Live, Music, Reviews

Guns N’ Roses Not in This Lifetime Tour (Sydney Olympic Park)

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The core of the original Guns N’ Roses line-up have reformed for a massively successful world tour. The measure of its success was seen in the packed Olympic Stadium last night – one of two shows in Sydney with another concert scheduled tonight.

Once the most popular rock band of the late ’80s and early ’90s, the band then faded out as band members quit the band before volatile front man Axl Rose inexplicably won a legal battle to continue to tour and record under the Guns N’ Roses banner as the sole, original band member.

The highlight of the show was an unexpected visit to the stage by AC/DC’s Angus Young.

Axl toured intermittently in the 2000s with a rotating line-up of band members and eventually released the poorly received Chinese Democracy album in 2008. Things continued to drift for Guns N’ Roses until original band members, guitarist Slash and bass player Duff McKagan, were persuaded to join Rose this tour. The Not in this Lifetime tour has now arrived in Australia after touring around the world for several months.

I confess to being a massive Gunners fan as teenager in their heyday. I waited patiently for years for the follow-up to their huge debut album Appetite for Destruction and was mostly impressed when the Use Your Illusion albums were released. As a mate who accompanied me on Friday and who saw the band’s Eastern Creek show as I did in 1993 remarked, they played much the same set last night as they did back then.

As in 1993, they began with a one-two punch of rockers from Appetite for Destruction with It’s So Easy and Mr Brownstone, both still good songs despite some horrific lyrics in the former. But unlike the ’93 show, last night they played several tracks from Chinese Democracy. They weren’t set highlights but a fair proportion of the huge audience seemed to enjoy them.

The show included extended jams and solos that seemed to there to give Axl a rest and change of t-shirt. One of these bore a peace sign as the band played Civil War from Use Your Illusion II. They played faultlessly and with vigour and Axl was remarkable. Some of his vocal performances in the ’90s were a bit off kilter and his voice scratchy at times, but he was note perfect on Friday. Perhaps he’s had lessons, quit smoking or his thickened frame has helped?

The highlight of the show was an unexpected visit to the stage by AC/DC’s Angus Young. Axl has taken on vocal duties for AC/DC due to Brian Johnson’s hearing loss so was well-rehearsed for belting out Bon Scott era classics, Whole Lotta Rosie and Riff Raff. It was the first time I’ve seen Angus play out of his school uniform.

The pre-encore set concluded with a hard and tight rendition of Nightrain and the final song of the night was Paradise City — both tunes from Appetite for Destruction and sending the unashamedly unfashionable and bogan masses home happy.

(City Rail did its job getting fans to Homebush and back in an orderly and relatively painless manner and finding your seat in the stadium was easy too. But the overpriced and mid-strength beer? Undrinkable and un-rock n roll.)

[box]Guns N’ Roses perform at Olympic Park in Sydney again tonight, Melbourne’s MCG on Tuesday, February 14, the Adelaide Oval on Saturday, February 18 and Perth’s Domain Stadium on Monday, February 20. [/box]

30 responses to “Guns N’ Roses Not in This Lifetime Tour (Sydney Olympic Park)

  1. Axl was sensational last night but acoustics were dreadful at ANZ. sound quality was nowhere near as good as Eastern Creek in 1993. That will forever live as a classic .

    1. Saw them Friday night…Band was awesome…however sound in the stadium was terrible…sound techs need to lose their jobs.

  2. Awesome show and band but the security ANZ hired must have forgotten it was a rock concert because they would drag anyone out who even looked like they were having a good time. Sad considering some people paid $350 plus for a ticket.

  3. Went to the Friday night Gun n Roses gig at ANZ Sydney. I’ve been to four previous huge Rock Bands at ANZ, all fantastic shows, the sound spot on. It’s true the sound on Friday night was terrible, could not hear the vocals. Music sound was loud and muffled, not crisp and sharp. Couldn’t hear Axl’s voice. Worst Band I’ve seen at ANZ. I love the Gunners, this should have been one of the best shows, but it was by far the worst. The sound techs need to be all sacked !!!!

  4. Unfortunately the sound was a disgrace for the first hour plus…unfair for those who spent a fortune on tickets and not really getting the proper show as the people on Saturday night wold have gotten. Many people left concert very early on due to the dissatisfaction in the sound quality. Whilst Guns n Roses put on a good show, for some the disappointment will live forever in them, me included.

    1. I was at the Friday night concert and i did not see anybody leave, as for the sound it was fantastic.
      you my not be used to going and seeing a band in an open stadium..was one of the best concerts i have been too.

    2. Yes the sound was bad at the beginning of the show but was fixed and ended up being a amazing concert, if people left without giving it a chance then thats there problem.
      We had an amazing night axel was fantastic, slash and Duff were as always breath taking musicians and haven’t lost there touch we felt privileged to be at there concert. Great world tour and will be remembered for a long time.

  5. Saw Gunners Friday night 10th Feb at ANZ stadium. First and last time I will ever see a gig at that venue. Whilst Gunners may have been good, by far and away it was the worst sound quality at a gig I have ever experienced.
    When I was 17, I had a beat up Ford Escort with a one speaker tape deck stereo. The sound I could get out of that was better than ANZ – and I had $240 ‘platinum’ tickets!
    The drums and bass were completely non existent. Slash’s guitar was not prominent, crunchy or crisp and Axl’s voice washed in and out constantly. It was a jumbled mash of noise rather than the music I was so excited to see and hear.
    I happened to see Nick Cave a couple of weeks ago at Sydney ICC. I appreciate I’m comparing an indoor to an outdoor gig, but the sound quality was exemplary. And on the outdoor thing, I’ve seen Metallica and AC/DC at their own outdoor gigs, and multiple outdoor festivals, and the sound quality at all of those gigs were better than ANZ on Friday night.
    If I had more time and energy I would seek compensation from whoever was responsible. Ripped off and monumentally disappointed.

  6. Surprised to hear about the sound on friday night, as the sound on saturday was perfect. Dont know why they continue to play songs from Chinese Democracy, it felt like most people there had never heard them before. Full credit to the band for an enthusiastic performance, Axl appeared to genuinely be having fun. The cameramen shooting the footage for the big screens did a great job, although I was very close to the stage the close ups on the screens were fabulous and I found myself watching them as much as the stage.

  7. Very disappointed with the sound. Could not hear Axls voice. The only time you could hear the words was when the crowd started singing to sweet child o mine and november rain. Thanks to the sound techs for a very dissappointing evening. If they had gotten the sound right it would have been a fantastic concert.

  8. I feel for the Friday night crowd at ANZ. Saturday was everything and more I could ever have wanted. Got last minute decent seats cheap last minute but would have gladly paid the asking fee prior. It was humbling to be in a theatre of such accomplished and amazing musicians. I’m lucky to have see a band I was brought up with on stage and banging out the same quality as was recorded decades ago. Thanks Guns and Roses for ticking off a huge bucket list entry.

  9. I went to Saturday nights concert, have wait so long to see them. The sound was very disappointing couldn’t hear Axls lyrics at all the band was good. Just because you pay less than the people at the front it doesn’t mean you should have crap sound. The sound techs at ANZ should be sacked worst concert ever. I have seen other concerts at the ANZ stadium and they have been awesome. Really bad on Guns n Roses part

  10. Friday night Sound was poor not even close to being loud enough ,seen better acts in local pubs ,Anz staff should be ashamed of themselves unorganised useless slow staff 45 min to hour wait for 9$ flat warm xxxx , crowd was awsome,

  11. Attended Friday night and the band was brilliant but the sound was disgraceful. I too saw many leave just prior to Angus coming stage. The sound improved after Angus but was still poor. Completely out of synch, unable to hear 80% of the vocals.

    1. I had the same problem with the Oracle Arena show in Oakland last night. The sound man ruined the entire show. The band was awesome. I have nothing against Slash, Axel and Duff, they were awesome and it was a pleasure to see them perform together. But he sound man ruined everything.

      The sound,an was grossly incompetent and he should have been replaced after the dismal Australian shows. It is your responsibility to make the band sound good. Every arena show I have been to has sounded awesome. I could hear everything nice and clear but this Guns N Roses show the audio was a overly loud, blond of Audio mush.

  12. I completely agree with others that at Saturday nights concert the sound was terrible, especially at the beginning. I couldn’t hear Axl’s lyrics at all. The band was good, Slash was phenomenal. I’ve seen other shows at ANZ stadium and sound was much better. Show was ok (nothing special, Crue was much better), the good thing was the bonus – A. Young.

  13. Saw gunners in 91 at Wembly- was gagging at the bit to see them again- Saturday night gig was a shocker- really terrible sound quality and the screen was out of sync- at first I thought Axl was lip syncing as the vocals didn’t add up. Anyway this performance will stay with me forever as a marker on a great band past their use by date. I saw SPRINGSTEEN on Tuesday night in smaller stadium next door and he delivered sound perfection as he always does. Maybe the choice of venue for gunners was wrong- wrong wrong wrong!!

  14. wow its hard to read that you guys had a hard time with sound on saturday night. We fortunately scored some diamond standing section tickets and wow what an amazing gig! I was at eastern creek in 93 and was keen to do it all again. My wife not even a fan of gunners says it was one of the best shows she has ever experienced. It was loud and crystal clear the entire time where we were. My thoughts are theres something up with ANZ stadium. We bought ‘premium’ tickets off to one side of the stadium to see the Chili Peppers a couple of years ago and this slight wind starts swirling around and it completely messes up the sound. We couldn’t hear anything Keidis was singing. I don’t think its the poor sound techs rather the environmental conditions in the stadium. A stadium of that size with a roof would be ideal.

  15. People complaining about the sound are inevitable at a stadium concert. No sound mixer can make it sound good everywhere. Just isn’t possible.

  16. I had Diamond Tickets….best concert ever. No sound problem. Axel’s voice was pitch perfect and Slash and Duff were amazing on their guitars. Take me back to Paradise City. Loved it.

  17. I went to the Guns N Roses concert at the Oracle arena last night and the sound was horrifyingly bad. I went to The Who at the Oracle and it was fantastic. But this show was dreadful. Slash and Axl and the whole band were awesome but their sound engineer was a failure. We paid $240 each for our tickets and we are gravely dissappointed in the sound team. The concert could have been one of the best but instead I got muffled rumbly drums, grinding unpleasant guitars and I could hear Axl at all. In fact, I couldnt even hear him talk between songs.

    I love Guns N Roses, they were part of my childhood and I was so excited to see them. I bought $80 worth of t-shirts. But the sound man ruined the show completely. Shame on him. I wanted to tell him after the concert that he did a dismal job but I couldn’t because I left halfway through. Utterly dissappointed. I have been to small shows and big shows and I have been to outdoor and indoor gigs and never have experienced such bad sound.

    It is clearly the sound team not the venue.

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