Last night in front of 50,000 rabid fans, Guns N' Roses brought their 'Not In Their Lifetime' tour to Auckland. The weather was picture perfect and except for a minor wristband hiccup, which only affected a handful of late comers, the proceedings ran far more smoothly than a few days earlier at the Wellington show.
Heading to my terraced seat with an unpalatable hot dog in hand, it was hard to hide the smile on my face. This was one concert that was years in the making. Sure, Guns N' Roses played here in the 00's, but that was pretty much Axl and his touring band. This was the first time that Axl, Slash, Dizzy and Duff had all graced the stage in Auckland since 1993. Sadly there was no Steve Adler or Matt Sorum behind the drums, but Frank Ferrer was well up for the task!
As soon as the dazzling sun disappeared behind the stage, we were blinded no longer and Guns N' Roses came out charging - straight into 'It's So Easy', and then quickly charged into one of my favourites 'Mr. Brownstone'.
The hits kept on coming, with 'Welcome To The Jungle' fired out early and Slash completely owning the stage. We were treated to 'Live And Let Die', 'You Could Be Mine' and 'Civil War'. Slash shone with a fantastic guitar solo, and there was even a chilling rendition of 'The Godfather' theme.
Surprisingly 'Sweet Child Of Mine' followed quick smart, one I guessed they would probably tease for the encore. The crowd was mad for it as we were transported back to a grand ol' party in 1987.
We then head in for classics 'Yesterdays' and 'My Michelle', and then treated to a phenomenal instrumental version of Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here', and morphed into the instrumental outro of Eric Clapton's 'Layla', with Axl taking his place on the piano... and that could only mean one song was coming up next.
The power ballad 'November Rain' rang out over the Springs, with all 50,000 of us lapping it up. The highlight of the song of course being Slash's raging outro guitar solo. And as crowd went wild, the set was complete with 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' and lastly, 'Night Train'.
A short break and the lads were back with the encore. 'Sorry', 'Don't Cry', The Who's 'The Seeker'... wow! And what better to end the night with? It had to be 'Paradise City', bringing back memories of Skateland and the old school Socials. As the chords rang out, fireworks began in earnest and the dry ice drifted out across the crowd, as we head banged the finale.
The Gunners came back out to acknowledge the crowd and took a much deserved bow to a standing ovation.
There were concerns from punters beforehand that perhaps the band would be past it, particularly Axl's vocals. But they all sounded, and looked, just the part. If anything, the feeling we were left with was that they were better than ever.
It's early into 2017, but could it be the concert of the year? It'll be bloody hard to beat.
Iron Maiden’s are to release 'The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter on November 17th. This live recording comprises 15 songs captured during ‘The Book Of Souls World Tour’, which covered 39 countries across six continents during 2016 and 2017, and was seen by over two million fans.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
One month on from the release of their third album [Wade Waist Deep], American rock band Thomas Wynn & The Believers are back on the road, breaking beyond the southern rock scene with complex, pulsing rhythms and breathtaking harmonies.