Jun 01 2012

Live Review: Guns n Roses, Metro Arena Newcastle 23rd May 2012

Guns n Roses Gig Review – Metro Arena Newcastle 23rd May 2012

As summer finally arrives – the vibrant city of Newcastle is a wash with revellers soaking up a party atmosphere as they make the most of the evening sunshine. But as the light fades and the bar dwellers sup the final dregs from their glasses – they could be forgiven for thinking the party is over. However, just a short distance away at the Metro Arena the night is still young and the party hasn’t even started!

Outside the Arena, the atmosphere is electric as the faithful hordes descend in their thousands ready to witness a true monster of rock, as US rock giants, Guns and Roses prepare to take to the stage.

Kicking off proceedings, are the legendary 1970’s band Thin Lizzy who despite suffering the loss of several original members, still manage to provide a stella opening performance.

Lizzy more than earn their reputation as true rock legends and the crowd show their appreciation with equal amounts of wild applause and fervent head banging. Lizzy easily slash the generation gap with mind blowing performances of many of their classic hits such as – ‘The Cowboy Song’, ‘Rosalie’ and ‘Whiskey in the Jar,’ giving those old enough to remember a 33 speed LP record and their original line-up  a welcome hit of nostalgia and those too young –  a taste of what a real band can do !! You could say – (as the song goes) The Boys were certainly back in ‘toon’ tonight!

Thin Lizzy rapped up at 21:30 giving the crowd a moment to catch their breath, nip out side for a quick ciggie or down a cheeky half!  I took the time to wander up to the stage whilst the roadies hurried to change the set. Fans chilled out on the floor, surrounded by empty plastic glasses and rumours were rife as to when the main event would take place.

By all accounts Guns n Roses have a habit of taking to the stage at any time. Even the Arena management didn’t seem privy to MR. Rose’s schedule, A quick look at my watch and it was now 22:30 – some of these fans were getting edgy and would soon need to make a choice – pray at the altar of rock with the other disciples, or risk missing the last bus home! Oh the dilemma!

By 22:45 rumours begin to circulate – the word is that glamour models have been hired to stand in the front line. As the rumour mill works its magic restlessness turns to anticipation. Not sure if this particular story is true, but there are some really classy looking ladies here tonight, so maybe! Hey! A man can dream right?

Suddenly the house lights are killed, plunging the arena into darkness. The crowd begin to cheer in wild anticipation. Then all at once the stage explodes into life, like a synchronised event at a Japanese camera club – the light show kicks off and Guns n Roses hit the stage for a 2 and half hour lesson in mayhem handed out by rock royalty.

Axl looked almost unrecognizable – sporting a Mexican moustache and a close fitting hat. Reports that he was suffering from a leg injury didn’t seem to dampen his vigour as he pounded across the stage launching into “Welcome to the Jungle” and the crowd go wild.

Fans were about to be given the stuff of rock and roll dreams, as Guns and Roses powered through their classics, “November Rain”  “Sweet Child O mine” and a cover of Wings “Live and Let Die” The fans lapped it up as they zealously gestured aloft with their ‘corna’ salutes, bridging the generational gap between old and new fans.

And that’s the rub, yeah they might have arrived late on stage – but guess what? Parties are always at the best after midnight! The Gods of Rock came down from their lofty heavens and consented to play to us mere mortals – Long Live Rock and Roll!

Alan Sill May 2012