x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Rock band wows 20,000 fans with Guns N' Roses

The US rockers take their audience at the Yas Island Arena back to their youth with performance of their classic hits.

Axl Rose delighted the crowd by playing Welcome to the Jungle.
Axl Rose delighted the crowd by playing Welcome to the Jungle.
Thousands of rock fans shook the Yas Island Arena in celebration last night as the rock band Guns N' Roses took to the stage.
The US rockers opened with the title track from their latest album, Chinese Democracy, with a flurry of fireworks before the stage was bathed in a red glow. The frontman and lead singer, Axl Rose, then delighted the crowd by playing one of the group's biggest hits, Welcome to the Jungle.
As Rose danced across the stage, the 20,000-strong crowd, many who were dressed in leathers, whooped and cheered their approval.
Many of the predominantly middle-aged audience said that the songs took them back to their youth.
Dogan Bakirci, 53, who works in the UAE as an electrical engineer, and who is originally form Turkey, said he was a huge fan of the group and that his mobile telephone ringtone was the 1992 hit, November Rain.
"I'm 53 years old and the band have been with me my whole life. I am full of memories every time I listen to them. They take me back to my youth."
Yasmine Bensabri, 30, originally from Algeria, works in banking in Dubai, and travelled to the capital to see the group play. "My husband is a hardcore metal fan. He dragged us here but we love Guns N' Roses too. We grew up with the band."
Many of the fans dusted off their leathers to attend, some sporting leather trousers or sleeveless jackets covered in studs. Others wore cowboy hats, boots and ripped tee shirts.
Ivan Thomas, 42, from India, lives in Abu Dhabi and works in construction.
Dressed in a long black wig, black cowboy hat and leather sleeveless jacket, he said: "I love their 2008 album, Chinese Democracy but, really, I really want hear their old stuff."
While many were happy to listen to tracks from the band's 2008 Chinese Democracy album, almost everyone said they were hoping to hear the classic hits, such as Sweet Child of Mine and Knockin' on Heaven's Door.
Celine Buenavides, 35, from the Philippines, who works in Dubai as analyst, said: "Guns N' Roses are like a music legend. When we heard they were coming, we were really excited. There was no way we were going to miss them. Sure, we miss Slash, but we are here to see Axl and the band."
Narayan Kurub, 40, who works as a banker, travelled from his home city of Mumbai, India, just to see the band play live. "I have been a fan of the bad since 1987 and I have always loved their music but this is the first time I have seen them play live."
Together with his brother, Unni, 35, who lives in Dubai and works in advertising, the pair said they had been looking forward to the concert for more than a month.
Pasangi Weerasinghe, 22, from Sri Lanka, who works in banking in Dubai, added: "This is not really my generation's music but the band are a classic. My dad is a fan and I love them too. I have always joked with him that I like Guns N' Roses so much, I was born in the wrong generation."
vtodorova@thenational.ae