Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Guns N' Roses rocks UK Download Festival

Guns N' Roses delivered one of the greatest ever performances at the Download Festival held in UK. From BBC:
Guns n' Roses were once proclaimed The World's Most Dangerous Band. On tonight's evidence that danger is still there, which – while at one stage threatening to derail the whole show - has instead focused Axl and the band into delivering one of the all-time great Donington performances.

Yes, Metallica were unstoppable on Saturday night, but they didn’t face the pressure of a world waiting to see them put a foot wrong. What Axl delivered in the face of that expectation was a two-and-a-half-hour masterclass in the light and shade of rock'n'roll.

The new album, Chinese Democracy, is reportedly ready for release. If it lives up to tonight, then Guns n' Roses will once again be the biggest band in the world.
Thanks Axl, Robin, Brain, Ron, Tommy, Richard, Dizzy, Chris and Izzy. You guys made my week.

Video above: Guns N' Roses at the Download Festival performing Used To Love Her.


Anonymous said...

I thought they were terrible.

= s

Anonymous said...

That's IZZY STRADLIN!!! Amazing lineup. They had six on guitars for the Used to Loved Her song and some others.

Anonymous said...

keving: u thot wrong! long live GNR!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Wah Guns N Roses leh... like back in the 80s like dat.

Anonymous said...

axl n his cover band..wahahaha

Anonymous said...

I was there.
It was great despite some technical problems and some assholes in the crowd!!!

Anonymous said...

The Axl haters have infiltrated this blog huh.

Well, here's my message to you guys: Guns N Roses is Axl Rose! Axl Rose is Guns N Roses.

Anyone can play the guitar or the drums in a band but no one can replace the vocal. The lead singer is the soul of the band and in this case, Axl is Guns N Roses. There will be no Guns N Roses if Axl quits.

The old members were great but that was ages ago. It is time to move on.

You fellas can screw Axl and the new Guns all you want but at the end of the day, Guns N Roses will always be the greatest rock band, the old n the new.

Anonymous said...

Axl can take his guns n shoot them up his ass!

Anonymous said...

From someone who was at the concert:

I arrived at Download at about ten past ten in the morning, and saw a few bands and grabbed a bite to eat before settling down to for a nice quiet barge to the front of the stage to get a good spot for G’N’R. I had to stand through firstly, ‘Bullet for My Valentine’ who were average, and then ‘Funeral for a Friend’ who were gash. Now, before I get onto a main review of G’N’R, I’d just like to give a warning to those who are going to see them on their UK tour. During ‘Bullet for My Valentine’, a number of “Circle Pits” opened up into the crowd. That’s where about a hundred people will all run about in a 60ft wide circle for no good reason other than that it seemed a good idea at the time, in the middle of the crowd. I saw one guy get completely laid out by about four other people, and when he finally was dragged up, his face was covered in blood. So, just be careful, and avoid the pits, ok?

Right, now onto the main review. I managed to get right on the barrier for the beginning of the show, and so saw pretty much everything that went on. They were set to come on at 20:15, and, amazingly, they came on five minutes EARLY. Yes, they came on early. The started playing the intro at about 20:08, and then the opening notes of ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ came out at ten past. During the first three songs, Axl was pretty good, as were the band overall, however, as others have mentioned, there were various issues with the stage. At one point, I think it was in ‘It’s So Easy’, Axl said something like, “Tom, can you get this shit taped up?”, and also during ISE, I was watching Robin Finck, and whilst he was bopping around the stage, I saw him stumble as well, possibly prompting Axl to speak. Things went ok from there, with various techies coming on taping things, and then they played ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’. It was during this song that Axl came off the stage and ran along the front of the barrier, holding his hand out for everyone, and he touched me! And then, when he was running back, just before he got to me, a girl to my right grabbed onto him, and he almost went psycho, he was thrashing around, and eventually he beat her off. He ran around for a bit more, and then went back onstage, and he said words to the tune of “It’s f*cking hell down there”. They did the “I sing one, you sing one” bit, which went quite well, and then Mr. Finck came to the front of the stage, and may have played a bit of ‘Finlandia’, but I’m not entirely sure that was it.

As soon, as he’d finished they launched into ‘Sweet Child O’Mine’ and they played it so well; they were so tight! The solo was the best I’ve heard it, and could have easily rivalled Slash. As soon as that finished though, it became quite clear that Axl was pissed off, and said something like, “The band are going to take a break now, due to technical difficulties”. We waited about five minutes, in which two people next to me began to place bets on whether or not they would come back onstage. But what happened t=next I think, was really mean. Axl, or the band as a whole, sent Bumblefoot out to play a solo thing. In front of 80,000 people? Nice one there. He did himself justice though, even though the crowd were baying for blood and there were a few bottles thrown. I think the reason he had to play the whole of ‘Don’t Cry’ was that Axl was still pissed at the crowd.

Axl walked on after Bumblefoot had finished, and greeted the crowd, and said “Aside from our various technical issues, we’re trying not to f*ck this up, or ‘Cock it up’, we’re trying not to ‘Cock it up’… So, have you all had a nice afternoon?” The crowd were pretty mixed about this exchange, with several people yelling, “Get the f*ck on with it you c**t”, but hey, this is rock’n’roll, and nice boys don’t play rock’n’roll. After that, he said “We’re gonna try to muddle through this now”, and they played ‘You could be mine’. The ‘Beautiful’ solo followed, and then ‘Better’. This is where the bottle (I’m pretty sure it WASN’T filled with piss) incident occurred with Tommy, and he said afterwards, “I’m just here to play a rock’n’roll show, so stop throwing sh*t or I’m just gonna go home”. The crowd took this pretty seriously, and I think the hardcore G’N’R fans stopped any assholes throwing any more.

After ‘Better’, they had a loose jazz-like jam whilst the piano was moved to the middle of the stage for Dizzy during ‘The Blues’. Dizzy came to the front of the stage, and no-one yelled anything, and everyone quietened down. I think that was the first time that Download has heard a piano in a long ever! Dizzy settled down to lay his solo, which then evolved onto a piano adaptation of ‘Ziggy Stardust’ by David Bowie. This was actually really good, and then when he was done, he waved to the crowd, and started to play ‘The Blues’. The crowd response was pretty mixed, but they liked it. They had another loose jam whilst the piano was taken away, and then they launched into ‘Out Ta Get Me’. After this song, Axl came to the front of the stage, and said “I’d like to introduce an old friend of mine”. It had been announced that Kid Rock was to duet with G’N’R, and also that Sebastian Bach would do the same, thus, everyone expected to see one or the other. Then Axl said “ I’d like to introduce to you, Mr. Izzy Stradlin” and the whole place erupted. No-one expected it, it was a complete shock, and everyone around me yelled “WTF?!”, closely followed by the chanting of “Izzy, Izzy, Izzy…” He came on and him and Axl hugged, before playing ‘Think about You’, during which , Axl held the mic to Izzy so him and Axl could both sing the chorus.

After that, Izzy went back off, and there was an impromptu jam whilst the piano was moved on for ‘November Rain’. Axl did a little solo bit before launching into the song, which was soloed really well by Finck and Bumblefoot. In the middle part where the brief pause is, Axl dragged that out, and said into the mic “Look at Brain up there, smashing the hell out of a love song…” he then started back up again, and Finck did the final solo. That was awesome, and everyone had their lighters out. They proceeded to introduce Sebastian Bach, who came on and sang the hell out of ‘My Michelle’ just like in the New York shows. As he went off, he yelled, “Guns N’ F*CKIN’ ROSES!” and the crowd went crazy. After that Axl said, “let’s see of we can get Izzy back on”, and he began to chant, “Izzy etc.”, and when he walked on, Axl said, “You hear that? It’s a love ditty…” It was at this point that Izzy played the first three notes from ‘Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple as a joke, and everyone laughed (Although I hoped that might play it, that would have ruled!) They did ‘Patience’ which was good, and then that faded away and Izzy stayed on to play ‘Nightrain’ which they hit hard and fast. You could hear how tight they were in that song. Axl then said, grinning, “You know, I don’t want to go home… I couldn't have said that an hour ago”. The crowd went crazy at that, considering the earlier technical difficulties.

Dizzy started then with ‘Madagascar’ which the crowd took quite well, (Better than ‘The Blues’) to the extent that in the middle, speaking part, the crowd were yelling parts of Martin Luther King’s speech, especially the “What we’ve got here is… failure… to communicate”, and “free at last, free at last, thank god almighty, we are free at last!” The crowd were getting pretty worked up now, and everyone was enjoying themselves. After ‘Rocket Queen’ which was played well, they played ‘I.R.S’, after which Axl said, “I know, we could record that song… yeah! And we could put it on the internet for people to download and sh*t! Well, I’m sure we’ll be to do that someday, once technology has advanced”.

Then he said “Let’s play another new one”, and low drone kicked in. No-one was quite sure what this was until a picture of a Chinese person on a small boat appeared on the screens behind the band, and everyone guessed that it was ‘Chinese Democracy’. Because of the frequency of the drone, my whole body was vibrating! They played that well, although I couldn’t hear the Synth part very well, but that’s just a personal thing. It was during one of these songs that a bottle was thrown near the stage and Tommy gave the crowd a death stare, before carrying on. I was scared for a moment that he might walk away, but he stayed. The band continued after ‘Chinese Democracy’ with “Used To Love Her” (Izzy returned during this), and Axl made the crowd sing along with the “I used to love her/but I had to kill her” part towards the end. Then the whole band went off, and left Robin at the front, where he played a short solo, and then sedately started to play ‘Paradise City’. The atmosphere was electric, as 85,000 people started to sing, and then at the heavy part with the whistle, the whole crowd went CRAZY!!! Everyone was jumping and screaming the lyrics; I’m still hoarse and I’m writing this the day after! The crowd surfers were coming over as well, like twenty or thirty during the song, just at my spot. I got kicked in the head once or twice, but hey, it was worth it. The solos were all fantastic, and the flames were going, as well as the fireworks, and the constant stream of confetti. When they ended, they all went offstage, and the crowd started chanting, “Gun’s And ROSES!” over and over again. After a couple of minutes, they came back onstage and they all stood together, including Izzy, and took a couple of bows before going.

As a review of a gig, it was awesome, but, the show lost momentum after the techy stuff, but everything was mostly fine after the first few songs. It did suck having to stand through two frankly awful bands just to get a good spot, but by god, it was worth it. The set list as I remember it is below:

Welcome To The Jungle
It's So Easy
Mr. Brownstone
Live and Let Die
Knockin' On Heavens Door
*Robin Solo
Sweet Child O'Mine
*Bumblefoot Solo
You Could Be Mine
*Richard Fortus & Robin Finck Solo (Beautiful)
The Blues
Out Ta Get Me
Think About You (with Izzy Stradlin')
November Rain
My Michelle (with Sebastian Bach)
*Smoke On The Water (intro Izzy plays for a joke)
Patience (with Izzy Stradlin')
Nightrain (with Izzy Stradlin')
Rocket Queen
Chinese Democracy (Extended Intro)
Used To Love Her (with Izzy Stradlin)
*Robin Solo
Paradise City (with Izzy Stradlin)


Anonymous said...

Those people who were booing and creating problems at the concert should be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

they may not be the same, but they still rock!