In the years since the release of their debut album Appetite For Destruction in 1987, the legendary rock band Guns N’ Roses has amassed millions of fans. That album cover was one of many that appeared on the front of a T-shirt in London’s Hyde Park. Their BST Friday night show. Since its inception, the group has set the bar high for rock music and today, with children, parents and grandparents attending the event, their popularity has been proven across generations.
Taking the stage at 7.20pm, they jumped straight into ‘Very Easy’, the second track of the aforementioned ‘Appetite For Destruction’. Bringing out the energy of Axl Rose from the start, he worked the crowd for the entire three hour set. It’s worth discussing the elephant in the room, though. After their recent Glastonbury performance, Rose took some negative criticism on social media because his voice wasn’t as strong as it used to be, and while there were minor moments, it can be forgiven after decades of rock. The rest of the line-up, which included Slash, Duff McKagan, Richard Fortus and Frank Ferrer, was tight and filled the stage well.
‘Bad Obsession’, ‘Chinese Democracy’ and the Velvet Revolver cover ‘Slither’ followed before the set really came alive with another early gem in ‘Mr Brownstone’. There will be plenty of time for the classics in the 27-song set, and the popular ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ is an instant addition to Rose’s set list.Do you know where you are? Baby in the forestIt provoked a response from the 60,000 strong crowd.
During the performance, Rose constantly changed clothes while Slash changed guitars, his clothes coordinating with each song. ‘Civil War’ combines his camera jacket with his shiny silver pants and Ukrainian flag to show his solidarity with the people of Ukraine as part of the video production.
Keeping in tune with their ballads, ‘Let’s Live’ received a standing ovation from fans and saw McGaughan sing his version of The Stooges’ ‘TV Eye’. Other covers featured in the set were ‘Down On The Farm’ by punk band UK Subs and ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ by the legendary Bob Dylan.
As you’d expect, Slash still had his moment to shine with a solo that highlighted just how great a guitar player he is. His signature top hat look can be seen recreated throughout the day by adoring fans and the exclusive piece has caught the attention of Guns N’ Roses fans old and new. Throughout the set he used his signature Gibson Les Paul, BC Rich Warlock and two double-neck guitars, as well as his signature wah pedal and dialog box for added flair.
Rose wasn’t just about slashing on guitar though as he treated the audience to a special rendition of ‘November Rain’ towards the back end of the set. Ironically, as he sat at the piano came Drip London and following ‘Patience’ was a nostalgic selection of songs for 90s fans.
It’s always a tough choice to decide what to end a band with for decades, but Rose has announced that they won’t be doing it. ‘Show stuff and go above and beyond’, finished the set with ‘Paradise City’ and preceded it with ‘Night Train’ and ‘Don’t Cry’. Made with the words of Axl Rose by a wonderful enthusiastic crowd “Bright Good Time”. Guns N Roses proved why they are still giants of the rock world.
Make a list: 1. It’s Too Easy 2. Bad Obsession 3. Chinese Democracy 4. Slither (Velvet Revolver Cover) 5. Mr. Brownstone 6. Welcome To The Jungle 7. Carefree Life 8. Double Talkin’ Jive 9. Pretty Tied 10. Hard School 11. Absurd 12. Outcast 13. Live and Die (Wings cover) 14. Rocket Queen 15. Down on the Farm (UK Subs cover) 16. You Could Be Mine 17. TV Eye (The Stooges cover) (Duff on the Farm) (lead vocals) 18. Anything Goes 19. Civil War 20. Sweet Boy o’ Mine 21. November Rain 22. Patience 23. Coma 24. Knock on Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan Cover) 25. Nightrain 26. Don’t Cry 27. Paradise City Performance Date: June 30, 2023