Monday, January 2, 2012

Las Vegas Concert Photography: Guns n' Roses

The last time I saw Guns n' Roses was back in the 1992.  They were on tour with Metallica and Faith No More was the opening band.  The word iconic as a description of this concert is still a bit of an understatement.  Three of the biggest bands of the time, all in one venue, for a concert that lasted nearly six hours.  It was legen……wait for it...…..dary!  And I was there!

Fast-forward 19 years and Guns n' Roses is back!  And with a vengeance, no less.  This time they were touring with Las Vegas locals Adelitas Way and former Skid Row frontman, Sebastian Bach.  While Adelitas Way and Sebastian Bach may not sound like a line-up comparable to the GNR Stadium Tour of 1992, make no mistake, Adelitas Way and Sebastian Bach give monstrous performances.

Adelitas Way has only been in the mainstream spotlight since 2009.  As the opening act for the concert, they quickly got the crowd warmed up for what was going to turn out to be four additional hours of music split between Sebastian Bach and Guns n' Roses.  Prior to this concert, I hadn't listen to any of their music, but I will definitely be keeping an eye on these guys, as they have the potential to become much more influential.

Bach has been around as a rock singer for a very long time and to hear him singing, still quite capable of hitting those ridiculously high notes that defined him as a singer earlier in his career, it beyond impressive.  If you weren't a fan at first, you will be, as you simply can't help but be impressed by the fact that Bach can absolutely ROCK!  Unlike some other bands from the late 80's early 90's who have toured recently, know how to still play their instruments, but the vocal talent has long left the building, Bach can still belt out his most popular hits from the Skid Row heydays and sounds simply amazing!

Guns n' Roses, has recently gained a reputation for making their fans wait, with shows started hours later than planned.  Needless to say, the crowd roared, and the Hard Rock Hotel PR staff relieved, when the band took the stage at 11:05 PM—almost exactly on time.  Even more amazing is the repeated promptness on NYE.  I know because I was fortunate enough to be at both shows.  The first night I was shooting the show for Seven Magazine and the second night I was there because, well, what better way to spend NYE than with my wife, rocking out to Guns n' Roses!

So how does this Guns n' Roses compare to the Guns n' Roses of the 90s?  They had attitude back then and they've still got it now!  They were awesome back then and they're still awesome!  And Axl sounds pretty much exactly the same—his vocals comparable to a very fine Single Malt Scotch.  One of the more interesting points about this iteration of GnR is the blur between lead guitar.  DJ Ashba, Richard Fortus, and Ron Thal seamlessly take over the various lead rifts famously present in the numerous GnR hits.

So they played and they played.  For three hours, the fans with rewarded with hit after hit and musical interludes featuring each band member.  I would have preferred a full three hours of just the hits, but there is no denying the excitement that was radiating from the over 3,500 people crammed in to The Joint on NYE 2012 listening to the Titans of Rock known as Guns n' Roses!

Due to the photo release I signed prior to shooting the show, I'm still waiting on official permission to use my photos with this post.  However, while I was there the second night, I was under no such release and did capture one picture with my cellphone:

Guns n' Roses performs November Rain at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on NYE 2012

UPDATE:  Permission received.  Pics from the show below.  Please be sure to click on any of the pictures to be taken to the full gallery on my website.


Guns n' Roses


Guns n' Roses


Guns n' Roses
Axl Rose


DJ Ashba
DJ Ashba

Ron Thal
Ron Thal


Richard Fortus
Richard Fortus

I love hearing from my readers.   You can follow me on Twitter or use the "Contact" button to get in touch, so feel free to send me your comments and let me know if you have any suggestions.  Please visit my the concert section of my website to see these and additional photos from all the shows.

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