Friday 23 February 2018

Review: Guns N' Roses at O2, Dublin

Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

It's 10.24pm. Normally, this is the time you hear the headline act bellowing, "Goodnight Dublin." There would be a short interval and perhaps a few encores.

But at 10.24pm on Wednesday night, the house lights finally go down in the O2 and Guns N' Roses take to the stage to the relief of a very impatient crowd.

The scenes that follow were some kind of live musical equivalent of GUBU. It's grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and totally unprecedented.

Seconds into the second song, 'Welcome to the Jungle', Axl Rose suddenly halts the performance after a water bottle is tossed on stage. "Here's the deal," he says. "One more bottle and we go. We don't want to go."

After five appalling numbers, Bottlegate part 2. "That's it. Thank you. Goodnight. Have a nice evening." The punters next to me who have driven up from Cork leave, as do many fans. Axl Rose clearly has zero consideration for the paying audience, venue staff and promoters.

A stagehand announces that there are "technical difficulties". And he is dealing with -- technically -- one of the most difficult artists in the world.

Astonishingly, promoter Dennis Desmond himself takes to the stage.

"Sincere apologies about this. We're trying hard to get Axl to come back on-stage. I would ask you please to refrain from throwing items at him. I promise you a great show, but we need calm, please. If you could bear with us for five minutes. Thank you for your patience," he tells the crowd.

The house lights go down after another uncertain interval and the band finally return and launch into a rendition of 'Live and Let Die'.

Bizarrely, one of Axl's hired guns announces, "C'mon Dublin, don't let yourselves down".

It is his own frontman that has let everyone down. There is a telling contrast to how Slash entertained a fervent crowd at Vicar Street recently and treated the audience with respect and heartfelt appreciation.

Those words clearly aren't in Axl Rose's vocabulary. He insists on performing track after track from the flop of an album that is 'Chinese Democracy'.

Admittedly, the band do a decent take on 'Sweet Child O'Mine', but Axl looks like he couldn't give a monkeys and their playing unashamedly apes Slash.

The 'show' eventually ends at 1am sharp. If you've missed your last bus or DART, tough.

The washed up bad joke that is Axl Rose should retire from live performances with immediate effect until he cops on and learns some basic manners.

Irish Independent

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