First off: to all the people who insist that it is “not Guns N’ Roses without Slash”: it’s not the good ol’ Guns N’ Roses, no. But then, it is not the good ol’ 1980’s either. Sorry.
The minute Axl Rose reunites with Slash, Izzy, Duff and Adler – which certain sources are adamant WILL still happen – then Guns N’ Roses becomes just another nostalgia act, churning out the hits to line the pockets of their managers.
Right now, this weekend, Guns N’ Roses are still a going concern and this, for anyone who views rock’n’roll as a rough, dog-eared, ever-being-added-to tapestry rather than simply an endless succession of “classic” line-ups running through “the classics” for the iGeneration is A Good Thing.
So while yes, it’s going to be a bit of a pisser when you look at the stage this weekend during the signature riff of ‘Paradise City’ and it’s not Slash playing it, the truth is that it will sound identical. Meanwhile, anyone who saw Slash close his solo sets with the same song this summer will attest that it was sorely, sorely lacking the most distinctive screech in the last 25 years of rock music.
The voice – alongside Liam and Kurt, the most distinctive in the last 25 years of rock – sounds as good as it ever has; the versions of the songs muscular, visceral and exciting. So, be excited. And be there on time. Because W Axl Rose sure as hell will be.
For more on Guns N’ Roses, pick up our Reading and Leeds preview issue, on sale Wednesday 25 August