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GUNS N ROSES - London Docklands Arena - 26 August 2002   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Tuesday, 14 September 2004
"You wanted the hottest band in the world...Well, they didn't fuckin' make it!"

Normally I hate using bland clichés to describe things. But there are no other words to describe it. Guns N Roses ROCK like bastards.

Even when Axl Rose's trousers fall down and he sings a song stock still trying to pull them up. Even when one member of the band falls over and spends a whole song lying on his back. Even when Robin Finck, dressed as a silver-suited alien, gets hit in the face with a bottle during a solo and doesn't miss a note. Even when Buckethead condenses the whole of the Star Wars Trilogy theme music into a three minute speedmetal guitar solo whilst spending the whole gig in a ski mask and a KFC bucket covering his head. Even when giant pillars of fire sprout up all over the stage. Even when that infamous Axl Rose banshee wail unleashes itself. Even when Buckethead performs a solo that consists of a synchronised kung-fu/karate Nunchuck demonstration and a bit of moonwalking. Even when there's smokebombs, giant catherine wheels throwing sparks all over the band, the air of full of confetti, glitter, fire and smoke, and the bands kit is being thrown all over the stage at the climatic end of the gig, they are the single personification of rock. If you want rock, you got it.

From the opening chords of a gigantic "Welcome To The Jungle", to the final breakneck thrash out of "Paradise City", there is simply no way that this band can do anything other than impress. Expectations are astoundingly high for GNR's largest indoor date anywhere in the world in a decade. Especially as this is the fifth date that the new look band have booked for London's Docklands Arena. And the first time they actually show up. And they deliver the goods. They should have a Government Health Warning.

Axl Rose is simultaneously the Kylie and the Howard Hughes of metal : He is both a paranoid meglomaniac recluse and a Metal God that spans generations (and there are a multitude of ages here, from the 50 something balding Denim brigade, to pre-pubescent children in special GNR bandanas and bootleg Offspring shirts).

Uncle Axl (as he calls himself) appears oddly humble, yet has his very own towel roadie who mops the stage up from the torrent of bottles thrown at it, and then retreats into a mysterious black tent hidden at the back of the stage whenever there is a guitar solo. And there are plenty of those. Throughout the two and a quarter hour, 20 song show, with an average of two solos per song, Axl manages to wander off stage to do ‘something' about 30 times.  

Whenever he's absent what we're left with is a new look, strange Guns N Roses that neither looks nor acts like the original band, comprising as it is of three new guitarists, a new bassist, a new drummer, and a new keyboard player. But they still sound amazing. Even though history tells us otherwise, this is the definitive version of Guns N Roses.

There's also a multitude of songs from the new album, due out... well, sometime. There's the beefed-up three guitar attack of "Rhiad And The Bedouins" which sounds absolutely colossal. There's the epic, beautiful "Madasgascar". I have no idea what it's about. But it rises to a crescendo in a squall of guitars and screaming before returning to its original, tender self. There's the big-balls-rock-out of "Chinese Democracy", and the oddly chorus-free "The Blues".

These songs are genius. And yet Axl says later on that these songs might not be even on the new album, as they have better ones waiting to be completed in their Millionaire Rock Star Studio in the Hollywood hills.

And what else? Every single song you'd want to hear is here. Every last one. From "It's So Easy", to "Nightrain", to "November Rain", to "Patience", to "Live And Let Die".....

When this band finally finish their new album and get out into the big bad world and tour, the whole world will fall in love with 80's hair metal legends all over again. I know it's a completely different band, but make no mistakes, Guns N Roses are the best rock band in the world.


Written by Guest on 2005-01-25 10:40:50
g,'n'r rock 
axl rose
Written by Guest on 2005-05-19 17:27:39
any one wont I.R.S??

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