The Guns N’ Roses residency: 5 tips if you’re considering going

Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses play the Joint 10 more times in November.
Photo: Erik Kabik/ErikKabik.com

The Details

Guns N' Roses
November 7, 9, 10, 14, 17, 18, 21, 23 & 24, times vary, $41-$111
The Joint, 693-5000

My full review of Guns N' Roses' show at the Joint last night—the second of 12 scheduled gigs at the Vegas venue—will run in Thursday's print edition of Las Vegas Weekly. But for now, here are five tips for anyone considering attending one of the remaining nights.

1. Rest up beforehand. GNR hit the stage at 11:40 p.m. and played until 2:45 a.m.—three hours and change. In other words, this is not a concert you see before you hit the town. This is your night out, with maybe just enough energy left over for a quick bite at Mr. Lucky's afterward.

2. Don't leave early. At times, you'll be tempted. Stick around. The show's final 60-90 minutes were easily its best stretch, with frontman Axl Rose in far better voice—and seemingly, better spirits—than during the concert's first half. He smiled more, ran faster, interacted with the crowd more often and, most importantly, hit high notes he didn't even attempt early on. "Don't Cry," "Civil War" and "Out ta Get Me" were three late-show highlights, but really, almost every song Rose sang toward the end of the night sounded stronger than anything near the start.

Guns N' Roses' 'Appetite for Democracy' at the Joint

3. Solo songs make for smart bathroom breaks. Five separate times during the show, Rose introduces a member of his band—specifically, in order: Richard Fortus, Tommy Stinson, Dizzy Reed, DJ Ashba and Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal—exits the stage and leaves that musician in control for one number. The numbers range from terrible (Bumblefoot's "Glad to Be Here") to acceptable (Stinson's "Motivation"), but are all momentum-sapping indulgences and none qualifies as a must-see.

4. Get on the floor if you can. More than half of the Joint's lower level is seated for this, but though your feet won't like you for it, you should try to get close. I spent part of the night in my seat halfway back, then moved down to the general-admission standing-room section (security stopped checking tickets at some point), and found the sound crisper up there. A floor spot will also afford you a clear view of the band members whenever they ascend two gangways elevated over the crowd and of Rose as he and his grand piano soar up and over the audience during "November Rain."

5. Don't threaten to kill Axl Rose. A woman who apparently did just that—making throat-slashing gestures in his direction from her spot along the second-level balcony—apparently got escorted out, after Bumblefoot noticed her act and grabbed a mic to point her out to security between songs. A Slash loyalist, perhaps ...

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Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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