watch video of Slash rip up “Love (Theme from The Godfather)” before leading the band into “Sweet Child O’ Mine” below, courtesy of YouTube user Andy Schupbach:Watch GNR play their epic ballad “November Rain” below, courtesy once again of VideoGremmie:Watch the finale of “Paradise City” below, courtesy of YouTube user Uncle Sam – Alive In Detroit:Check out the full setlist below, and welcome back to the road Guns N’ Roses!Setlist: Guns N’ Roses at Ford Field, Detroit, MI – 6/23/2016Set: It’s So Easy, Mr. Brownstone, Chinese Democracy, Welcome to the Jungle, Double Talkin’ Jive, Estranged, Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney & Wings cover), Rocket Queen, You Could Be Mine, Raw Power, This I Love, Civil War, Coma, Speak Softly, Love (Theme from The Godfather/Andy Williams), Sweet Child O’ Mine, Better, Out Ta Get Me, Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover), November Rain, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan cover), NightrainEncore: Don’t Cry, The Seeker (The Who cover), Paradise City
Once mocked, they are booming Garth A. RoseThere was a time when some South Floridians scoffed at shopping at dollar stores. However, as more families struggle with relatively low incomes they are turning to these low-price bargain stores. And, as the demand for bargains increase, dollar stores have sprung up across the region.They include national chains like Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Family Dollar. Dollar Tree currently has over 90 stores in South Florida. Florida is one of their largest markets, second only to California.Today’s discount retail has come far from its past of mangy products and dinky layouts. Many discount chains have overhauled their stores, including larger food selections, more health and cosmetic products and even pharmaceutical services.“The image of dollar stores has changed dramatically over the years,” says consumer analyst Paula Dalton of West Kendall. “Dollar stores are now reputable enterprises, and similar to the Woolworth chain of the past. There are over 30,000 dollar stores in the US today, a 25 percent growth rate since 2011. This exceeds the growth of Wal-Mart which has grown some 20 percent since 2011.”Dalton notes however that it’s the availability of dramatically-reduced prices that attracts new clients – often millennials setting up house, and shoppers who previously shunned dollar stores for traditional retailers.“The attractive prices dollar stores offer has a strong pull on customers,” says Dalton. “Plus, the quality of their merchandise has improved. These stores definitely meet the needs of customers with limited cash in their pockets.”Dalton predicts that competition from these discount stores could weaken sales from traditional retail and department stores.“To be profitable, most of the traditional stores catering to local consumers will need to cut prices to attract shoppers. This is what dollar stores do.”Miami resident, Tammy Saunds, said in the past she mocked her sisters for shopping regularly at dollar stores, but now confesses to be a regular customer.“These stores now have such a wide variety of goods of improved quality, that meets the needs of people who are hurting financially.” says Saunds.“I now purchase toiletries, snacks and kitchen-ware at dollar stores.”This recent boom seems like a renaissance for the typical American discount store, originally known as “dime stores”, which have a long history of serving consumers during harsh economic times since the 19th century.Dime stores grew in popularity after the American Civil War, selling a variety of inexpensive goods, meeting the demands of consumers who couldn’t afford the high inflationary prices of wartime.
Two very well established agencies, Momentum Worldwide and PMK•BNC have joined forces to announce the formation of a new cross-agency practice focused on connecting brands with the video games and esports industry.The release states that the cross-agency practice will provide consultation services for brands interested in the world of gaming and esports. It will serve to “identify opportunities for sponsorships, in-game marketing, influencer marketing, team and league representation, and more; best-in-class activation expertise for brand experiences and live events; branded content; digital/social engagements; and PR and media outreach, among other services”. The new practice will be headed up by Momentum’s Glenn Minerly (Entertainment and Gaming Partnerships) and PMK•BNC’s Mark Van Lommel (Brand Marketing and Esports Content). It will be based out of the agencies’ respective global headquarters in New York and Los Angeles respectively. Momentum has worked with the likes of Coca Cola, Facebook, Microsoft, XBOX and the Premier League whilst PMK•BNC‘s Corporate Entertainment clients include global stars such as Cameron Diaz, Christina Aguilera, Eric Clapton and Seth Macfarlane but to name a few. “The opportunity in gaming for brands is enormous. Bringing together the powerhouse consultation and brand experience expertise of Momentum, with the entertainment, PR and years of deep gaming expertise of PMK•BNC, will help brands connect with fans and their passions and do more,” commented Momentum Chairman/CEO Chris Weil. He continued “For Millennials, Gen Xers and beyond, gaming is an important and key part of their personal entertainment, and is incredibly social.”The launch of the practice follows Momentum’s global research study, titled “WE KNOW Gamers”. It’s a report that they worked with Twitch to produce and some of the key findings are as follows: 48% claim that products endorsed by gamers and teams feel authentic, and 44% say their propensity to purchase increases if endorsed by a gamer or team admired by the individual.68% of gamers believe sponsorship is good for the industry, and 62% are open to brands sponsoring a specific gamer or team.53% of people surveyed believe that by 2022, watching and playing Esports and gaming will overtake watching and playing traditional sports.“Brand spending in Esports sponsorship is projected to grow 57% this year, reaching approximately $263 million, which shows both the increasing momentum in this space and also that it’s still in its infancy, compared with sponsorship spend levels in traditional sports,” said Michael Nyman, Chairman and CEO of PMK•BNC. He added: “Gaming and gamers represent an underrepresented market clamoring for brands to come in and provide legitimacy and meaningful experiences.” “Our research shows that 81% of gamers say it will always be a part of their lives and brands that ignore people’s big passion points, like gaming, do so at their own peril,” revealed Glenn Minerley. “Our practice will dispel the misconceptions and help brands connect with this passionate and engaged population.”Esports Insider: Two very well esteemed global agencies joining together to create an esports/gaming focused practice should be good news for the industry. Teams, tournaments and influencers alike will be keeping their eye out as we could see even more non-endemic brands entering the space.