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Guns N' Roses: SCG Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand
28th February 2017

3rd March 2017

mark taylor
Words: Mark Taylor, Pictures: imc Live and VIJI CORP

guns n roses

They said it would never happen in this lifetime, but seeing is believing as Axl Rose reunited with original members Slash and Duff McKagan and rolled back the years as if it was 1993 on the 'Use Your Illusion' tour all over again.

For many younger fans this was a once in a lifetime occasion, having been too young to see the classic line-up first time round.

Bangkok, the city of angels, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty, was well up for this gig with fans arriving by the thousands early in the afternoon to beat the notorious rush hour traffic jams, the Singha beer flowing from the stalls set up outside in this hot and humid city and the atmosphere surrounding the stadium bordering on euphoria.

The hysteria created by the world's most dangerous band was still highly evident here in Bangkok some thirty years after the release of the classic debut 'Appetite For Destruction'.

guns n roses

Queues for the merchandise snaked in all directions with the demand for a souvenir t-shirt extremely high, especially for the three special Bangkok only designs. In fact every t-shirt was completely sold out before the end of the show.

Held in a football stadium - the SCG Stadium is home to Thailand's leading Premiership club Muangthong United - where Guns N' Roses put on a knockout performance which will be talked about for years to come.

An intro of the theme from 'Looney Tunes' was followed by the announcement of: "Bangkok, from West Hollywood, the ladyboys Of rock'n'roll... Guns N' Roses!" but there were no cartoon capers as the place went nuts when the band ripped into opener 'It's So Easy', just like the way they did back in their early club days.

It was a magical site seeing Axl, Duff and Slash side by side again, all still looking the epitome of coolness and swagger.

guns n roses

Gone is the kilt, but Axl Rose looked the wild man in ripped jeans with lumberjack shirt hanging from his waist, complete with leather cowboy hat replacing the bandana. Duff McKagan still has his punky edge with short blonde spiky hair and Slash still looks his usual trademark self in top hat and shades wearing one of the prized Guns N' Roses Live In Bangkok t-shirts featuring a bright green elephant. Only a cigarette hanging from his mouth was amiss.

The venue danced to 'Mr Brownstone' before Slash teased the audience with that recognisable riff as Axl Rose barks: "You Know where you are? You're in the jungle baby..."

The venue is totally rocking with the fun and games of 'Welcome To The Jungle' and even Axl raises a smile at its climax.

Slash was well on form and perfectly suited in the band where he belongs as he cranks out a fabulous Metal flamenco riff to the steam rolling 'Double Talkin' Jive'.

guns n roses

This is by no means just a nostalgia trip either as four songs from the controversial 'Chinese Democracy' album are performed with both Duff and Slash adding some extra welly to these great often overlooked songs, including the title track and the synth laden 'Better' which included added vocals from second keyboardist Melissa Reese.

The two keyboardists are not over-imposing, only making themselves heard when need be, for example on Dizzy Reed's spine tingling intro to 'Estranged', one of a few epics that were totally spellbinding with Axl's dominating presence and emotion.

Duff McKagan sang his Misfits favourite, 'Attitude', while Slash would add little bits of his influences here and there including the intro to Jimi Hendrix's 'Voodoo Child' at the end of a stunning 'Civil War' and later with a snatch of Led Zeppelin's 'Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You' before the ballad 'Don't Cry'.

That's what makes the return to Guns N' Roses of Slash and Duff so superb; a special chemistry that is skin deep in the roots of rock'n'roll and makes their own material come alive with brutal honesty.

guns n roses

The mind bending and complex 'Coma' was magnificent, performed by a live unit that really knows how to work together with cutting sharpness.

Slash and rhythm guitarist Richard Fortus duet a striking instrumental take on Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here' that bleeds into a swirling segment of Clapton's 'Layla' as Axl Rose appears on the grand piano with a ring larger than Liberace's for a monumental 'November Rain'.

Taking breathers with 'Yesterdays' and 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door', The Gunners ended the main set with an absolute suckerpunch version of 'Nightrain'.

A raucous version of The Who's 'The Seeker' in the encores was rounded off with a storming 'Paradise City' ending a jaw dropping, and at times unbelievably excellent, show that clocked in at just under three hours long.

Get In The Ring muthafuckers, because you'll be a fool not to be knocked out by this comeback.


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Looney Tunes
The Equalizer
It's So Easy
Mr Brownstone
Chinese Democracy
Welcome To The Jungle
Double Talkin' Jive
Live And Let Die
Rocket Queen
You Could Be Mine
Attitude (with You Can't Put Your Arms...)
This I Love
Civil War (with Voodoo Child outro)
Coma (with band introductions)
Slash Guitar Solo
Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From The Godfather)
(Nino Rota cover) (instrumental, Slash guitar solo)
Sweet Child O' Mine
My Michelle
Wish You Were Here (Slash & Richard Fortus guitar duet)
November Rain (Layla piano outro)
Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Don't Cry
The Seeker
Paradise City
Far Away Eyes




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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