• Gunners belt out best in Sydney

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Image: AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Worldwide hard rock sensations Guns N' Roses didn't miss a step as they belted out the best of three decades of music in Sydney on Tuesday night.

The eight-man band featured iconic frontman and lead singer Axl Rose, who is the only original member from when the band formed in 1985 in Los Angeles.

Ageing rockers and fellow fans young enough to be their children packed Allphones Arena at Homebush, in the city's west, with thousands rocking out peacefully at floor level which was standing-room-only.

Gunners, as they're affectionately known in Australia, burst on to the stage and opened with Chinese Democracy, which is the lead track from their 2008 album with the same name.

They followed with some of their hits from the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Welcome to the Jungle, It's So Easy and Estranged.

As the crowd settled in, they were treated to a solo from lead guitarist Richard Fortus before Gunners re-joined the stage and performed Live and Let Die from the 1991 album Use Your Illusion 1.

Dizzy Reed performed a piano solo followed by the Gunners' classic You Could Be Mine from Use Your Illusion 2.

There was dancing on the floor and in the seats when the guitarists kicked off the first notes to Sweet Child O' Mine from the band's 1987 breakout success album Appetite For Destruction.

Known for the band's ability to cover other bands, they later led fans through their own version of Pink Floyd's hit Another Brick In The Wall

The grand piano was rolled out for Axl Rose who kept fans on their feet when Gunners delivered another 1991 classic November Rain.

Rose and his mates stayed away from what many bands with more than 25 years in the music business can't seem to avoid - interrupting the good times with endless babbling about nothing.

Instead, it was one song after another.

The well-behaved crowd rocked out next to Don't Cry and Knocking On Heaven's Door.

To break up the action, Rose exited the stage temporary while the band performed instrumental jams at a number of brief intervals during the two-hour performance.

Fans gave their strongest applause when the band performed another 1987 hit Nightrain.

Gunners followed with their 1988 hit Patience and belted out Paradise City which nearly brought the house down and wrapped up Tuesday's performance.

The band kicked off their Australia tour in Perth on Saturday, and after Sydney, play Newcastle on Wednesday, followed by two shows in Melbourne on the weekend before they wrap up in Brisbane on March 20.


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