RDS Arena, Dublin, Ireland
June 9th 2006

Keith Adams' Review

I should start by saying that this was the first time I’ve ever seen Guns N’ Roses play live. GNR were playing in Dublin as part of the Irish part of the Download festival. GNR played on Friday night, Metallica played on Sunday night. The tickets for the RDS were dear (it’s always dear to go to the RDS!) – £50 a ticket in fact. Getting to the show itself was hampered by the fact that popular UK singer (and all round asshole) Robbie Williams was playing on the same night at the same time…this held us up in traffic for a very long time whilst trying to get into Dublin. On the way down I consoled myself with the idea that GNR are always late on stage, 8pm was when they were supposed to be appearing…

Myself and my brother arrived and got into the venue at exactly 8:00pm – GNR came onstage at 8:01pm and launched straight into “Welcome To The Jungle”. The crowd went nuts. What followed was an absolutely amazing 2 hour show from Axl and his current lineup. I was expecting Axl’s voice to sound strained – but he was on top form all night – he hit all the right notes and sounded truly fantastic – as good as any bootlegs I’ve heard from the 1980s and 90s. Axl was in a very good mood for the entire show – he was smiling and grinning the whole time – there were no rants or stoppages during this show. In fact, talking was kept to a minimum between songs. Axl cracked several jokes between songs, several about the Irish – although I forget these now. A huge Irish flag was passed to Axl and he wore it onstage for one song.

The set contained a lot of Appetite For Destruction songs – most of Appetite was played – the crowd went wild for all the old songs – especially Sweet Shild and Paradise City at the end – I was screaming my lungs out for Paradise City. It was cool to see Sebastian Bach for “My Michelle”. I was very much looking forward to hearing the new songs and what we got did not disappoint – “The Blues” sounds very much to be the “November Rain” of the new album – it was excellent, “Madagascar” I have heard before and it’s a different sound. During Madagascar, Axl jumped offstage and run up and down the front isle between the crowd and the stage – off course all the fans outstretched their hands and Axl obliged with hand slaps. There was a security guard chasing him trying to get him back onstage while he was doing it to! During Paradise City, Fink did the same thing – he jumped offstage and held his guitar up to some lucky crowd members to jab at!

As for the current line up – they do not disappoint. Axl is Axl and he never fails to entertain – good mood or bad – my only complaint was that when he wasn’t singing (during solos and such), he disappeared offstage and reappeared when it was time to sing again. He changed clothes several times during the show – mostly jackets and shirts – and after the 3rd or 4th song, his trainers went from white to red! Dizzy Reed pulled off a cool piano solo before “The Blues”, and everyone else had a turn at their solos. One of the solos included the entire of “Don’t Cry” – there was no drums, base or singing – it was just the entire song played acoustically as part of the solo – I think it was during Bumblefoot’s solo (after The Blues) that this was played. Perhaps the greatest surprise was Robin Fink’s performance. He bounced around on stage, hit all the right notes and got the crowd going – I really like him – obviously we’ll always be comparing to Slash – but Fink is a superb guitarist.

The whole show lasted 2 and a quarter hours. Paradise was the only encore song played and I was hoping we might have gotten another song or 2 when the band came back for the encore. 135 minutes flies by fast when you are enjoying yourself! It was an absolutely brilliant show and I’m definitely going to try and get tickets to see them somewhere else on this current tour…