Everything Guns to He Who Waits

After months of speculation and mass media coverage, Guns N' Roses finally arrived at Birmingham's LG Arena on Sunday night to delight a sold out  and extremely patient crowd.

GUNSNROSES_012

Guns N' Roses

LG Arena, Birmingham

words and pictures by James Watkins

Axl Rose is rock's true demigod

You have to admire the chutzpah of Axl Rose. The frontman of Guns N' Roses belongs to a wilder, more decadent time. Not for him the rigours of arriving on time or playing by the rules. During his heyday, the willfully anarchic outlaw epitomised the excesses of sexs 'n' drugs 'n' rock 'n' roll.

On Sunday, following months of speculation and mass media coverage, Guns N' Roses finally arrived at Birmingham's LG Arena to delight a sold out  and extremely patient crowd.

Hearing the news that the band being would be nearly an hour late for their stage time came as no surprise to GNR fans and Axl Rose, rock's true demigod, waltzed onstage at 10.10pm to kick off proceedings with Chines Democracy.

The light-hearted boos turned into thunderous ovation and hysteria as Rose screamed down the mic and lifted the roof in a way only he could.

It was almost like going back in time as the effervescent frontman danced around the stage in torn jeans, silver jacket and trademark hat and sunglasses as the re-shaped band played through a set of classics, including the incendiary Welcome To The Jungle.

Other classic GNR tracks on the set list included It's So Easy, Heaven's Door, and the epic November Rain, which saw Rose pull up at his piano for a three-song solo that could have made you believed you were back in the 1980's.

The two-hour set failed to disappoint, even featuring the classic Live & Let Die cover, set amidst a massive blast of pyrotechnics and flames that lit the arena up like a firecracker. The biggest cheer of the night graced the power chords of Sweet Child Of Mine.

Ending the night with yet more pyrotechnics and an awesome version of Night Train, the band really played a remarkable gig that brought memories flooding back and Paradise City closed the curtain just after midnight.

They may be the most arrogant and tardy band to ever grace the stage, but if for those prepared to wait in line, they gave a performance to cherish.

Guns N' Roses perform on their UK tour at the LG Arena, Birmingham, with Axl Rose and his band arriving on stage more than an hour late.
The line-up has changed, but the songs remain the same.
My guitar's bigger than Slash's used to be, so there....
Axl's Tommy Cooper impression: Juslikedat
Guns N' Roses have spent their lives in the spotlight
Axl was worth the wait

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Comments for: "Everything Guns to He Who Waits"

Stuart

What an awesome awesome show. Don't forget that Axl apologised at the end for the delay due to needing to rest his throat. That reeally took me by surprise to hear the man himself apologise!!

Ron

I don't beleive it. A positive review of GnR. Finally a reviewer that's focusing on the performance rather than their lateness (or lack of Slash). I was at the O2 in London last Wed and they were awesome. I hope they come back soon.

David

Fantastic Show, I've spent the past 17 years waiting to relive the great shows of Donnington, Wembley and the MK Bowl. Axl is still a true showman and threw down a massive statement to all the doubters in the press. This is what music is all about so forget these manufactured x-factor robots.

Chris

Top notch night. Band were excellent.

Apart from the 45 yr old asshole trying to start fights with teenagers at the front. Seeing him being dragged kicking and scraming over over the barrier by 3 security guards was great.

Congrats on reviewing the music and getting over the feelings of the crowd. Instead of writing 6 paragraphs on the start time, and the other 3 on Axl being 7 pounds too heavy like the usual hacks.

dave

everyone was getting annoyed but as soon as the lights went off everyone went mental and no one cared. i was disappointed that they only did 2 hours, i was looking forward to seeing dont cry, nice boys, IRS and better, all of which were played at the O2 arena 2 or 3 nights before. i thought the band was great and i will definitely see them next time they come to the UK

@chris im a teenager this guy was pissing me n my sister off, he kept trying to push past us whilst trying to mosh and trying to get a boost up by his mate and kept falling on my sister. anyway i hope it was him that got pulled out of the crowd.