With Axl Rose’s reputation for time-keeping, it wasn’t surprising that GNR took to the stage at 11pm, their 25-song set kicking off with Chinese Democracy. And things nearly did, when, during second song, Welcome To The Jungle, Axl stopped to deliver a Health & Safety message – “throw shit on stage, we go home”. However, he was then on excellent form, his vocals as good as you could expect, his Dances With Wolves dancing interspersed with catalogue classics such as It’s So Easy, Mr Brownstone, Rocket Queen, You Could Be Mine and November Rain, plus covers of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall Pt.2 and AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie.
Axl’s frequent visits to an oxygen tent provided ample opportunity for solo spots, and the band’s vocal abilities dispelled any idea they’re just Axl’s backing group. While the Arena wasn’t at capacity, the faithful remained throughout the three-hour set, rounded off with Paradise City, Rose demonstrating that he still has the power to entertain, despite his idiosyncrasies.