A New Rose Blooms...
On Sunday me and Lofty ventured to Wembley to see the return of Axl Rose and the new look Guns N Roses. History shows that going to a G’N’R gig is a bigger gamble than putting money on Q.P.R. to win a cup game, but this was one gamble that paid off.
We arrived at the arena in plenty of time and caught a bit of the 2 support acts. Neither act was really my cup of tea although Sebastian Bach came to the rescue later on in the night. Bullet for my Valentine seemed a type of goth/thrash metal hybrid that sent me and Lofty walking round the refurbished arena until G’N’R finally made there appearance at 10.30pm!!!
As we were made to wait quite a while, the mood was starting to get impatient with a slow handclap doing the rounds and isolated cases of booing. All was forgiven though as the lights went out and the opening riff of welcome to the jungle reverberated round the arena, followed by Axl very politely asking if we knew where we are :) . Hit after hit came in an opening salvo… including Mr Brownstone, It’s so Easy and Live and Let Die.
After a fast start the pace dipped slightly as Axl kept walking off stage in between songs for which turned out to be good reason (more on that later). During these intervals each of the three guitarist and Dizzy Reed, the keyboard player, took turns to give the crowd solos, which included God save the Queen, Don’t cry, and Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful!
There were storming versions of Knocking on Heavens Door, You Could Be Mine and my personal favourite November Rain. During Nightrain, Axl disappeared and Sebastian Bach took over on vocal duties for the rest of the song and the climax - Paradise city. After the gig it was found out that Axl had been advised to cancel the show due to illness, but elected to battle through.
Despite his illness, and as a result a slightly abbreviated set, this was a fantastic gig and it is great to see Axl back. Axl was in great voice and was looking well and the new band done the songs justice, although I can’t see anyone forgetting Slash or Duff in a hurry.
Get well soon Axl and don’t leave it so long before you are here again as I for one will be there for more of the same
Setlist: welcome to the jungle, it’s so easy, mr brownstone, live and let die, robin fink solo, sweet child of mine, knocking on heavens door, band jam, dizzy reed solo, the blues, Richard solo, you could be mine, ron solo, out ta get me, band jam, November rain, band intros, you gotta move, patience, nightrain, paradise city