Guns N' Roses, Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, 11/23/12
Guns N' Roses @ Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas|11/23/12
Let's face it: The original Guns N' Roses lineup is never, ever, ever getting back together.
It was once again confirmed when lead singer Axl Rose declined induction to the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year. While the glory days of the band that killed hair metal may be over, Rose seems to be more than happy with his new cast of gunners, who ended their three-week "Appetite for Democracy" residency at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas this weekend.
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As a GN'R fan, there are certain things you just have to accept and expect. You know that the time on your ticket might as well be useless, because the band is never starting on time. Even Rose's new band members have no idea when the show is going to start. You should also be prepared to just call in sick to work the next day, because the show is like a four-hour rock 'n' roll marathon.
Jim Louvau See more photos in the complete Guns N' Roses at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas slideshow.
Both proved to be true when the band hit the stage around midnight on Friday, November 23, for a 34-song (including guitar solos and jams) set to a nearly packed house. As the lights went down, guitarist Dj Ashba appeared on a platform behind drummer Frank Ferrer for the opening notes of "Chinese Democracy." Rose, decked out in a black leather jacket, hat, sunglasses, and plenty of bling wasted no time running around the stage. The crowd erupted as Ashba played the intro to "Welcome to the Jungle" and flashes of pyrotechnics exploded as the band blasted into the song that put Rose on the map. The Appetite for Destruction staples "It's So Easy" and "Mr. Brownstone" followed and sounded as dangerous as they did in 1987.
It was interesting to watch each of their three guitar players Ashba, Richard Fortus, and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal take turns handling the solos. The epic "Estranged" followed and really showcased the strong dynamic of Rose's voice and the bands chemistry. Their cover of "Live and Let Die" is still better than the original Wings version.
The set list was well constructed, touching on each era of the band's catalog, including the best tracks from Chinese Democracy -- "Better" and "This Is Love," which sounds like it could have been included on either Use Your Illusion record. Rose also showcased each of his band members with guitar solos from each guitarist, and bassist Tommy Stinson even played his own solo track, "Motivation."