After five years away from American stages, the immutable hard-rock juggernaut of Guns N’ Roses reuses its illusions to whip crowds into a frenzy during notoriously raucous live shows. Enigmatic siren Axl Rose, beloved for his lack of hubris and punk-rock stance against prolificacy, leads his wrecking crew of Roses through a tour of greatest hits culled from their groundbreaking mainstream debut album, Appetite for Destruction, the long-awaited Chinese Democracy, and everything in between. The group soars and shines throughout a two-hour plus marathon performance, ranging from turbocharged rockers such as “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” through ballads including “November Rain.” With hatless new axeman Dj Ashba stepping into the shoes of Slash and The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson replacing Duff McKagan, Guns N’ Roses is recharged and ready to quench destructive appetites with pure organic rock wrung from handpicked bandanas.
Experienced trapeze artist Ray Pierce began his circus training on the tightrope in 1976. More than 30 years later, he and his highly trained staff at his company, Hollywood Aerial Arts, devote their time to every aspect of the art form, from choreographing their own aerial acts to designing custom rigs to teaching the next generation of artists how to maneuver through the air. They reference their collective backgrounds in the circus, Pilates, stunt work, and dance to teach group workshops inside their 10,000 square-foot facility. All of the classes supply students with safely lines and a spotting belt, and the majority of the classes focus on a specific apparatus. These include the aerial bungee, aerial hammock, spanish web, tightrope, tissu, or flying trapeze, which is performed on the facility's 32-foot-high outdoor trapeze equipped with a safety system and animatronic clown cheerleaders.
Toyota Sports Center entices skaters of all ages with a trio of glassy rinks smooth enough to be commandeered for official practices by the L.A. Kings. When the pros aren't reigning over the ice, guests can practice axel jumps during skating lessons or show up for public skating sessions to lap the flattened glacier in search of preserved saber-toothed zambonis. Toyota Sports Center also educates aspiring Great Ones with beginners hockey classes, hosts youth and adult leagues, and encourages visitors to bulk up off the ice at the fitness center, which is outfitted with free weights and treadmills for those slowly reconnecting with exercise on solid ground.
The gridiron heats up as the nationally ranked USC Trojans whip out their defensive harnesses and attempt to tame the ferocious offense of their Pac-12 rivals from the Northwest. Tensions between these two storied programs have risen to feverish levels in recent years as former USC Assistant Coach Steve Sarkisian has mushed his new team back into title contention. Lane Kiffin's Trojans take to the field with a sense of purpose in their homecoming game, homing in on the Huskies’ offensive stratagems and quickly dismantling wooden horses filled with sneaky wide receivers. In his third year, quarterback Matt Barkley leads his team’s charge to the end zone with surer feet and increased poise. Star receiver Robert Woods remains Matt’s favorite target as he stays on pace to rack up more than 1,000 yards and substantial dry cleaners’ fees for his dozens of jerseys stained with end-zone paint.
Summer Explosion 2011, hosted by Terrence J and Rocsi from BET's 106 & Park, bends the dog-ears of summer in a roof-raising night packed with eight dynamo hip-hop MCs. Headlining the night of lyrical funambulism and gelatin-rumbling bass, Soulja Boy, author of the imperative smash hit "Crank Dat," salutes his army of fans in a set soaked with swagger, exuding crafty tracks that turn the air into ringtones. In support of his latest album, The DeAndre Way, Soulja Boy struts and huffs and puffs, blowing audiences away as if they were springtime dandelions. Backing up the star-studded show, Baby Bash makes audiences sweat out bathwater, Travis Porter raconteurs from the red-light district with rat-a-tat raps, Audio Push cuckolds woofers from their tweeters with seductive rhymes, and Georgia rapper Yc Racks rhythmically rattles off diary pages from his days at Hard Knocks High.