Going into the show, there were a lot of expectations. Would the band show up on time? Would the new members of GNR be able to play the songs as faithfully as in the band’s heyday? Would Axl’s voice be able to hold up?
Guns N’ Roses proved all the doubters wrong GNR hit the stage right at 11. The 28 song set was heavy on classics, but also featured five tracks from the new album “Chinese Democracy.” The album’s title cut opened the show, which was followed by a frenzied version of “Welcome to the Jungle.”
Axl Rose’s voice was in strong form all night. With Axl being the only original member of GNR left, the band played all night like they had something to prove.
The evening showcased all the hits from Guns N’ Roses’ past alongside the new material. “November Rain” featured a waterfall of sparks and epic solos. “Rocket Queen” sounded vicious and rocking. The night also featured the band’s well-known covers. The cover of Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Live and Let Die” featured fireballs and explosions. Their version of Bob Dylan’s “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” ended in a massive crowd singalong. Overplayed songs that would normally sound weighed down and overblown on the radio crackled with life and energy. Overplayed hits gained a renewed urgency live. The three guitarists added a heaviness to the music and increased the texture of the songs.
The energy of the crowd waned a little during the new material and the tedious jamming did the band no favors. The floor of the arena was only half-full. The seats were 90 percent full. Every member of the band received time to solo and jam throughout the night. Covering an AC/DC song, two Who tracks, Pink Floyd and the Pink Panther theme song seems a bit excessive.
The show could have run smoother without these self-indulgent moments. However, all these tracks helped to showcase the skills of the musicians in this version of Guns N’ Roses. The power of the band these days seems like ir could rival Guns N’ Roses in their prime.
The fans got what they wanted and more by the time the band finished at two in the morning. “Paradise City” sent the everyone home happy, ending the night with a flurry of fireworks. It was a night of classic hits and rock that only Guns N’ Roses could deliver.
1. Chinese Democracy
2. Welcome to the Jungle
3. It’s So Easy
4. Mr. Brownstone
8. Riff Raff (AC/DC cover)
9. Live and Let Die
10. This I Love
11. Rocket Queen
12. My Generation (Who cover/Tommy Stinson solo)
13. Street of Dreams
14. You Ain’t the First
15. You Could Be Mine
16. DJ Ashba guitar solo
17. Sweet Child o’ Mine
18. Another Brick in the Wall
19. Axl Rose piano solo
20. November Rain
21. Theme to Pink Panther (Bumblefoot guitar solo)
22. Don’t Cry
23. Whole Lotta Rosie (AC/DC cover)
24. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
3. Paradise City