Guns n Roses dominates Las Vegas once again during their second residency at the The Joint located in The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

Mayhem Music Magazine Guns n Roses 37

There are those who have been fans of Guns n Roses since they first hit the LA music scene back in 1985 that feel the band is only the band with the original members that played on the Appetite for Destruction debut album.

As much as I’d like to see Axl, Izzy, Duff, Slash, and Steven all on one stage together again: I’m not losing sleep over it.  The reason I say this is that I was around to see the birth of Gn’R and I’ve seen the band in it’s many incarnations with other members as well.  I’ve been there when the band sounded great and I’ve been there when they sounded like shit.

This is what brings me to Guns n’ Roses present day.  Doesn’t it all come down to the music?  Axl’s vocal ability is now more under control and he still hits the notes that made him famous. The band put on a nightly three hour show during both residencies which I couldn’t see happening previously endurance wise.

Axl surrounded himself with incredible musicians that not only bring their talent to the band but also play the music flawlessly.  I can honestly say that i praise the contribution Slash did for the band but during his time with Gn’R.  I’ve heard him have his good days and bad onstage. That’s not taking away from the talent he has and his new group definitely fits him better.  The rest of the original line up are also appreciated for being the “Don’t give a fuck” rockers that deserve their place in music history.

But we are talking Guns n Roses present day and that would be with guitarists Richard Fortus, DJ Ashba, and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal.  Axl went through a few others before getting it right. Axl also has an incredible rhythm section with bassist Tommy Stinson, Chris Pitman on Keyboard, Frank Ferrer on drums, and longtime band member Dizzy Reed also on Keyboards. Putting all these members together with Axl on vocals is what makes Guns n Roses a more solid sounding band today.

With all that said, let’s talk about Guns n Roses “No Trickery” residency at The Joint located in the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. This residency went from May 21st to June 7th. I made it to the first residency appropriately named “Appetite for Democracy” in 2012 and was bowled over on how good the band sounded. With that, I made sure that I would be to back to Las Vegas to get another fix of GnR.

For me, hearing Axl belt out songs from Appetite, the Use Your Illusion albums, and Chinese Democracy would be a treat in itself, but to also hear the three guitarists shred through the material adds a whole new dimension.  These three gel as a team while still expressing their individuality on the six string.

Depending on which night you attended the “No Trickery” residency, you were always treated to something very cool. Several nights the band was introduced by actor Nicolas Cage, or Andrew “Dice” Clay doing his stand up in the opening slot, and on May 31st original bassist Duff McKagan does his first full show in the US with Guns n Roses since 1993 (filling in for Tommy Stinson).

The band carries an energy level that is in your face from start to finish. You expect to hear the songs that put GnR on the map.  Welcome to the Jungle,  Mr. Brownstone, Sweet Child O’ Mine and of course with a nightly performance that normally spans three hours, you get all of those and then some.

There are also cover songs spread throughout the set. You’ll hear “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” & “Live & Let Die”covered on the ‘Use Your Illusion 1 and 2’. You’ll normaly also hear bassist Tommy Stinson take the vocals on the Sex Pistol’s “Holiday in the Sun”. The band also played “The Seeker” by The Who, a guitar jam covering Led Zeppelin, and an AC/DC song thrown in as well. When you attend any of the ‘No Trickery’ residency performances, you don’t leave thinking that you saw Axl Rose sing in front of a bunch of other musicians, you leave knowing you just saw GUNS N ROSES!.

The band has evolved with the guidance of Axl and how can it not with the pedigree of guitarist he has chosen. Richard Fortus has played for Thin Lizzy,The Psychedelic Furs, Love Spit Love, and now also with The Dead Daisies.  Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal is a solo artist with his own legion of followers as well as previously playing with Lita Ford, and plays the theme song to VH1’s That Metal Show. We also have DJ Ashba who co-wrote Motley Crue’s Saints of Los Angeles album and is also part of Sixx:AM with Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx. Put all these players together with Axl and this band will wet your Appetite for Destruction.

We hope you enjoyed this review of Guns n Roses.  Be sure to check back for more reviews.

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