- Date 12th December 2012
- Venue Leisure Valley, Gurgaon
- Bands Guns 'N' Roses
- Event By Mooz Entertainment
I was skeptical as I entered the barren patch of land in Gurgaon called Leisure Valley. The familiar surroundings did not instill much excitement and on the contrary was a constant reminder of the Metallica fiasco 14 months ago. Seeing a strong police team and hoards of Kyazoonga (the ticket partners) volunteers was something that wasn’t present last time around, and was slightly reassuring.
Standing in line waiting for gates to open, the opening act Brand New Machines were going through their sound check. The Dallas based quartet went on to play their style of Texas flavored rock and had a very 80s classic feel about them. Their almost one hour set was followed by a dozen people on stage prepping it up for one of the biggest acts of rock to follow.
Dim stage lights, GnR logos flashing on the big screen and a thin layer of smoke welcomed Guns n Roses on stage. Dressed in his characteristic (of late) oversized jacket, cowboy boots, hat and glares Axl Rose strolled across stage and was met with massive cheers before the band broke into Chinese Democracy. DJ Ashba teased the crowd with the opening bars of Welcome to the Jungle, before Axl ran across stage screaming “Do you know where you are?”. What followed was 3 hours of sheer brilliance from a band who have been there and done that. Three hours with over 25 songs had a perfect mix of numbers from the Appetite era and their new album. Estranged, Live n Let Die, You could be Mine, Civil War, It’s So easy and Don’t Cry were the classics everyone wanted to hear and the band did not disappoint.
Thrown into the mix were two short guitar solos from Richard Fortus and DJ Ashba, a piano solo by Dizzy Reed and Bumblefoot and Tommy Stinson singing a song each. Axl announced that that the band were going to play a song to “entertain themselves” and did a cover of the AC/DC classic Riff Raff.
Axl was surprisingly in a good mood –interacting with the crowd, wearing a mask during Knockin on heaven’s door and throwing his whistle into the crowd.
The loudest screams in the entire show was when DJ Ashba played the first eight notes to Sweet Child O’ Mine and the crowd screamed their lungs out during the chorus. Axl sat on his piano, sang a short cover of Another Brick In The Wall before launching into the iconic ballad November Rain.
Fortus and Bumblefoot did a soulful jam on two acoustic guitars which led into Patience. Paradise City was the last song of the night with confetti bombs going off and Axl running to all corners of the stage during the end. The band infact came back on stage even after signing off to play a cover of Rose Tatto’s song Nice Boys.
Even though the band has had a million lineup changes, the present bunch looks like a well-oiled unit. All three guitarists have unique guitar styles and complement each other wonderfully. Bumblefoot is the true shredder in the band and gives a different touch to some classic Gunner solos with his sweep picking and fast runs. DJ Ashba and Richard Fortus were true entertainers, using every inch of the stage and backed ably by the solid basswork of Tommy Stinson. Dizzy Reed, Chris Pitman and Frank Ferrer also played their parts suitably well.
For all that has been said about his timings, weight and voice- Axl sounded great. The screeches and squeals might not be as perfect as it was 20 years ago, but nonetheless had an Axl stamp all over it. The 50 year old rocker was a bundle of energy throughout the set running around, standing on monitors and doing his characteristic moves with the mic stand. He won over the crowd by acknowledging his “lifelong dream to play in India” and dedicating the concert to Pt. Ravi Shankar who passed away in the morning.
With a victory sign pointing towards the heavens Axl screamed into the microphone- “Delhi.. India...Thank you. Good Fuckin Night” to wind up their 3 city maiden tour in India. On a cold Wednesday night walking back with aching feet and buzzing ears the Delhi crowd was taking back with them memories for a lifetime.
Graduated from Delhi University, post that caught up in the corporate rat race for the last two years. Plays guitar and was active in the college scene, worships Slash and old G'n'R. Loves Classic Rock, Grunge and Metalcore. Spends a considerable part of the day listening to music and believes in the Indian Rock scene.
Strict Standards: Non-static method K2CustomHelper::getFacebookComments() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/content/14/11913214/html/imr/templates/indianmusicrevolution/html/com_k2/templates/gig-review/item.php on line 320