Guns N' Roses late and not so great at Leeds
Arena half-empty for rock giants
Graeme Johnston on 29 August 2010
On the heels of great shows by Biffy Clyro and Queens Of The Stone Age, interest in GnR
was as much in hope of controversy a la Reading (where delays meant their set was cut, prompting a sit-down protest) as it
was the fact they are arguably the greatest rock band ever.
What's sure is that despite opening with 'Appetite For Destruction' classics like 'Welcome To The Jungle', 'It's So Easy' and 'Mr Brownstone', there was never any danger of Rose and his hired help reaching the dizzy heights of their early 90s heyday.
Axl (dressed like your embarrassing uncle in a Jacko costume) is every inch the Gazza of rock, a sad old figure riding on past glories who leaves you pining for the genius days gone by, while the new guitarist is just an extremely poor Slash - top hat, checked shirt and sunburst Gibson Les Paul and all.
If we did care at all, it was about hearing our favourite 80s guitar tracks - not for a bunch of random musicians we don't know jamming while Axl disappears for another pointless costume change.
On a positive note, the stage show was as mindblowing as every top headliner should be - fireworks, pyros, bright lights, projections, the lot - and 'You Could Be Mine', 'Sweet Child O Mine' and 'November Rain' are still some of the best rock songs ever penned.
The fact that Marina & The Diamonds on the Festival Republic stage and LCD Soundsystem in the NME Stage both pulled gigantic crowds said it all about Guns N Roses.
A disappointing end to another fine chapter in the Leeds Festival history books.