Trae Patton, NBC Blake Shelton's album, Based on a True Story ... will hit…
- Posted on Aug 30th 2010 7:56AM by Stephen Dowling
After the car, train and plane crash of Friday's delayed headline set at the sister festival in Reading, Rose's karaoke version of G'n'R were the subject of the biggest festival rumour since the 'Paul Weller is dead' Chinese whispers a decade ago. Would they play on time? Would the plug be pulled like it was on Friday? Would Axl Rose even turn up given the Friday fracas? The arrival of a helicopter at sunset made it seem like the last question, at least, had been answered.
As it transpired, Guns N' Roses were still half an hour late -- relatively punctual given their standards. The next hour-and-a-half saw them bury any fond memories of their swaggering stadium rock of two decades ago.
There were less people watching GN'R than there were for previous Main Stage act Queens of the Stone Age. Rose looked bloated and warped -- like a hamster with water retention -- and those once sky-scraping vocal chords sounded like fingernails on a blackboard. 'Welcome to the Jungle' sounded shrill and over-egged; the band's current line-up boasting enviable talent but not an ounce of personality. Rose seemed more interested in costume changes -- an array of jackets, hats and bandanas as the night wore on -- than in whipping the crowd up from their Sunday night torpor.
The band's 80s-era classics were all present and correct: 'It's So Easy,' Mr. Brownstone' and 'Sweet Child O' Mine.' But the sight of a rotund Rose, sweatily darting from one side of the stage to the other while clutching on to his hat, made all but the most short-sighted fan realise we were a long way past Guns N'Roses heyday.
He saved any mention of the friction between himself and the promoters until the very end. "We would like to play a few more songs for you tonight," Rose said. "But someone is telling us the show's over. This war ain't over yet." No, Mr Rose, but with any luck your career might be.