Axl Rose and Guns N' Roses Wrap Up Vegas Residency in Style

Categories: Last Weekend

Jim Louvau
Guns N' Roses wrapped up a residency in Vegas this past weekend. Full slideshow here.

Axl Rose and his new cast of gunners wrapped up their second residency at The Joint inside The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino over the weekend in Las Vegas with a bang. While their were no Izzy Stradlin or Duff McKagen surprise appearances on the final night this time around, there was plenty of star power in the sold out venue. Comedian Andrew Dice Clay was on hand to provide his signature adult-oriented comedy before actor Nicholas Cage brought the band onstage right after midnight.

The fact that Axl Rose is the only original member of Guns N' Roses in the lineup these days is old news, but when he throws a two week party in Las Vegas he has been known to call on some old friends. In the band's 2012 residency at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, original GNR guitarist Izzy Stradlin joined Rose's eight-piece band for a handful of classics. This year bassist Duff McKagen showed up during the first week of this year's residency, which wrapped up over the weekend.

The band launched into the three-hour carrier spanning set with the title track from 2008's Chinese Democracy and a stage full of pyrotechnics. They went right for the throat with the iconic "Welcome To the Jungle" as Rose and the band stormed all over the stage. The raunchy "It's So Easy" followed, and the band started getting locked in. While there are three lead guitarists in the band, it's really DJ Ashba who seems to thrive on interacting with the crowd and hamming it up. Ashba had as many wardrobe changes as you'd expect to see at a pop concert. Axl, on the other hand, sported sunglasses and a variety of hats throughout the night, but there were a couple points in the show where he removed them both. The band continued to lean heavily on Appetite For Destruction with "Mr. Brownstone." The dramatic "Estranged" sounded as beautiful as ever, and the guitar lead remains timeless. Rose's voice seem to get stronger throughout the night and was strongest on newer material like "There Was a Time" and "Better."

Jim Louvau
Nicolas Cage made a cameo to introduce the band in Las Vegas.

There is really something electric about the guitar playing of Richard Fortus. He really has much more of a mysterious vibe than Ashba or Bumblefoot much in the same vain as Stradlin without trying to imitate him. It's pretty obvious how much Axl loves these guys in the band as give gave each of them props all night and gave most of them solos to showcase their skills. He even let bassist Tommy Stinson handle vocal duties on the Sex Pistols cover "Holidays In the Sun."

"You Could Be Mine" sounded huge (maybe because there are three guitar players) and Rose did plenty of his signature moves. Rose can go from playful to fierce at the blink of an eye the same way he did back in the day. He is just as over the top as well. During "November Rain" Rose's piano was lifted from the stage to far above the crowd and as the song climaxed during Bumblefoot's solo sparks cover the back of the stage which was nothing short of a spectacle.

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This is one smoking ass band! And Chinese Democracy was highly underrated and dismissed too quick. Better and Catcher in the Rye as well as the title track could have easily fit onto the Illusion albums. If you get the chance, see this show. You won't be sorry.


Great review my only bitch is Chinese Democracy IS a great album.


@action0422 The reviewer never said that Chinese Democracy was a bad album and he is not the reason the album was an epic failure that was dismissed by fans or anyone else with ears.

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