Wailing vocals, blistering guitar solos, power ballads and in-your-face rock ‘n’ roll, Guns N’ Roses brought it all Saturday night at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Powering through a set that lasted over three hours, the band — including core members Axl Rose (vocals), Slash (guitar) and Duff McKagan (bass) — hit all of the highlights from its 30-year-career for a crowd of 23,973 on an atypically comfortable August evening.
Opening with the McKagan-penned “It’s So Easy,” the group wasted no time in getting down to the business of hard rock. Rose’s voice, which can shift from a banshee’s shriek to a baritone croon, was mostly strong and assured. He had no problem hitting most of his notes even as he was tearing across the stage in a sprint, skipping around with a microphone stand or sliding about in his patented snake-hipped shuffle. Sure, he’s not a skinny 27-year-old anymore, but neither was most of the audience, who screamed along with his every move.
Slash, in his top hat, his face obscured by his curly hair and his eyes hidden behind sunglasses, gave a master class in guitar hero style. With his six-string resting on his thigh, its neck pointed skyward, he unfurled solo after solo. He duckwalked, ran and jumped all over the stage while churning out classic riffs. He even worked his way through the love theme from The Godfather.
The band, bolstered by guitarist Richard Fortus, keyboardist Dizzy Reed, drummer Frank Ferrer and keyboardist Melissa Reese, was on point all night. Slash teased out the unmistakable opening notes of “Welcome to the Jungle” and Rose belted the song with ferocity…
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