LIVE: GUNS n’ ROSES – Perth, 21 Feb, 2017
Domain Stadium, Perth, Western Australia
Reviewed by Kevin Curran
Photography by Stuart McKay
Time has obviously healed old wounds, and in 2017 Guns n’ Roses are back playing with the main players from their heyday in Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan for the aptly titled “Not In This lifetime” tour. The interest in this tour has been huge, and the band is in a resurgence predicated purely on the fact that what you’re getting is a more authentic line-up of Guns n’ Roses than what has been presented for the past 20 years-plus. This really is a tour fans never thought they would see.
I didn’t get to see much of openers Wolfmother as the time it took to get into the venue due to the large numbers entering delayed me getting to my seat.
Axl and Co didn’t keep the crowd waiting long before hitting the stage on a strangely cold and windy summer night, and yes, Axl knew exactly where we were tonight and the answer was Perth. (Sorry Melbourne!) It’s So Easy opened the show, which got everyone fired up for a near three-hour arena rock show with all the bells, whistles and pyro you could ask for.
There is a certain dynamic or chemistry that Axl, Duff and Slash have that is really something special to behold. This is THE band where all these guys shine collectively and individually, and they look like they have a great time doing so. I have heard rumours that after this tour is done it’s all over, and Axl will revert back to the previous line-up. I for one would be surprised, and hope this isn’t the case, as you could see a genuine energy and vibe from the band – and more so Axl Rose, looking like he was loving every minute of what he was doing.
The peak of the set came from the amazingly well constructed ballad November Rain, which made the hairs stand up on my arms. I was also particularly impressed with the epic Coma off the Use Your Illusion 1 record, and its pure badass riffery.
As I look around the arena there are people of various ages: mums and dads taking their young kids to see the rock spectacle that is Guns n’ Roses, which made me think, ‘will we have this level of a band which resonates with people from various generations like this in, say, 10-15 years?’ Who will that be? I just don’t see it. What we have in a Guns n’ Roses show is rare and special, and we are running out of bands like this. Where is the next wave of bands that can achieve this? To be honest, I feel that bands at the level of Guns N Roses, Black Sabbath, Kiss etc, who have toured here in the last year, need to help keep this thing called ROCK keep going for the future. I am disappointed to see them not give a well deserved up and coming band the chance to go on a tour like this instead picking a band like Wolfmother who – no disrespect intended to them – have had their time to shine in years gone by. The same can be said with the support choices for the previous bands I have mentioned as well.
Almost 3 hours later, Guns n’ Roses blasted our eardrums with Paradise City , before saying their farewells. What you got tonight was a well-executed arena rock show of the highest standard by a band who have rekindled the magic of their early days. Lets hope this isn’t the end and of this chapter of Guns n’ Roses.
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About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE