Gig Review: Guns N Roses, MEN Arena, Sunday, 23rd July, 2006

It all started on a hot Sunday afternoon the hangover from the night before had melted away with each fresh slip of Bud. As I approached the city the air was electric with blackness in clothing and dodgy 80’s fashion. It was then the buzz of what was to come hit me. On entering the arena we were immediately reminded of the stroppy unpredictability of what is also known as Axl Rose.

The first band, Towers of London, were very bland, heavy AOR who at one point I believe got so carried away with themselves you would have thought they were the headliner. Second up, Bullet for my Valentine whose performance was the best I had seen in previous weeks, showing practice makes perfect. All that said, I am still not into their heaviness although after three shows I am warming to them and their guitar rifts. Next came the 1 hour and 45 minute wait in which we were treated to several topless girls and sadly even more topless men (If you have ever been to a Guns N Roses gig before, you would sympathise too). Then, out of nowhere, the lights dimmed and out rocked “Welcome to the Jungle” as the crowd erupted into a deafening cheer as our hero arrived on stage. The hits followed with “Its So Easy” and “Mr Brownstone” before a costume change and over-the-top guitar solos – like any of the three new guitarists could ever make one Slash. This was proven by the full rendition of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful,” I mean have you ever? This is a GNR gig ,not the Queen’s garden party. It wasn’t long before Axl and his side-to- side shoulder action was back on stage for “Sweet Child of Mine” and my personal favourite, “Live and Let Die,” where even over the audience participation his voice was superb and unarguably better than his thick ginger deadlocks he has been sporting the last few months.

Next we were treated to other hits, including “You Could be Mine” and “Knocking on Heavens Door” before being subjected to another solo, this time a more credible instrumental of “Layla.” Now this is where the 12 pints kicked in and the night took a strange turn. After swapping my crushed stance at the front of the crowd for an unrock-worthy back position Axl appeared again on stage this time with “November Rain” and low and behold I found myself using my skills of moving through the crowd once again to the front and when deciding this still wasn’t close enough I kicked off my shoes, handed them to my mate and in true rock ‘n’ roll style flung myself over the barriers and ran through the yellow coats heading directly to the stage. As I made my final leap onto the stage, I was rudely apprehended by Axl’s personal security with a headlock. Needless to say, once my feet finally hit the ground I was ejected, and I could not think of a more suitable ending.

27 Responses to “Gig Review: Guns N Roses, MEN Arena, Sunday, 23rd July, 2006”

  • Paul Says:

    Wow!! You mad person you!!

    Sounds like it beats the Newcastle gig where members of the audience were throwing items at Axl and his cronies. Shame you didn’t get onto the stage though!!

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