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Live – Guns n’ Roses, with ZZ Top and Rose Tattoo, Perth, 9th March 2013

| 10 April 2013 | Reply

Perth Arena, Western Australia
Saturday 9th March 2013
By Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Maree King

Guns n Roses live Perth 09 Mar 2013 by Maree King  (11)

Axl Rose and friends – aka Guns n’ Roses – surprised everyone (and not only in this town) by not only hitting the Perth Arena stage on time, but actually coming on half an hour EARLY, but what happened next was a split personality gig.

When Axl and his band get it right they are unbeatable, such as on fireball takes of It’s So Easy and You’re Crazy, an epic Estranged and wonderful November Rain, a Rocket Queen that is every bit as slinky and sexy as on 1987’s Appetite For Destruction, and a devastating Used To Love Her.

Much of the rest of the two and a half hour show is the other side of the coin.  Whilst all three guitarists – DJ Ashba, Bumblefoot and Richard Fortus – play with style and personality all night, do we really need an extended solo spot from each?  Plus another for chief (of two!) keyboard player Dizzy Reed?

Whilst no-one should realistically expect the punk metal burst of lightning G’n’R that rewrote the rule books in 1987, should we sit through a Guns n’ Roses gig where shirts, jackets and hats are changed every song or two?  Who knew anyone could own that many hats, let alone that Axl would bring them all on tour with him…

In short, energy levels fluctuated wildly – one minute the band are on fire playing the magnificent Sweet Child Of Mine, Axl hits the piano to segue Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall Pt 2 into November Rain, but then the next minute he’s offstage changing for the tenth time while guitarist Bumblefoot is playing a forgettable solo song.  Roadies wander on and off stage casually as if it’s a construction site, and no matter what anyone says wishfully, the newer songs have neither the energy, melodies or charm of the old stuff – to the point that you wonder why Rose pretends it’s the same band.

It’s a missed opportunity, and a shame.  Axl Rose’s modern Guns n’ Roses have all the ingredients in place to be a great band, if only he’d acquiesce and remember the recipe that made the original band great in the first place.

 

Opening the night’s entertainment, Angry Anderson cackles maniacally at his own joke in between swigs from a bottle, telling the front of house guys to turn the lights off before Rose Tattoo kickstart their set with One Of The Boys – “It’s supposed to be a surprise!” he cackles.

With slide guitar ringing clear and true courtesy of Dai Pritchard, standing in place of the late, great Pete Wells, the diminutive Angry, perhaps a little wobbly on his feet, delivers an impassioned performance, tearing the room apart with one of the rawest and rockingest voices since Billy Thorpe.

“It gathers you up in it’s arms,” says Anderson of the rock n’ roll living inside of him that he has to set free, “and it takes you somewhere better.”  And when he belts out classics Bad Boy For Love and We Can’t Be Beaten during their all-too-short half hour set, it’s enough to raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

 

That ‘Little ole band from Texas’ ZZ Top proved that they’re about the best goddamned three piece in the world with a stinging, stripped-down performance of such effortless style and grace that you’re forced to wonder why no-one else can do it so well.

The answer of course is that while they may make it LOOK easy, we have the original Texan trio here – Frank Beard, Dusty Hill and the King of guitar tone – the one and only Reverend Willy G – Billy F Gibbons, tonight all decked out in the finest mariachi chic (with enough rhinestones to blind a man if the light catches them the wrong way), sunglasses, cowboy hats and snakeskin boots, not to mention bandolero guitar straps.

“Are you havin’ a good time now?” Gibbons asks several times, and the answer is always an emphatic ‘YES!’  ZZ’s effortless cool and classic hits set leaves not a single molecule of flab in their performance (or on Gibbons’ impossibly svelte frame) – in complete contrast to the headliners sometimes overblown posturing.

Texan blues Jesus Just Left Chicago and Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers get the crowd dancing and singing, and we can even forgive what appears to be some backing tapes on Legs since Gimme All Your Lovin’ and Sharp Dressed Man sounded so rocking in this stripped down set – not to mention how great it was to see them crack out the furry white bass and six string, even if they didn’t spin them like they did in the 80’s.

Gibbons lights up a cheroot and puffs away as he plays smokin’ slide on set closer Tush and in one hour – to the minute – they’re gone, just like Rose Tattoo, far too soon.  This reviewer for one would have preferred three hours of ZZ Top and one of Gn’R – now THAT would have been a good time!

Originally published in condensed form in Xpress Magazine’s 13 March 2013 issue – read it HERE

Rose Tattoo setlist:

One Of The Boys
1854
Rock n’ Roll is King
Scarred For Life
Rock n’ Roll Outlaw
Bad Boy For Love
We Can’t Be Beaten

ZZ Top setlist:

I Thank You
Waiting For The Bus
Jesus Just Left Chicago
Heard It On The X
I Gotsta Get Paid
Gimme All Your Lovin’
My Head’s In Mississippi
Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers
Sharp Dressed Man
Legs
Tube Snake Boogie
La Grange
Tush

Guns n’ Roses setlist:

Chinese Democracy
Welcome To The Jungle
It’s So Easy
Mr Brownstone
Estranged
Better
Richard Fortus Guitar Solo
Live & Let Die
Rocket Queen
Used To Love Her
This I Love
Dizzy Reed Piano Solo
Catcher In The Rye
You Could Be Mine
DJ Ashba Guitar Solo
Sweet Child O Mine
Another Brick In The Wall Pt 2
November Rain
Bumblefoot Guitar Solo
Objectify
Don’t Cry
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
Nightrain

Encore:
Patience
Paradise City

Shane

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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