Guns N’ Roses: The Rock Survivors Conquer Circus Maximus

The breakup of Guns N’ Roses was one of the biggest tragedies of the last 20 years. I asked Slash several times ‘do you realize what you’re doing?’: you could be the next Rolling Stones. Word of a certain Ozzy Osbourne, author of crucify the dead for Slash’s debut album in 2010, a statement that reflected how much the rock world was shaken by the 1996 split between the band’s two leaders after sharing eleven years of stupendous success .

For those born between the late seventies and early eighties, Guns N’ Roses, along with the more introspective Nirvana, created Generation. Guns N’ Roses, in their original formation, played together for less than ten years, but, in those four albums, they left an indelible mark on rock history., Relations between the band members have always been turbulent, especially between Axl Rose and Slash, so it should come as no surprise that the documentary on the Californian band is aptly titled. Most dangerous band in the world. Since 1993, Axl has owned the rights to the Guns N’ Roses trademark, but without Slash the band is no longer what it used to be: a solo album of unreleased songs, Chinese DemocracyDue to a rare malignancy, an endless series of musicians, collaborators and producers have never been able to make a mark and restore the reputation of the Guns N’ Roses brand.

After the break with Guns, Good Slash returned to his project Slash’s Snakepit, which was not well received, unlike the Velvet Revolver experience, where three former members of Guns N’ Roses played: Scott Weiland, Duff McKagan. and Matt Sorum. Slash has finally found the right alchemy with the golden uvula of Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy and his new band, The Conspirators, with whom he has released impressive albums. apocalyptic love burning world living the dream And 4. After a furious feud between the two leaders of the Los Angeles-born band in 1985, the only possibility for a reunion appeared to be a utopia on par with Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

On April 19, 2016, a new artistic life began at the Coachella Festival, one of the most important in the world with a dream cast, including Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan on the same stage again after more than twenty years. Are. Since then Guns, except for a period when Axl replaced Brian Johnson in AC/DC, has played sold-out concerts around the world, attracting not only fans of their heyday, but a new generation of listeners. has also attracted Even those who were not. born at appetite for Destruction. Also last evening, in the regal setting of the Circus Maximus in Rome, two generations of Guns N’ Roses fans, who had been missing in the capital for more than 10 years, came together.

46,000 spectators attended a spectacular show lasting more than 3 hours, as the Californian band played a repertoire that is rivaled by few in the history of hard rock, as well as some covers that reflect their style of music. Perfectly suited for. A small, big miracle, considering some of its members’ history of self-destruction and addiction: while Guns was once considered “the most dangerous band in the world” and their concerts often ended in riots and brawls Today they are a group of great rock professionals who He started his concert at exactly 20.45 and gave the audience a show of more than 3 hours without any interruption. A generosity that is by no means overlooked nowadays (think of the Travis Scott concert in Milan last week, which was just 55 minutes long), especially from bands over the age of 60. Slash, in his inimitable black hat, goggles and a T-shirt emblazoned with Inspector Callaghan, plays beautifully, whether using a spout or playing twelve strings or picking up an acoustic: his solos are genuine trip musicals, In which technology is always at the service of emotions.

Bassist Duff McKagan is the band’s true punk soul, in addition to mediating between smokers Axl and Slash to make the reunion possible. For some years the role of second guitar has been assigned to Richard Fortus, who is admirable in backing Slash but also able to excite the public with the fiery guitar solo assigned to him: in short, Fortus is now a full member of Guns N. Is ‘rose. The band is completed by Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese on keyboards and Frank Ferrer on drums: the sound mix is ​​perfect and everyone contributes to enhancing songs that, when tested live, aren’t old at all Has happened.

Before the concert, in the press box, the most frequent question was: How will Axl sing today? The video of the Glastonbury performance raised many concerns about the Guns frontman’s singing prowess, but, as fans of the Californian band know well, We Have More Than Seven Lives and he has been able to rise from his ashes time and time again. is capable (think of him excelling with AC/DC in 2016). Yesterday Axl surprised favorably, even though he had some difficulties with high-key songs, but he demonstrated good singing ability in songs with a middle register and, above all, demonstrated to be a serious professional and a generous frontman. : Although the body is no longer of the golden age (but which of us, at 61, still looks like we were in our twenties?), Axel swings, runs from one side of the long stage to the other and he His strength and physicality in putting everything on display shows that he has a lot of respect for the public, who love him for it as well. What rock bands or artists with decades of history, other than Springsteen, have still been able to play shows for over three hours without interruption and tension? Yesterday Axl seemed happy and comfortable at Circus Maximus, so much so that he dedicated two songs (pretty tied up And knocking on heaven’s door) Silvio Berlusconi wearing a Roman soldier’s helmet during a monumental cover (over 11 minutes) of the 1973 Bob Dylan song, a very different version from the original included on the album Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (And for this reason it has always been opposed by the most conservative “Dylany” people).

One of the most exciting moments of the evening was the performance of the anti-military anthem civil warDedicated to Ukraine, with a yellow-blue flag waving on the giant screen. It’s surprising that a band that has recorded relatively few albums has left us with so many memorable songs that have not lost any of their rock energy and urgency, recorded mainly since 1987. Which was the year of release of Masterpiece. appetite for Destructionuntil 1991, when the monumental double album was released use your Illusion, Guns N’ Roses also played a few covers last night: from rolling down a of velvet revolver live and Let Die of wings, from down on the Farm A of the UK subscription tvi from stews Wichita Lineman above by Jimmy Webb knocking on heaven’s door Until a Sensation, by Bob Dylan to disrespect By AC/DC, which featured Axl, who grew up on the songs of Bread and the Australian group, Brian Johnson was too good not to regret it.

46,000 people at the Circus Maximus won’t easily forget the feelings of two power ballads Alienation And November Rainthat perfectly alternates the thrill and acoustic intimacy of rock adrenaline, Enduranceanthem hard rock rush Night rest and welcome to the woods until the grand finale of Paradise City, who started “Mosh” in the front rows of the Circus Maximus, after a three-hour concert. One question one might ask is this: what does it mean for Guns N’ Roses to still be performing today, after a respectable career of nearly forty years, and with a credentials that have passed the threshold of sixty? Is it or close to it, nothing more than a discount? Is his concert just an act of nostalgia or is there more to it? After watching the California band’s show, we can say that last night there were no nostalgia, but memories, which is a very different thing., Thus a concert becomes a means to reach and transmit to a new generation some of the songs that have made hard rock history for the past 30 years, when rock was not just music based on electric guitar riffs, bass and drums. , but rather a way of working and living, that seeks to limit that primitive and almost animalistic energy that underpins great rock, by showing it the middle finger.

Guns N’ Roses concert lineup at the Circus Maximus in Rome (8/07/23)

1. It’s very simple
2. Mr. Brownstone
3. Bad passion
4. Chinese Democracy
5. Slider (Velvet Revolver Cover)
6. Too Tied Up
7. Hard School
8. Welcome to the Jungle
9. Carefree Life
10. Double Talkin Jive
11. Separation
12. Live and Let Die (Wings cover)
13. Down on the Farm (UK Subs cover)
14. Rocket Queen
15. You Can Be Mine
16. TV Eye (The Stooges Cover)
17. I Like It
18. Absurd
19. Anything Can Happen
20. Civil War
21. Slash Guitar Solo
22. My Sweet Child
23. November Rain
24. Wichita Lineman (Jimmy Webb cover)
25. Knocking On Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan cover)
26. Night Train


27. Once upon a time
28. Walk All Over You (AC/DC Cover)
29. Patience
30. Paradise City

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