Hard rock icons Guns N' Roses shine in Singapore despite less-than-stellar sound

SINGAPORE - Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose called us "Changi" but it's okay, we forgive him because he together with his reunited band mates, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, tore through a scorching set in their first-ever gig in Singapore at the Changi Exhibition Centre on Saturday night.

All the GNR trademarks were on full display during the two hour and 45 minute set - Rose's screeching wail and hip-swaying moves, Slash's top hat and slithering solos and McKagan's low slung bass and frequent runs across the massive stage.

The setlist was classic GNR - the bulk of them came from the iconic 1987 debut Appetite For Destruction and 1991 double release Use Your Illusion I and II, as well as a smattering of covers including Bob Dylan's Knockin' On Heaven's Door and Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here.

There was plenty of singalong opportunities for originals such as epic ballads November Rain and Estranged and red-blooded rockers like Paradise City and Welcome To The Jungle.

Rose's vocals and the guitars sound buried and could do with more punch, but their solid showmanship and choice setlist made up for the less-than-stellar sound.

Teacher Reena Singh, 38, attended the concert in a leg brace.

She said: "Although I had to sit down, Knockin On Heaven's Door and Sweet Child O' Mine just carried me away. It's one of the best concerts I've ever been to. The energy was contagious and I'm now planning to dress as Slash for Halloween."

Her husband, oil trader Derek Miranda, 42, said: "The sound was a bit off, but these are 50-something-year-old guys and I was amazed that they kept it up for two and a half hours."


This article was first published on Feb 25, 2017.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.