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Guns N' Roses at Birmingham LG Arena

Birmingham | News | Published:

In rock circles the lead singer of Guns N' Roses is often known as "the late Axl Rose".

Guns N' Roses concert review

Birmingham LG Arena

In rock circles the lead singer of Guns N' Roses is often known as "the late Axl Rose".

Indeed there were even signs around the NEC last night warning fans "It is possible that the concert may run late this evening."

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True to form, Rose was up to his usual tricks, an hour behind schedule by the time the band finally hit the stage at 10pm – some good-natured booing having started 30 minutes earlier.

Whether you accept this current line-up as Guns N' Roses or prefer to think of it as "The Axl Rose Band" - the singer being the only original member - there's no doubting they know how to put on a spectacle.

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Giant screens, a huge stage with ramps for the band to move around, pyrotechnics and unbelievably loud explosions were all put to full effect as Rose's trademark whining wail cut through the wall of sound produced by no fewer than three guitarists.

The two-hour-plus set was divided between GnR classics like Welcome To the Jungle and Sweet Child o' Mine, covers including Live And Let Die, Knocking on Heaven's Door, AC/DC's Whole Lotta Rosie and even Pink Floyd's Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 as well as numbers from the band's 2008 album Chinese Democracy.

Letting all the guitarists and a keyboard player each have an extended solo spot was maybe not the best idea, although that did allow Rose to race off to change his costume many times over.

But Rose's own piano introduction to November Rain, which took in Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Someone Saved My Life Tonight, was a thing of grandeur.

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Many fans had already left the arena as the midnight hour passed and the band launched into their final number of the night, Paradise City.

Axl Rose may have been late but most of those who stayed seemed happy to hail him as great.

By Ian Harvey

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