Guns N' Roses @ ANZ Stadium
Reviewed on Friday February 10
“Not in this lifetime,” Guns N’ Roses told the world. And yet here they were in Sydney for a fantastically well-received stadium performance with their classic lineup, minus Izzy Stradlin.
ANZ Stadium turned into one giant dive bar with enough smoke and sweat to account for the thousands of venues Guns N’ Roses have filled over the years; shows that many of tonight’s audience never had a chance to witness. Axl Rose, Duff McKagan, Richard Fortus, Dizzy Reed and, of course, Slash were accompanied by smoke screens, fireworks and strobe lights as they burst into ‘It’s So Easy’. And really, they do make it look so easy. Across nearly three hours of their most loved songs, everything was so grimy, yet so, so epic.
Cries from the audience of “Fuck, they look old!” punctuated the night, but the Gunners played with more energy than many had expected. Carrying his signature falsetto through classics like ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ and ‘Mr. Brownstone’, Rose’s ageing body is merely a shell protecting his youthful voice – yeah, he’s still got it. Kudos to the frontman for the energy and entertainment he provided – for all that his conversation with the audience was minimal at best, his interchanging plaid shirts and bandanas reflecting each era of fashion and music for the band was a point of humour for the fans, who accompanied Rose through each and every song.
A highly rumoured appearance by AC/DC’s Angus Young came into being. The crowd witnessed two of the greatest guitarists in rock history back to back, as they mastered their way through a rendition of the classic AC/DC songs ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ and ‘Riff Raff’.
As Rose took to the glitter-encrusted keys of a grand piano, ‘November Rain’ offered a poignant refrain on the evening before the climatic finale and encore that included 'Nightrain’, ‘Paradise City’, more fireworks and a whole lot of confetti.
Guns N’ Roses aren’t just a band, they’re an institution, with a legacy that will one day become legend. Just as our parents tell us about great rock’n’roll shows of days gone by, so will we one day tell our children of this most legendary of evenings – a night that left us shook up and breathless.