In all fairness to Guns N’ Roses last time they played in Melbourne they played at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Maybe that is why this show started with a shout-out to SYDNEY. FFS, you guys were at the MELBOURNE Cricket Ground. Maybe that should have been a hint.
Accidentally after 30 years McBob made an error, we're truly sorry. Thank you for coming out tonight!
— Guns N' Roses (@gunsnroses) February 14, 2017
Melbourne! Didn't notice r intro yday. R sincere apologies!! Really amazing crowd!💥McBob feels horrible pic.twitter.com/4hZ7C9xH0b
— Axl Rose (@axlrose) February 15, 2017
The hallowed turf of the MCG is rarely used for music events anymore. The Police played there a decade ago. The Stones, McCartney and Madonna more than 20 years ago and tonight it belonged to Guns N’ Roses for the latest jaunt on the Not In This Lifetime tour.
Let’s jump right to the highlight … Angus Young. Angus joined Gunners for two Acca Dacca songs ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ and ‘Riff Raff’. Angus seems to work much better as a member of Guns N’ Roses than Axl does with AC/DC. Angus guest starred at the two Sydney shows last week and treated Melbourne to the same formula. Axl Rose fronting AC/DC was controversial and if you didn’t like that combination you will be horrified to learn there is an album on the way.
— Guns N' Roses (@gunsnroses) February 10, 2017
This tour itself is something special. Slash is back for the first time in almost a quarter of a century. Duff McKagan is back up there too on bass. Dizzy Reed is on the keys but there was no Izzy Stradlin, Steven Adler or Gilbey Clarke so this is Guns N’ Roses … kinda.
Richard Fortus from the ‘Chinese Democracy’ era is still on guitar merging the era’s with and without Slash seamlessly. However, the last time the Gunners played in Australia without Slash in 2013 Rose and Fortus managed to deliver a show of the exact same quality although not so spectacular.
The audience loved the epics but the tell-tale moments were the chunks of crowd going to the bar in the ‘filler’ songs. Given the amount of ‘Chinese Democracy’ songs in the show, at times it felt like Slash was tuned out and playing by numbers. These tended to coincide with the longest bar lines.
The show started late so sacrifices to the setlist were made as to not go too far over curfew. ‘Coma’ was dropped from the main set. ‘The cover of The Who’s ‘The Seeker’ was missing from the encore.
It should also be remembered that the MCG was built for cricket, not rock concerts. Large sections of the venue just sound terrible for music events. This impacted on opening act Wolfmother who didn’t have a big enough bums on seats at the start to soak up the sound. To many in their seats at that time, the MCG was an echo chamber.
The band took time to warm-up. It wasn’t until ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ four songs in when they became the classic rock legends you wanted to hear. By the time they played ‘Civil War’ all was forgiven. THAT was Guns N’ Roses.
You could not fault the epic ‘November Rain’ after Fortus and Slash sounding off with a cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’. That turned out to be yet another excuse for an Axl costume change. Seriously, this guy has more costume changes than a Madonna concert.
The finale, ‘Paradise City’ proved why Guns N’ Roses is such a strong rock band.
With the members of Guns N’ Roses all in the early to mid-50s, they can be doing this 20 years from now. The Rolling Stones won’t be, AC/DC is reduced to a shell. By the late 2030’s GNR, Metallica, Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters may just be The Stones, McCartney, Dylan of today.
Thanks for all the love Melbourne 🇦🇺
You were Paradise City tonight!
— Guns N' Roses (@gunsnroses) February 14, 2017
Guns N Roses setlist, 15 February 2017, Melbourne
It’s So Easy (from Appetite For Destruction, 1987)
Mr. Brownstone (from Appetite For Destruction, 1987)
Chinese Democracy (from Chinese Democracy, 2008)
Welcome to the Jungle (from Appetite For Destruction, 1987)
Double Talkin’ Jive (from Use Your Illusion I, 1991)
Better (from Chinese Democracy, 2008)
Estranged (from Use Your Illusion II, 1991)
Live and Let Die (from Use Your Illusion I, 1991)
Rocket Queen (from Appetite For Destruction, 1987)
You Could Be Mine (from Use Your Illusion II, 1991)
Attitude (from The Spaghetti Incident, 1993)
This I Love (from Chinese Democracy, 2008)
Civil War (from Use Your Illusion II, 1991)
Speak Softly Love (Love Theme from The Godfather) (cover)
Sweet Child O’ Mine (from Appetite For Destruction, 1987)
Whole Lotta Rosie with Angus Young (AC/DC cover)
Riff Raff with Angus Young (AC/DC cover)
Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover)
November Rain (from Use Your Illusion I, 1991)
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (from Use Your Illusion II, 1991)
Nightrain (from Appetite For Destruction, 1987)
Don’t Cry (from Use Your Illusion I, 1991)
Paradise City (from Appetite For Destruction, 1987)
Guns N Roses remaining Australian Dates
ADELAIDE – Saturday 18 February at Adelaide Oval
PERTH – Tuesday 21 February at Perth Domain Stadium