Where was Slash?Duff?Izzy?Steven? Or at least Gilby? or Matt?
There was no Guns ‘N’ Roses at the O2 Arena, only Axl and his signature screams and squealing. The guys behind him were just an okay cover band ripping apart melodies and solos that do not belong to them – except a few new ones, maybe – and delivering what appeared to be a routine of work.
Guns ‘N’ Roses have been the biggest hard rock band for seven years, between 1987 and 1993, but now all the freshness, the bluesy guitar riffs by Slash and Izzy, the famous Axl serpentine, the rebellious energy, the emotion, the goose-bumps….it’s all gone. What you have on stage now is still one of the best voices of rock and roll, but that’s about it.
Don’t get me wrong. Axl & Co played professionally for almost three hours, spanning from Appetite for Destruction to the latest Chinese Democracy - with classics such as November Rain, You Could Be Mine, Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child o’Mine and Don’t Cry – Axl changed shirts several times, everyone had his solo moment and showed some skills, but…this is not Guns ‘N’ Roses.
The way the old band performed Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door at the Freddie Mercury Tribute in 1992 is still a live version never topped yet, and if Axl tries to do the same tricks now, well, it just does not work.
The way they played at Ritz in 1988 is something that will never happen again.
Heart, passion (drugs) and rock ‘n’ roll. Seen it, done it, been there.
I love Axl. But I love the real Guns ‘N’ Roses more.