Right from the announcement of this tour, I wondered about how they would do this in an arena setting. Sure, the two main members have been there done that when it comes to arena shows. But this was a big step up for this particular act.
Twenty Two Hundred opened the three-band bill. The Australian four piece were a relatively unknown entity to the large crowd that had gathered early. Always a sign of a good night, a arena shows can often be pretty quiet affairs until the headliners come on. The band had half an hour to showcase their straightforward rock, and I seemed to go down well. I didn’t see too much of them due to delays on the journey as well as at the box office, but seemingly a good start to the evening.
Next up were California Breed, another new band to most of the crowd, although this one contained some very familiar faces, notably Glenn Hughes on bass / vocals and Jason Bonham on drums. For a 62 year old, Hughes can certainly belt it out as good as anyone, as he showed off his extraordinary vocal abilities at a few points through their short set, as they finished off with a storming cover of Deep Purple‘s ‘Burn’.
Finally, it was time for the headliners, and happily, all concerns about the band playing an arena show were proved very wrong. However, there were a few niggling doubts about tonight’s show. On the plus side, Miles Kennedy. Over the past few years, he has really taken to the Guns N’ Roses tracks he performs whilst with this band, and performs them on a par with or even better than Axl, a difficult challenge as Axl had such a unique voice. Another plus with the considerable talents of bassist Todd Kearns, who took over vocals for a couple of tracks including GNR’s ‘You’re Crazy’. This is where I started to have a few problems with the show.
Tonight, there were seven Guns N’ Roses songs in the set list, compared to only five from the bands recently released third album “World On Fire”. No complaints about seeing Slash perform so many classic songs, but this is a separate band, and at times it felt more like a GNR tribute than a band with three decent albums to their name. That’s honestly the only thing bad thing I could say about the night, as otherwise the band were on excellent form, and by the time they got through their two hour set finishing with Bad Company and Velvet Revolver covers, and coming back out to play the obligatory ‘Paradise City’, the Arena was ready to explode.
If the only bad thing you can say about a show, was that they played too many of your favourite songs, then I guess that shows how good a night it was.
You’re A Lie – Nightrain – Halo – Avalon – Back From Cali – 30 years To Life – You Could Be Mine – Ghost – Doctor Alibi – You’re Crazy – Shadow Life – Beneath The Savage Sun – Mr Brownstone – Rocket Queen – Bent To Fly – World On Fire – Anastasia – Sweet Child O’ Mine – Slither – Feel Like Makin’ Love – Paradise City
Photos taken by Sabrina Ramdoyal.