Gig Review – Guns N’ Roses, O2 Arena, London

Guns N' Roses
The O2 Arena, London 

Friday 1st June: A gig filled with too much drama, but I guess you wouldn’t expect anything less from a rock band.

Thin Lizzy were the support act, they performed the well-known classics, ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ and ‘Jailbreak’. The set consisted of 14 songs, they got the crowd going. However it was going to be a long wait until the appearance of the main act Guns N’ Roses.

It was hitting nearly 11pm, almost an hour later than scheduled, Guns N’ Roses appeared on stage. They belted out ‘Chinese Democracy’, they all had great energy, running around the stage, working up the crowd. I think the audience were just glad they managed to get to the stage. ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ was up next, probably my favourite song of the night, great energy, awesome atmosphere in the arena. There was also a great cover of Paul McCartney & Wings ‘Live and Let Die’; the cover was amazing, great lighting and fire.

Around about 10 songs in with the song ‘This I Love’, it hit nearly midnight, even though TFL had provided later transport; knowing that the show would run later than scheduled, a large proportion of the audience had got up to leave. It’s a shame really, fans paying over £50 to see maybe their favourite band, and having to leave, due to the band being late on stage.

Front man Axl Rose, did his best to provide the remaining audience with a great night, however he frequently left the stage, after every song, which I have learnt was to visit an oxygen tent. Izzy Stradlin came on to the stage for a number of songs; ’14 years’, ‘You Could Be Mine’, ‘Nightrain’ and ‘Patience’.

Throughout the show, each member had a chance to showcase some of their talent, with individual solos. The first solo of the night was Richard Fortus on the guitar, great talent, made you want to be able to play the guitar. The next solo on the night was Dizzy Read with a piano solo, performing ‘Baba O’ Riley’. And then DJ Ashba with a guitar solo, he performed ‘Mi Amor 2.0’, and then finally the last solo of the night was Axl Rose with a piano solo, he performed ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’.

During the show parts of the audience had started throwing plastic cups and money on to the stage, not entirely sure why, it might have been because of the late timing to the stage, and that the show was clearly not going to finish until 2am. The bassist Tommy Stinson told the audience that they would all leave the stage if they continued to throw things, saying: “If you throw any f*****g thing on stage, we’ll go home.” Axl Rose then added that Tommy Stinson was simply “laying down the law”. Luckily they didn’t leave the stage and managed to finish the show.

Guns N’ Roses gave the audience a 7 song encore, which included 3 instrumental jams, the songs included, ‘Madagascar’ ‘Shackler’s Revenge’, ‘Patience’ (with Izzy Stradlin) and the final song of the night which was ‘Paradise City’ which also included Izzy Stradlin.

For fans of the band it was probably great to see them live and relive certain memories of their past, with a three hour set list, they do provide a great night, just a shame they don’t appear on time, allowing everyone who paid for a ticket the opportunity to see the whole show, not worrying about getting home. I can’t help thinking the band is trying maybe a bit too hard to relive their ‘rockstar’ past.

The concert was being filmed so fans will eventually be able to sit back and watch, that’s if they choose to purchase it.

Review by Christina Benneworth