Guns N’ Roses
The Joint – Hard Rock Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada
show times: 11:05 pm – 1:15 am
Welcome To The Jungle
It's So Easy
Live And Let Die
Oh My God
Think About You
You Could Be Mine
Sweet Child O' Mine
Knockin' On Heaven's Door
(New Year’s Celebration)
Out Ta Get Me
(Buckethead Solo, acoustic)
After getting up and rounding up the crew, we ended up eating for the 2nd time at
Terrible’s buffet and then we headed down to the Hard Rock to scope out the line
situation. It turned out that around 3pm , there had been people lining up outside so we
got in there about 10 people back from the beginning. We met a lot of people in line
from different places like Japan, New York, St. Louis, and all over the country. We
played cards, talked, and traded stories to pass the time. I was surprised that there were
so many younger fans there, but I think that is pretty cool. Little did we know how cold
it would be later when they finally let us inside at about 7:45. Then they started scanning
our tickets and doing hand stamps before they let people inside so it could be faster. I
got inside and secured a great spot, one person behind the barrier, just a few feet away
from the stage on the right side. Mark and John were in front of me, and my cousin and a
few other friends were right near me. The venue is pretty small but bigger than the
House of Blues. I would estimate it holds about 1500 people. The stage setup was a bit
different, with the sides extended to have room for people to run around and many TVs
on the stage which showed the video montages throughout the show and the close-ups of
the band members. Also there were teleprompters on stage near the middle but I didn’t
see Axl look at them at all. On the right and left side, they also had video screens for
people who weren’t that close, and this time the picture was clear. I also noticed some
human doll heads on stage, and nunchucks and some other weird stuff on Buckethead’s
After a couple of hours of waiting inside, they started the show and the stage
filled with smoke and the intro video started with a view from space, panning down to the
ground. It referenced the war and terrorism and showed a soldier carrying something
and running away from tanks. It was pretty cool and I enjoyed it but I couldn’t catch
everything that was going on in there. Then Robin started playing the beginning riff to
Welcome to the Jungle and the band came out on stage as everyone got really wild. Axl
came in with his scream and the place exploded. We were so close that we could see all
of his expressions and movements clearly. He danced around and moved the mike stand
around like the old days, and for a second you might have thought that it was 1992. We
saw the signature snake dance and all of his old stage moves. He seemed more
comfortable on stage and it all was coming back to him naturally. Like last year, he
sounded the best he has in years.
He came out in white leather pants and a red #44 jersey that said Seminoles on the
back I think. His hair was longer than last year and he had some small braids in there. He
had a big silver bracelet on the left wrist and several cool looking rings on. I could tell
that he was in great shape, probably better than ever. Later on you could see that he was
ripped, he had a six pack! I think Dizzy had a white shirt on, Chris had on a Mardi Gras
mask so you couldn’t really see his face. Robin wore a black and red jumpsuit, and he
must have been really hot in there. I couldn’t really tell what Brain was wearing since the
drums were so high up, to make room for the piano underneath since the stage was pretty
small. Buckethead came out with his KFC bucket on his head with the word Funeral
written on it, striped overalls, and yellow pants. Paul had a red silk shirt on and leather
pants, and he reminded me of Gilby somewhat. Tommy had his plaid or checkered suit
on and he had his hair partly dyed red.
Welcome to the Jungle had a great solo by Buckethead that was very reminiscent
of the album version. Of course he is adding his own fast riffing in there also, but I
would say that he has improved his interpretations of the songs. Axl put the mic out into
the crowd when he sang “I wanna hear you scream!” This time, Robin impressed me a lot
because he was a lot more confident. He nailed almost all of the solos and looked like he
was having a great time, doing solos on the side and in front, and running around more.
He played very well, very Slash like actually and had this strange pained expression on
his face while playing some of the solos. Although he did play better the first night,
there was a big improvement. I noticed on one song he had a new guitar, an unfinished
Axl sounded great on It’s so Easy, running around , crouching low and using his
low voice. Tommy’s bass sounded crunching on this one and he looked like he was
having a great time. They must have loved playing for a live audience after being in the
studio for so long. The sound was much better this time and I could hear almost
everything quite well. Unfortunately it was hard to hear the keyboards since I was up in
the front. I think it was during this song, or one of the others in the beginning that a guy
from the crowd handed Axl an American flag bandanna which he wrapped around the
microphone for a while.
Mr. Brownstone had some great drumming and Axl did his little signature dance
complete with the hand motions and ending with “Yowza!” Axl always sounds the best,
to me, when singing the slower parts when you can hear him clearly. The beginning of
Live and Let Die was great and he screamed like someone from a horror movie. They
were some of the longest screams I’ve ever heard him do!! After the intro, they blasted
into the fast part with a pyrotechnic boom. During a lot of the solos, Axl would run back
stage and get some water or just let the guitarists get the spotlight. Robin was drinking
some water around this time and then he spit it into the crowd and it got all over my hair!
Oh My God sounded good this time, and had some great Buckethead effects.
Paul did the solo at the end pretty well and Axl had to pretty much stay in one place to
sing it since it was pretty difficult. Think about You had another solo by Paul , who
seems like he is getting better. You Could Be Mine was one of the highlights, with some
thunderous drumming and Axl kneeling up in the front to sing part of the song. They did
mess up the intro guitar part a little bit. At one point, Axl wore this police hat like he
used to wear and later on he wore someone’s red baseball cap backward for a little while.
My favorite part of the song was when Axl did a high kick, ran from the right side of the
stage and jumped off of a platform doing the splits. At one point he changed into a dark
blue jacket, black leather pants and a cool belt buckle and took off his shirt. Towards the
end, he changed into this long dark blue jacket with buttons going down which looked
somewhat similar to the one he wore in the November Rain video. He mentioned the
time at this point and said that time was ticking away.
Sweet Child O’ Mine was pretty cool to hear and it had a longer guitar solo by
Robin, which was very good. Someone also said that Chris Pitman played an acoustic
guitar during this song but I didn’t hear it. I loved Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. Robin
played a short solo before the beginning that sounded like improvisation. If they work on
that part it could be really great. The solos during the song were wonderful by both
Buckethead and Robin. I could see that Axl was really enjoying hearing them. This
time it was a bit of a combination of the 2 versions. The soft part sounded beautiful and
then occasionally he would sing “hey hey yeahhh!” The ending was a bit extended also,
which was nice to hear since they are changing things up a little. Around this time I saw
Robin hand out a beer to someone in the crowd near me!
Madagascar was next, and it sounded really great. Before the song I noticed Earl
on the side of the stage saying “6 minutes left!” and the clock said 11:54. I also saw
Beta, wearing what looked like a business suit on the side of the stage and she smiled and
exchanged words with Axl and Buckethead. She looked like she was having a good time.
It was one of the highlights of the night for me. His voice sounded great on that one and
the part with all the voices and sound clips was very cool. He didn’t play guitar at the
show like he did in Rio. I think this is one of their best new songs and has a good chance
to be a single. The song ended right at midnight and then Axl said, ok its midnight,
Happy New Year!!” At this point, all of the TV’s in the background were showing the
festivities outside and then there was a huge boom and sparks flew, then for about five
minutes, a huge stream of confetti, balloons and smoke flew all over the place. I was
having trouble breathing and it got all over my clothes and hair and all over the band.
Then people started to throw balloons back at the band, who had to throw them back. It
was great to have that in the middle of the show.
After that was over, they brought out the piano and Axl started to play some
chords which almost sounded like a new song, but then he started into November Rain.
Robin played the first solo pretty well and he was up in front. Meanwhile Buckethead
had changed his bucket according to Axl and he came out with this one that spun around.
He was gone for most of the song until the ending crescendo where he did a crazy solo.
The drums were really good on this song and Axl even acknowledged it by saying that
those were some “great motherfuckin’ drums there” and then he introduced him as Brain
with a big grin on his face. Axl was in a much better mood than the first night. He did
all the other intros and Robin seemed pretty happy when he was called out.
Out Ta Get me was pretty cool and he stuck the mic out into the crowd again to
sing the chorus. It’s always fun to hear this one, and I noticed the drumbeat was done
really well. Now Buckethead had this other bucket on top of his normal bucket, which
had the Hard Rock logo on it. Rocket Queen was also another highlight, with awesome
drumming and a sweet bass line. I saw girls in the audience taking their shirts off and
Axl said with a chuckle that, “You’re distracting me from doing my job!” He would
point at them a few times during the show.
Chinese Democracy sounded great, and it had some cool videos from China in the
background. This star GNR logo near the top also lit up. Axl made some appropriate
gestures during the song too! I noticed the keyboard parts on this one more than most of
the other songs. After this, Buckethead did some great soloing on the acoustic guitar,
which I really loved! Before he did his nunchuck routine also. Earlier in the show he
also did a great electric solo which incorporated the Star Wars theme and imperial death
march, and also part of “somewhere over the rainbow” I think. Axl said that he thought
Darth Vader was in the room. It sounded really cool! Then, this butler in a tuxedo came
out on stage and served Buckethead a severed hand on a silver platter, at which point he
took the hand and started playing the Eruption solo using it to tap the guitar!! After that
he threw the hand into the crowd and one of the guys behind me in line picked it up.
Patience was pretty cool, and I was happy to hear it since it’s one of my favorite
songs. It featured Robin doing a solo, very different from the original but still great. Axl
liked this one a lot also. He did the whistle perfectly and would go over to Paul and
Tommy and put his arms around them. The ending solo sounded great and Tommy sang
backup vocals with him.
After this, the Blues came on and Axl called Dizzy out to play it in the front on
the Piano. Jan and myself were yelling for Estranged though! This one was excellent
also, I love the different vocal parts on the song and the crunching guitar. Axl sounded
better vocally and the band did a better version of it compared to Rio. Silkworms was
heavy. Axl looked like he was ready to kill someone when he sang this song. I like it
now much more than initially. It has a lot of aggression in it but it also has a slow part. I
couldn’t hear what Axl was singing softly however. He seemed to get some of the
venom back in his voice. I think it was after this song that he grabbed a rose from
someone and put it between his teeth and he had a funny look in his face.
My Michelle was a fun song and it featured Robin in the front playing the intro.
It was really loud and the drums were really solid on it. Someone threw beads up on
stage that he took and was fooling around with. After this he took a break and talked to
the audience a bit. He thanked everyone for coming out to the shows and said that this
was better than the other night. He started talking about the fact that these were the first
shows that he wanted to do in a long time and how the manager booked UYI without
really consulting him. He said fuck that man, without mentioning his name. But Axl
said. I am being polite right? I had talked to Mark about making a sign before the trip
and he had written one in marker on a towel which said, “Celebrity Deathmatch was
Fixed!” and he threw it to the crowd. Axl asked if he was the one who sent him the ad in
the LA Weekly. After that someone handed it to him on stage and he said thanks and
smiled, and said that you guys are making me misty eyed again. He said “that they
would tour, blah blah blah” and they would do it on their own terms. He also mentioned
that certain old member(s) were on heroin so they couldn’t get anything done.
After the speech he introduced Nightrain and the crowd went wild!! It really got
people going and it sounded really cool. He would add in “I’ll never fuckin' learn” like
he used to. At the end they jammed out the song a bit more which I really loved. After
this they went off stage and said good night, and a few minutes later they came back for
the encore. Axl had changed into a bright blue glittery jacket, which looked like
something Elton John would wear. They started Paradise City, and he sang in the
beginning, which they never did before. He also took out this whistle with a florescent
string and used it, and threw it into the crowd. I couldn’t hear but Buckethead was doing
some cool solos, along with Robin. Awesome ending to a great show. I think the band
has improved from last year and I am looking forward to the new songs even more.
Afterwards, Robin jumped into the crowd and crowd surfed for a while and I turned
around and helped push him back over the barrier to the stage. “Two Thousand Fuckin’
Two!! Las Vegas, Nevada! Good Fuckin’ Night!!”
-- Ravi (http://qfg.info)