Rock In Rio (The Godfatherecords G.R. 695/696)
Rock In Rio, Rio De Janeiro Brazil October 2, 2011
Disc 1 (76:23) Chinese Democracy, Welcome To The Jungle, It’s So Easy, Mr. Brownstone, Sorry, Richard Fortus Guitar Solo, Live And Let Die, Rocket Queen, This I Love, DJ Ashba Guitar Solo, Sweet Child O’ Mine, Estranged, Better
Disc 2 (64:45) Dizzy Reed Piano Solo, Street Of Dreams, You Could Be Mine, Sunday Bloody Sunday, November Rain, Bumblefoot Guitar Solo, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Nightrain, Patience, Paradise City
Godfathers recent Guns N’ Roses title comes at an interesting time as the band will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame/ Shame and it is nice to be able to listen to this release and a couple other old bootlegs and reflect on Guns impact on the music world. The source for this release was the bands 2011 appearance at the Rock In Rio Festival that was surrounded by controversy as the band took the stage two hours past the official start time.
The concert organizers blame the band and the band blames heavy rains but anyone who has seen or followed the exploits of Axl Rose know it is more or less his trademark of playing when he wants. The recording itself is an excellent well balanced soundboard that captures the event perfectly, there is a nice blend of audience in the mix and it comes are all the right times during the performance. The South American audiences are passionate about hard rock and heavy metal and give the band a hero’s welcome and despite it being in very late, they follow the band to the very end.
The band play a nice mix of old and new with the bulk of songs coming from the Appetite For Destruction record, the band itself are slick and professional and for the most part stick to the songs original arrangements but anyone who saw Guns or listens to their older concert recordings know that the original band always played with a tight but loose vibe that always seemed to have them bordering on an edge that produced excitement.
After many listens to this set I found myself enjoying not only the standards ( Its So Easy just plain smokes) but the slower more emotional songs born out of desperation and angst. The band storms the stage with Chinese Democracy and after a brief intro by Axl light the place up with Welcome To The Jungle, the crowd is very vocal during this song and the band waste no time with Its So Easy and Mr Brownstone.
The new track Sorry is one of Axl’s interesting songs, with lyrical themes of tortured love, physical and emotional abuse it is very heavy blues at its very best. Axl for the most part is in very good voice, he hits the deep vocals and falsettos with no problem and gives an excellent performance.
Another great song is Estranged from the Use Your Illusion II record, the guitar just weeps throughout and gives the mournful song with such an introspective feel, the Dizzy Reed piano is spot on throughout. His piano solo is quite nice also and he play The Who’s Baba O’ Riley to the delight of the audience who clap with him. The Sunday Bloody Sunday is just a short two minute tease with the audience handling the vocals to great effect, the song serves and a prelude to one of Axl’s greatest songs November Rain.
Axl even changes the lyrics for the evening to “the cold Brazilian rain…” in response to the ongoing rain showers that surrounded the mornings performance. Bumblefoots solo is interesting and features the theme from the Pink Panther played on guitar solo and leads directly into the bands cover of the Dylan classic Knockin On Heavens Door, the beginning is played at a slower tempo but soon builds to a dramatic ending. The band kick it up into high gear for a blistering Nightrain, a great version of Patience with a cool tease of the Stones Waiting On A Friend with the audience does a great job with the backing vocals and the evening is brought to a close with a foot stomping version of Paradise City.
The tri fold sleeve is adorned with official graphics from the event and full cover shots from the show of Axl in his rain coat and the three guitar players. Over all a nice production by Godfathers of a well played and enjoyable show.