Kicking off with a bang – literally, for all the pyrotechnics involved – Guns N’ Roses opened the show with ‘Chinese Democracy’, the title track from their sixth studio album of the same name. Next up was ‘Welcome To The Jungle’, a high energy, high speed crowd favourite, and the general consensus among audience members was that it was going to be one heck of a night.
Despite his reputation, Axl Rose took to the stage on time and delivered a thoroughly professional performance. His vocal ability doesn’t seem to have changed one bit, and although the only original remaining member of the band, it wasn’t all about Rose. There was solo upon solo, with each instrumentalist having his moment in the spotlight. However, while we appreciated the incentive, it did get a bit tedious at times and it was clear that the attention of the crowd was faltering during those prolonged instrumental sections.
Nevertheless, the sheer number of hits in combination with a fantastic stage show kept the crowd interested, with ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, (the guy next to us dropped to his knees at this point with excitement – we have to admit, the audience dedication was something else!) ‘Live And Let Die’, ‘November Rain’, ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ and ‘Paradise City’ padding out the otherwise slightly samey set.
Overall, an impressive and admirable, if a little hard-going, performance from one of the best-known bands of all time.