GUNS N’ ROSES

VETERAN ROCK­ERS PUT THEIR DAN­GER DAYS BE­HIND THEM AS SPEC­TAC­U­LAR RE­UNION TOUR ROLLS ON.

Q (UK) - - Contents - SAM COARE

Dili­gent? Well-drilled? Punc­tual? Amaz­ingly, it’s GN’R in Paris.

THERE IS A HEART-IN-THE-MOUTH MO­MENT WHEN AXL ROSE BERATES A “SE­CU­RITY F**KHEAD”.

GUNS N’ ROSES STADE DE FRANCE, PARIS FRI­DAY, 7 JULY, 2017

When Axl Rose traipsed out of LA’s Chateau Marmont ho­tel, Lana Del Rey in tow, in April 2012, he prob­a­bly didn’t ex­pect the words he ut­tered to as­sem­bled pa­parazzi to wind up on thou­sands of T-shirts five years down the line. But then, not much of the “Not In This Life­time” tour, chris­tened in homage to the an­swer Rose gave to the ques­tion of “How about a re­union tour?”, has gone as ex­pected over the past 16 months. This re­unit­ing of their clas­sic line-up was sup­posed to be a calamity. Rose, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKa­gan had barely spo­ken to each other for over two decades, let alone shared a stage. Yet a run that started in Las Vegas in April last year has car­ried on with­out so much as a hic­cup, earn­ing its three main pro­tag­o­nists enough money to pa­per over 24 years of slurs and slan­der. Ev­i­dently, there is a price at which be­ing la­belled “a can­cer, and bet­ter re­moved”, a barb lev­elled by the front­man to­wards his gui­tar player, can be for­got­ten, if not for­given (some­where be­tween $ 3 mil­lion and $ 9 mil­lion per show, for some 120 gigs, if you’re count­ing). Paris is the lat­est place to find it­self awash in iden­tikit com­mem­o­ra­tive T-shirts, each mark­ing out fans in the cafés and bars hours be­fore their de­scent upon the Stade de France be­gins. Their even­tual march to the north­ern edge of Axl Rose’s favourite city comes a great deal earlier than fans old enough to have seen Guns N’ Roses in their hey­day would have been ac­cus­tomed to. A band once renowned for their dan­ger and dys­func­tion – plus those ab­surdly late show times – is now a dili­gent and well-drilled unit, tak­ing to the stage barely a beat af­ter their ad­ver­tised 8pm kick-off time. That, how­ever, is about the only thing no­tice­ably dif­fer­ent about Guns N’ Roses. Some of the sup­port­ing faces are miss­ing – found­ing mem­bers Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin aren’t present, their in­volve­ment cur­tailed, de­pend­ing on who you be­lieve, by health and money re­spec­tively. But they have al­most seam­lessly picked up from where they left off in their prime. Rose – slim­mer, hap­pier and in finer voice than at any other time in re­cent his­tory – stalks the stage, snap­ping and snarling through opener It’s So Easy, Mr Brown­stone and Wel­come To The Jun­gle’s iconic be­gin­ning. Slash, mean­while, pounds up and down his fret­board, de­vour­ing riff af­ter riff, while Duff McKa­gan struts a swag­ger be­hind the pair of them. There’s a heart-in-the-mouth mo­ment dur­ing Chi­nese Democ­racy cut Bet­ter when Rose aban­dons his vo­cal to ber­ate a “se­cu­rity fuck­head” and 80,000 peo­ple col­lec­tively wince in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the front­man strop­ping off the stage, but a post-song smile and olive-branch apol­ogy keeps the show on the rails. And good thing it does, too, be­cause this is a band in the finest fet­tle. Ap­petite For De­struc­tion, cel­e­brat­ing its 30th- an­niver­sary, takes cen­tre-stage. Rocket Queen, Sweet Child O’ Mine, My Michelle and Nigh­train form the spine of a setlist that also sees Use Your Il­lu­sion-era epics Es­tranged, Coma, Civil War, Novem­ber Rain and Don’t Cry fill ev­ery cor­ner of this cav­ernous sta­dium. Even the much-ma­ligned Chi­nese Democ­racy ma­te­rial, af­forded four num­bers, is given new life and ur­gency, joined at the party by cov­ers of The Damned, Pink Floyd, Soundgar­den, The Who and AC/DC. In all, three hours and 30 songs sail by in a tight, su­perbly-paced set. Cue a clos­ing Par­adise City, con­fetti can­nons, cir­cle pits, fire­works and an ap­plause milked by the band’s mul­ti­ple arm-in-arm bows. Rose and Slash even leave the stage em­brac­ing. And who’d have thought you’d see that in this life­time?

A ripped Axl Rose is “slim­mer, hap­pier and in fine voice...” Paris, July 2017.

The Guns club: the band (pic­tured, from left, Rose, drum­mer Frank Fer­rer, Slash) are now a “dili­gent and well-drilled unit.”

Ex­treme close-up! A Slash gui­tar solo takes cen­tre-stage.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.