Thursday, July 20, 2017

Guns N' Roses at the Apollo Theater

Axl Rose & Slash
Since its start in 1985 in Los Angeles, California, Guns N' Roses has had its share of controversy, from musicians' drug use, charges of sexist and homophobic lyrics, and audience riots ignited by last minute cancellations at concerts. Nevertheless, Guns N' Roses is one of the world's best-selling bands of all history, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including shipments of 45 million in the United States. The hard rock band's debut album, 1987's Appetite for Destruction, sold approximately 30 million copies worldwide, including 18 million units in the United States, making it the best-selling debut album ever in the United States, as well as the nation's 11th all-time best-selling album. The band's sixth and most recent album, 2008's Chinese Democracy, was the most expensive album ever made, costing an estimated $14 million in studio costs over 14 years. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 in its first year of eligibility. The band's personnel has changed multiple times, and presently consists of founding vocalist/pianist Axl Rose, guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, keyboardist Dizzy Reed, guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer, and synthesizer player Melissa Reese.

Guns N' Roses' Not in This Lifetime… Tour, which began in 2016, has grossed over $339,900,000, making it the 10th highest-grossing concert tour of all-time. The tour has played the largest stadiums, but tonight touched down at the 1,506-capacity Apollo Theatre for a live broadcast on Sirius XM. Tickets for the free-admission concert were made available by lottery to Sirius XM subscribers. The stadium stage production was non-existent, so the concert was all about the music, and Guns N' Roses delivered maximum quality hard rock for just over three hours. Rose's voice seemed questionable at the start, but quickly developed full tilt into his trademarked baritone screech. Slash may have been the star of the show, however, playing wizardry on his various guitars and taking an extended spotlight after a few riffs of "Johnny B Goode" and working a guitar duel with Fortus on "Wish You Were Here." The other musicians were given the opportunity to spread as well. The proficient virtuosity of the musicians as well as the showmanship of the front line team of Rose, Slash, McKagan and Fortus was extraordinary, and the band's unpredictable arrangements of familiar songs made for a more exciting concert. Rock concerts do not get better than this.


Setlist
  1. It's So Easy
  2. Mr. Brownstone
  3. Chinese Democracy
  4. Welcome to the Jungle
  5. Double Talkin' Jive
  6. Better
  7. Estranged
  8. Live and Let Die (Wings cover)
  9. Rocket Queen
  10. You Could Be Mine
  11. You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory (Johnny Thunders cover) > New Rose (The Damned cover)
  12. This I Love
  13. Civil War > Voodoo Child (Jimi Hendrix cover)
  14. Yesterdays
  15. Coma
  16. Johnny B Goode (Chuck Berry cover)
  17. Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From The Godfather) (Nino Rota cover)
  18. Sweet Child O' Mine
  19. My Michelle
  20. Whole Lotta Rosie (AC/DC cover)
  21. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover)
  22. November Rain > Layla (Derek & the Dominos cover)
  23. Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden cover)
  24. Only Women Bleed (Alice Cooper cover) > Knockin' on Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan cover)
  25. Nightrain
Encore:
  1. Sorry
  2. Melissa (The Allman Brothers Band cover) > Patience
  3. The Seeker (The Who cover)
  4. Paradise City