Where the Bands Are (Guns N’ Roses, 21 July, 2018)

When you go and see a band who were your heroes thirty years ago you shouldn’t expect them to be the same musicians you saw then. I know that, yet I’m a bit disappointed with some parts of Guns N’ Roses’ show in Ullevi last night.

Axl Rose’s voice simply isn’t quite there any more. What once was his signature scream/growl, has over the years turned into a dreadfully failed attempt to do the same scream/growl. He is trying so hard he almost turns into a parody of himself. Some of the songs sounds perfectly fine though, Welcome To the Jungle, Live and Let Die, Civil War, Paradise City and Night Train are examples of that.

img_3862Also, once Axl Rose was one of the coolest stage acts, now he skips dutifully up and down the stage like he thinks he’s meant to, but the energy and that sense of excitement that was there before, isn’t. Every now and then he disappears back stage for some rest and a change of outfits, while the rest of the band distract us with endless guitar solos. This turns the focus on Slash, who handles his guitar like the god he undoubtedly is. However, no matter how good of a guitar player he is, for me, it’s just too much – it gets boring after a while.

 

The coolest member of the band, I think, definitely is Duff McKagan. He seems to be the only one who’s aged well. He’s the bands’ Jack of all trades; alternaly singing background vocals, playing fierce guitar solos, nodding, looking cool and fit.

Guns N’ Roses concert in Ullevi last night was not only an 3,5h orgy of endless guitar solos and changes of outfits but also a chronicle of the hard rock history that the band represent. They deliver a massive setlist with some of the best rock songs there is and at the end of the set (about a quarter after midnight) I’m feeling quite content.

Setlist: It’s so easy, Mr Brownstone, Chinese Democracy, Welcome to the Jungle, Double Talkin’ Jive, Better, Estranged, Live and Let Die, Slither, Rocket Queen, Shadow of Your Love, You Could Be Mine, Attitude, This I Love, Civil War, Yesterdays, Coma, [Slash guitar solo], Sweet Child O’ Mine, Wichita Lineman, Don’t Cry, Used to Love Her, Wish You Were Here, November Rain, Black Hole Sun, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, Night train Encores: Patience, Madagascar, The Seeker, Paradise City

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