The Joint, inside The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, is once again being called home for Guns N’ Roses second residency. The announcement was made in February about the nine shows, which began May 21st and runs through June 7th.
Fans were greeted outside the venue by dominatrix dressed girls on stilts grabbing the attention of every fan that proceeded toward the doors. It was quite amusing to see the men taking their photo opps with these women; their faces next to those little curvy ass cheeks at eye level; perfect photo for any GNR show! Once inside, the stage set up gave no hint of what was to come but 10:45 p.m. was stage call time and the haters were all hedging their bets to see if the infamous would come out on time. It still boggles the mind why haters go to shows, it must kill them to have to pay for tickets; but only 15 minutes later the lights went out. The voice announcing introductions for the night was none other than Academy Award winner, Nicolas Cage. With wine glass in hand he increased the anticipation as he yelled, “Are you ready to hear some great music from some great Americans? Ladies and Gentlemen! GUNS N’ ROSES!”
The night began with DJ Ashba silhouetted by a red backlit screen, high on a riser opening with Chinese Democracy. The band bounded on stage and the night was on. The crowd was already fueled beyond expectation as Ashba jumped up stage right and gave a teaser for the intro into Welcome To The Jungle; it was almost pandemonium. As Rose screamed “Do you know where you are,” girls appeared out of nowhere on 50 foot dance poles as the madness and music continued.
Lasers, lights, pyro, explosions and more along with the talents of Dizzy Reed (keyboards/piano), DJ Ashba (guitar), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar), Frank Ferrer (drums), Richard Fortus (guitar), Chris Pitman (keyboards/piano), and Tommy Stinson (bass) were the backing element for the paradigmatic voice of lead front man, Axl Rose. The band was tight, strong and Rose’s voice was just as raspy and “Axl” as ever delivering every note with power and enthusiasm, the assemblage yelled for more. Packing in over two and a half hours of pure GNR, the panoply forged ahead with It’s So Easy as Axl gave a one fingered salute to the masses. Mr. Brownstone came as the fourth song of the night but it seemed like they had already played for hours; the night was pure excitement and energy. Slowing it down with Estranged, Bumblefoot and Rose were front and center while the audience was graced with a Bumblefoot highlight. Progressing the night with Better, Ashba returned to the stage with his red Les Paul and Bumble on his Vigier Doubleneck. Rocket Queen blasted off then Rose announced Fortus for a guitar solo which started with heavy guitar riffs, went into a bluesy sound then back to heavy rock to the roar of the fans. Pressing on with Live And Let Die, This I Love, it was then a cover of the Sex Pistols Holidays In The Sun that brought bassist Stinson up for vocals and introductions to the band. Reed proved his skills with a piano solo and moved into Catcher In The Rye and You Could Be Mine, as Asbha had his solo with La Bella Vita.
Sweet Child O’ Mine, Jam session w/ Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You followed with Rose sitting down to the piano on November Rain as Fortus again shared the spotlight. Bumblefoot took the vocals with his own Abnormal and exhibited his abnormal yet amazing skills on his Doubleneck. Are we finished yet? Not even close! Don’t Cry, Civil War, and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door was followed by another jam session and Rose got a rise out of Bumblefoot as he tapped on his guitar as he shred. “That’s a good way to piss him off” he shouted. Rallying straight into Night Train, the excitation never stopped! Next, Rose began his infamous whistle for Patience while the acoustic guitars strumed along and Ashba broke the acoustic feel with one of his black Les Paul’s. The Seeker brought the guys together to sing happy birthday to Fernando Lebeis, personal assistant to Rose.
The night was coming to an end with yet another jam session and the encore was unearthed! Closing out the night with Paradise City, the forcefulness remained strong throughout the entire show. Rose and his band unquestionably brought an Evening of Destruction/No Trickery to The Joint, in Sin City. Blasting pyro and flashing lights ended the night with confetti raining down non-stop for almost five minutes. Rose thanked the throng of fans and tossed his mic into the audience. They gathered front and center stage for their bow and pull out Baby Blue for the final thank you and good-byes. Contrary to hater’s beliefs, Axl and GNR destroyed it!
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