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Guns N' Roses - 'Appetite For Democracy: Live At The Hard Rock Casino - Las Vegas' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/34/d1/d1/Guns-N-Roses-Appetite-For-Democracy-53-1444160114.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 06, 2015    
 
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A great DVD for those who haven't seen GN'R live or who would like to see one of the twelve shows they performed.

One often wonders what we haven't had from Guns N' Roses; and yet here it is, a DVD of their residency at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. The DVD contains twenty-five live songs (from 'Appetite For Destruction' and 'Chinese Democracy') plus interviews with Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and DJ Ashba. The compilation of songs is also included in a 2CD format as well as being available in 3D and Blu-ray.

Despite the obstacle-course-like stage set-up with bridges and platforms over the crowd, I feel with a DVD you lose some of the effect by being able to see it all happen, such as Ashba rising up above the stage to open the show with 'Chinese Democracy'. Working easily through numbers such as 'It's So Easy' and 'Rocket Queen', I sometimes feel the camera doesn't capture the bigger picture of the show, focusing only on one element or musician at a time which, while detailed, leaves the show feeling rather bitty.

You do get however, the feeling of camaraderie between the rather sizeable band now; the more Punk-inspired solo songs by Stinson and Thal also bring some great diversity. 'November Rain' sees Axl Rose take to the sky on his piano as it swings out over the crowd; certainly something a little different though it seemed rather unnecessary for such a high-profile song. 'Don't Cry' has Thal to thank for a beautifully played opening while 'Civil War' brings the band's dynamism and energy together.

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There's a great "recorded" moment in 'Nighttrain' where Rose tosses his whistle off to the side of the stage, missing the stage-hand by a few feet; credit to the guy because he still manages to dive to the side and catch it. More moments like this would have made this a little more special. During 'Patience' there's a couple of close-up shots of the crowd singing along – a style of shot that is actually minimal throughout, whilst Ashba has a few moments of respite sitting astride the stage railings; definitely the most playful member of the band with the camera.

What would the final song be without one final costume change? We're onto leather with studs now with yet another hat for 'Paradise City' and the dancers reappear too, lending a slightly cheesy "altogether now" vibe to the ending.

The interviews are interesting and insightful, from the origins of the name "Bumblefoot" to Stinson on the band's "instinctual" relationship. They also give an insight into the disparate origins of the band members and their diverse influences from Ashba naming John Williams to Deep Purple for Reed and The Clash for Stinson.

It's a great DVD for those who haven't seen GN'R live or who would like to see one of the twelve shows they performed. For me however, the magic of Guns N' Roses is in their mystery, their charisma and their simplicity in performance... and this DVD seemed to erase just a little bit more mystery and magic from this seemingly immortal band.

Sophie Brownlee

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