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LIVE REVIEW: Guns N' Roses - Hyde Park, London UK 30/6/23

 


Guns N' Roses, one of the biggest rock bands in the world, played to 60,000 fans at the sold-out BST Hyde Park London event that they were headlining on Friday the 30th of June and what a night to remember.

The BST event had a great festival vibe with food and drink vendors galore and is the perfect setting for hosting massive music events in the revered Hyde Park. The amount of Gun N' Roses t-shirts amongst the crowds was impressive. Although expected as the headliners, it was still a sight to behold with all ages donned in merch; all united and there for the same reason.

Typical British weather, although it's recently been extremely sunny and hot. The day saw a cloudy and drizzly display, but that didn't spoil things for the fans or the band. Before Gun N' Roses even came on the stage, the set-up was impressive, which helped build up the hype, and then the band came out right on time at 7.20 pm easing everyone in with "It's So Easy" and followed up with "Bad Obsession" where singer Axl Rose took a tumble, but that didn't stop him as he quickly regained composure and calmly carried on strutting his stuff with lots of energy and later refers to this in the set saying he will stop running around as the rain was making it slippery. Early in the show, we were treated to the Velvet Revolver song 'Slither', which got the crowd going and made sense considering both the legendary guitarist Slash and original bassist Duff McKagan were in the supergroup.


Things started to really heat up and kick off when Axl shouted, "Do you know where you are?!" and launched into their mega-hit "Welcome To The Jungle", with someone in the crowd setting off a pink flare which added to the craziness and electric atmosphere with everyone singing and moving in unison. 'Live And Let Die' also saw great crowd participation, with everyone singing along. Another surprise-appropriate cover song was 'Down On The Farm', a good choice to play in the U.K. as English punk rock band U.K. Subs originally did it. To change things up and give Duff some more limelight, Duff took the lead on vocals and sang 'T.V. Eye' a cover song by The Stooges, which he did a brilliant job of.




To keep with the British waving of the flag Axl halfway through the set, formally introduced the band, so original bassist Duff McKagan, Richard Fortus on guitar, Melissa Reese on keyboards/synths and backing vocals, Dizzy Reed on piano and Frank Ferrer on drums and he jokingly states "I think that's everyone, I didn't miss anyone did I?" obviously drawing out the introduction of the guitar god that is Slash who he introduces as "The Englishman" who was born in London. This segment led into Slash's epic guitar solo, where he got to show off his guitar skills with ease and swagger whilst looking cool as hell as always and making it look effortless, delivering a hypnotic performance.



Following Slash's superb solo, they launched right into the famous 'Sweet Child o' Mine' with everyone happily singing along, and Axl showed yet again that he could still hit those high notes.

There have been a lot of comments on Axl's vocals following their Glastonbury headline set. Still, at Hyde Park, he sounded great throughout and 'November Rain' especially proved that with his powerful vocal performance whilst he played the piano which was a very special moment with that beautiful build-up before the well revered impressive solo. It was made even more potent given that it was raining for the occasion and the interesting cinematic screens throughout the performance.





'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' was another incredibly moving moment, with everyone swaying and singing along and people putting arms around each other everywhere. As their set drew to a close, Axl said they would skip the encore to avoid the risk of getting cut off, so they just got straight to it again with the fun and lively 'Nightrain', which was fitting for those having to get home which was again accompanied by some brilliant cinematic visuals on the big screens.


As their mammoth set was nearing its end, the band and the crowd managed to keep their energy levels high for the final song, which was, of course, the colossal 'Paradise City' with everyone singing, jumping and generally going wild, which was a great and perfect end to the way this unforgettable night at Hyde Park.


Gun N' Roses played a gigantic three-hour-long set filled with all the beloved classics you would expect and some surprises, and the band looked and sounded fantastic the whole time. They all looked like they were having a great time and exuded energy, passion and confidence, as expected for a band of their stature. The fantastic stage productions and audience participation made it a highly enjoyable robust set that will be a special memory for all the rock fans that attended.









For more on Guns N' Roses visit:
https://www.gunsnroses.com/
https://www.facebook.com/gunsnroses

For more on BST Hyde Park events visit:
https://www.bst-hydepark.com/




All live photos by Guilherme Nunes Cunha Neto / @guilhermeneto


Words by Mad About Rock (Carina Lawrence)

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