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Guns N' Roses: Appetite For Democracy

A brilliant performance minus the old spark

This is a superbly filmed concert from an excellent band at the Hard Rock Casino, Las Vegas, mostly playing iconic tunes. So why is it ultimately a little vacuous? The problem is that what made Guns N’ Roses remarkable in the first place has gone.

This is very much about Axl and his backing musicians, albeit augmented by a stageshow that includes explosions, fire towers and girls pole-dancing.

What’s lacking is any interaction onstage, or with the audience: Axl struts around, behaving like a tame panther compared to the menace he used to exude. He barely seems to notice the musicians in the band. And, as good as they are, these guys can’t fill the obvious gaps left by Slash et al.

However, leaving aside comparisons to the past, this is an impressive performance. The band are tight, the classic songs stand up strong; even the collection from Chinese Democracy is bearable. And it’s thoughtfully filmed. As for the bonus interviews, none of the band have anything interesting to say. And Axl is inevitably absent./o:p

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.