The Joint, Las Vegas – 14th November 2012
Reviewed by Jay R – Lead singer of Eightball Voodoo
When Guns n’ Roses announced that they would be doing a residency at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas in November 2012, money was raised and tickets booked. The chance to see the band who influenced me into a career in sleaze rock in a more intimate concert setting was too good to pass up. Sin city is a city of excess, where anything goes and Guns n’ Roses are the perfect act to provide the soundtrack to the city of sin! The residency was dubbed “Appetite for democracy” and Axl promised to play tracks from Appetite For Destruction right through to Chinese Democracy. And they delivered in spades!
A little over half an hour after the opening act, Guns n’ Roses 2012 hit the stage to the crashing riffs of Chinese Democracy. Now, the net is alive with assholes who seem to have nothing better to do than bash Axl and the current line-up of G n’ R, endlessly ranting about the original line-up, a reunion (which is never going to happen), how great Slash is, how Axl has “lost it”, how it’s just Axl and some hired hands and on and on and on! For those people: get a life, if you don’t like the current band then don’t listen, simple! But know this! This is 100 percent, Guns ‘n Roses. This line-up has been together (with the exception of DJ Ashba who joined a few years ago and drummer Frank Ferrer who joined in 2006) for ten years. Each member is at the top of their game and together they are mind-blowingly good! The sound in the venue is phenomenal! A credit to the sound guys and the design of The Joint and takes the whole experience into the stratosphere. They tear into three songs from Appetite For Destruction, one after another – Welcome To The Jungle, It’s So Easy and Mr. Brownstone. Axl sounds and looks fantastic. He breaks out all his trademark moves and runs around the stage like he was still twenty and not fifty. He shows the crowd why he is one of the last true rock stars, stopping the show mid song to berate security for hassling a section of the crowd. Axl Rose does what the fuck he likes and he should be applauded for that. He truly is the greatest frontman alive today. The intensity he brings to tonights performance whips the crowd into a frenzy!
Pole dancers and go-go girls hit the stage for a ripping version of Rocket Queen. The girls will join the band at various stages during the three hour epic set. Each of the three guitarists, Richard Fortus, Ron” Bumblefoot” Thal and DJ Ashba get their own solo section to show off their individual talents, dotted at intervals though-out the show. Bassist, Tommy Stinson sings one of his own songs, “Motivation” and Dizzy Reed (keyboards/piano) performs, “No Quarter”. They pull out all the big guns from every album. This is a rock show made for Vegas! And in true vegas style Axl plays November Rain on a flying piano! The Gunners peel out a roof raising version of Pink Floyds’ Another Brick In The Wall Part 2.
Axl changes hats and jackets throughout the show, never flagging in energy. This isn’t a band going through the motions but a band clearly loving what they are doing. The Nightrain rumbles on as hit after hit are performed with passion and technical brilliance. From Sweet Child Of Mine to Knocking On Heavens Door to Street Of Dreams and You Could Be Mine, G n’ R deliver a master class in heavy rock. There are so many highlights because the band never miss a step during the entire set. After a blistering rendition of Nightrain the band exit the stage only to return a few minutes later for the encore. Kicking it off with Neil Young’s, Don’t Let It Bring You Down and The Who’s The Seeker, then it’s into the massive final three songs. There Was A Time is followed by Patience and the only song you can end a Guns n’ Roses show in Las Vegas with… Paradise city!
Explosions, confetti, dancing girls and the best rock band in the world today bring the crowd to a roaring climax and cap off a perfect night! As the smoke clears and the last confetti drifts downwards, Axl turns to the crowd and asks “How’s that for a Vegas show?” That was how you fucking do it! Viva Las Vegas, Viva Guns n’ Roses!
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About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE