PETALING JAYA, Nov 15 — Legendary rock ‘n’ roll band Guns N’ Roses’ long awaited debut show in Malaysia could not have had a better script.
A near original line-up — without rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin and drummer Steve Adler — performing some of the band’s greatest hits from the 1990s in a cold November rain.
The original trio of frontman Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan was joined by pianist Dizzy Reed (a band member since 1990) alongside newer members Richard Fortus on lead guitar, drummer Frank Ferrer and Melissa Reese on synthesisers and keyboards.
No one in the music industry would have predicted this reunion and emotions were running high as everyone’s favourite rock duo of Rose and Slash dazzled the thousands who braved the rain to relive the classic era of rock ‘n’ roll.
The “Not In This Lifetime Tour” at Sunway Lagoon Surf Beach kicked off with two hits from the band’s best selling 1987 debut album Appetite for Destruction, It’s So Easy and Mr.Brownstone.
Things went a little slower when the band performed Chinese Democracy but Welcome to the Jungle roared some life into the audience as Rose almost hit the high notes, he eased through during his prime in the 1990s.
Slash dazzled the crowd with his solo and from then on, the whole show was nothing short of spectacular.
Throughout the first half of the three-hour show the band also played infamous hits such as Double Talkin’ Jive, Better and Live and Let Die.
Estranged was our personal best, as Axl Rose toyed with the crowd’s emotions for about 10 minutes.
The power ballad song from Use Your Illusion II became a hit in the 1990s due to its extravagant US$4 million (RM16.8 million) music video which featured the lead singer being saved by dolphins as he jumps in the ocean.
Well as weird as the music video was, the song was one of the few highlights of the night.
To the audience’s amazement, the band also performed covers of Velvet Revolver’s Slither, Misfits’ Attitude, Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun and The Who’s The Seeker.
Slash, McKagan and Rose managed to keep the crowd on their toes as they ripped through near-perfect versions of Rocket Queen, You Could Be Mine, Civil War and Coma.
All three songs displayed the chemistry between the trio and they looked happy alongside each other, at times leaving the audience in shock as the concert started to have a very raw and original Guns N’ Roses performance.
Sweet Child O’ Mine came after Slash’s magnificent Godfather theme song solo and the crowd went wild.
Unfortunately for the fans, the rain stopped a couple of songs before Rose took centre stage with a grand piano for Use Your Illusion I hit, November Rain.
The band briefly left the stage after Nightrain, but returned with a powerful encore which featured Patience, Don’t Cry and Paradise City.
Confetti were blown into the front half of the audience and stage after the final song before Rose took some time to thank the Malaysian faithful.
After that, the crowd went silent for a while as the backdrop changed to a tribute to Marvel legend Stan Lee, who died on Tuesday in Los Angeles, at the age of 95.
The backdrop read: “Rest In Peace Stan.”
What shocked us was how well they delivered the 180-minute long show with high entertainment which engaged the Guns N’ Roses fans perfectly.
If there is any doubt, today’s show reminded us who Guns N’ Roses is, with their current tour a testament to that.
The band will travel to Taiwan next for their November 17 set along with two other dates at Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi.