Guns N’ Roses – Las Vegas: June 7 2014

Toni and I took a quick trip to Las Vegas to see Guns N’ Roses on their last night of their extended Vegas stay at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip that had us in town for less than 24 hours, but we were so impressed with GNR at the Golden Gods Awards that we had to see them again for their full set.

This show was a little different than any other show we have been to as the start time of the show wasn’t scheduled until 10:00pm, which meant that it likely wouldn’t start until 11:00pm which is when most shows are wrapping up. This would have been fine if GNR would have come on without an opening act, but unfortunately they had two. The first was a three-piece metal band from New York (who’s name I never heard), which had promise, but at 10:30 when everyone really just wanted the main show to start, they didn’t really have a chance. After this band, we had the unfortunate displeasure of being subjected to about a half an hour of rambling, offensive and very crude crap from Andrew Dice Clay. His stuff wasn’t funny in the 80’s and is certainly not funny now. I guess because he was performing in the venue next door, and maybe Axl wasn’t ready so they needed some filler. He was actually getting quite a few “boos” from the audience. He wasn’t off stage soon enough for us… I couldn’t imagine seeing a full hour and a half show of his stuff..

At a little past midnight, Nick Cage came out sporting a tank top and his tattoos and introduced Axl and the guys (finally). Kicking off the show was DJ Ashba up on a raised platform, silhouetted against a red background of light jamming out the opening riffs of Chinese Democracy. The rest of the show absolutely did not disappoint. From the powerful solos of all three outrageous guitar players, to a number of jam sessions ( including Led Zeppelin’s Babe I’m Gonna Leave You) spread throughout the show, to Dizzy Reed’s piano solo and bass player Tommy Stinson’s vocals on the classic Rolling Stones tune You Can’t Always Get What You Want. They of course played nearly every hit in the library playing for over three hours. Some of the most memorable songs of the night in my opinion were November Rain where they wrapped around it an absolutely incredible version of Derek and the Dominos Layla. Axl was playing the grand piano on a stage which lifted about 20 feet into the air, with pyrotechnic explosions and showers of sparks flowing down behind him…INCREDIBLE!. We of course enjoyed Sweet Child O’ Mine, Welcome to the Jungle, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, Don’t Cry and You Could Be Mine.

The show ended with a five-song encore following about 28 songs in their main set, culminating with Paradise City, which they actually had to start over from the middle as I think Axl lost his place in the song… but nobody cared, it is such an awesome song it was great to hear it more than once.

The show finally ended a little after 3:00am and we were beat and not looking forward to only 3 ½ hours of sleep before we had to get up and get to the airport.. But we had a great time.

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