I’m one of the lucky hundred thousand or so people who saw Guns n Roses at the peak of their powers at Eastern Creek back in 1993. Today, just like that day twenty four years ago, the heat was stifling, and legendary Sydney band Rose Tattoo was supporting. It was like history was repeating itself, but would this evening’s show reach the same dizzy heights?
If we’ve learned anything from ACDC, it’s that gritty pub rock is transferrable to large arenas, and the bluesy, hard rock sound of Rose Tattoo seemed right at home at the large venue. While the crowd was relatively small at the beginning of their set, it grew steadily throughout, and Angry and the boys charged through the songs that made them great, such as Rock n Roll Outlaw, Scarred For Life, and Juice On The Loose. They also payed tribute to the late Stevie Wright, with Black Eyed Bruiser. The sound was big, the band tight, and Angry’s vocals were spot on.
There wasn’t a lot of banter between Angry and the crowd. Although, he did get a little philosophical before playing 1854, but, I think they were aware that the crowd weren’t going to expend all our energy on the support act in such fetid heat. We had bigger fish to fry! They closed with a medley of Bad Boy For Love and We Can’t Be Beaten, which brought the crowd to life, particularly the “old rockers” in the house.
With the anticipation building, the big screen flickered, with the words “Not In This Lifetime” emblazoned upon it. We had to endure a bit of overkill with visuals and sound samples, and then, with a thunderous roar, the band once dubbed the most dangerous in the world was in our face with It’s So Easy, and Mr Brownstone. The crowd was going off, you could hear every person around you singing….SCREAMING! The band sounded great, Slash was ripping, and Axl’s vocals, while not perfect, were proficient enough to keep the punters enthralled.
Chinese Democracy, and the songs from that album didn’t really get much reaction from the fans, but all was forgiven with the opening riff of Welcome To The Jungle, which was one of the many highlights. The Use your Illusion albums got a workout as well, with Live And Let Die, You Could Be Mine, Estranged, and November Rain all getting big cheers of approval.
Crowd favourites Civil War and Sweet Child ‘O Mine bookended a blistering guitar solo from Slash, and just when we began to think the rumours of a “special guest” were not going to come true, Axl welcomed Angus Young to the stage. The ACDC axeman got a huge ovation, and approximately 55,000 people collectively lost their shit when he began playing the opening riff of Whole Lotta Rosie, followed by Riff Raff.
We had the usual call and response during Knockin On Heavens Door, and then the lads took us for a wild ride on the Nightrain.
They came back for three encores, Don’t Cry, The Seeker (The Who cover), and they brought the house down with Paradise City, complete with pyrotechnics, smoke, and huge blasts of confetti.
Tonight proved that the classic era Guns N Roses songs are timeless. While we’re all a little older, those great songs will never, ever, get old.