During the onslaught of promotion for Guns N’ Roses’ 12-date run at The Joint, members liked to say the band would be doing things it hadn’t done before. I’ve only seen GNR once before, but the show I saw then, and the “Appetite For Democracy” show I saw on Nov. 2 were, frills aside, awfully alike. Which is to say it was occasionally rocking, overlong — how many band-member solos do we need? — and lacking unique, take-away moments.
Despite faltering a few times — most notably when he forgot the lyrics to his most famous song, “Sweet Child o’ Mine” — frontman Axl Rose proved resilient, powering (and running) through three hours and still largely hitting the higher notes at the end. He handled piano duties with notable dexterity during “November Rain” (when Rose and his piano hung above the general-admission crowd). And he was all powerhouse during “You Could Be Mine.” Furthermore, props to Rose’s band, sounding very much like the established and cohesive crew Rose has been touting in interviews, especially during early-era numbers like “I Used to Love Her,” “Out Ta Get Me” and “Rocket Queen.”
The well-executed extravaganza likely gave hard rock and GNR fans everything it wanted. But for anyone else, “Appetite” is just another residency show that transcends neither your standard greatest-hits show nor its hype.
The original version of this review can be found here.