GUNS N' ROSES made a triumphant return to Download Festival on Saturday night (09.06.18) bringing hits, covers and more to the iconic heavy metal festival in England.
GUNS N' ROSES delivered hit after hit and an abundance of covers at Download Festival on Saturday night (09.06.18).
Axl Rose headlined the legendary metal extravaganza at Donington Park in Derby, East Midlands, UK, with original bandmates Duff Mckagan and Slash, as well as long-serving keyboardist Dizzy Reed and guitarist Richard Fortus in tow.
Over the years, the formidable frontman has been known for turning up hours late to gigs, however - much to the relief of the thousands of fans and surprise of earlier performers Bury Tomorrow, who joked the band would be on stage in ''17 hours time'' when they played the Zippo Encore stage - Axl was punctual, arriving a minute early.
After a head-banging inducing opening of 'It's So Easy', 'Mr. Brownstone' and 'Chinese Democracy', Axl introduced guitarist Slash - who was born in Hampstead, London - as ''your fellow Englishman'', before screaming, ''Do you know where the f**k you are? You're in Donington, baby!'', followed by a stellar performance of classic 'Welcome to the Jungle'.
The 56-year-old star's style hasn't altered with age, he's still rocking a red bandana, ripped denim jeans, cowboy boots and a check shirt wrapped around his waist, a look he can still pull off.
Throughout the three and a half hours, Axl took brief breaks to switch up his attire with several hat changes, very much living up to his diva reputation.
Not only did the band provide hits in the form of 'It's So Easy', 'Sweet Child O' Mine', 'Welcome to the Jungle' and 'Paradise City' from the seminal 1987 record 'Appetite for Destruction, but Axl also indulged in playing a couple of tracks from their last record, 2008's 'Chinese Democracy' - which received a mixed appraisal from critics and fans upon its release - including the title track and 'Better'.
Guitar hero Slash, 52 - who no doubt smiled to himself with many lookalikes dressed up in the crowd - had his time to shine too, with blinding guitar solos and soaring riff-offs with rhythm guitarist Richard.
The band paid homage to their heroes with covers including The Who ['The Seeker'], Soundgarden ['Black Hole Sun'] - in tribute to late frontman Chris Cornell - Bob Dylan [Knockin' on Heaven's Door'], Derek And The Dominoes ['Layla'], Pink Floyd ['Wish You Were Here'] and The Misfits [Attitude]'.
However, the highlight was Axl's rendition of Slash's former band Velvet Revolver's hit song 'Slither', which he'd only performed twice before.
The supergroup was comprised of Slash, Duff, and former GN'R drummer Matt Sorum, alongside Dave Kushner formerly of punk band Wasted Youth and the late Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots.
Following a set of heavy rock anthems, covers and more solemn moments, in ballad 'November Rain' and an acoustic version of 'Patience', Guns N' Roses reached a climax with a finale of 'Paradise City' accompanied with an impressive fireworks display.
In true rock 'n' roll style, Axl and co reportedly left the site swiftly via a helicopter.
Download concludes tonight (10.06.18) with Ozzy Osbourne headlining the main stage.
Guns N' Roses' setlist was as follows:
'It's So Easy'
'Welcome to the Jungle'
'Double Talkin' Jive'
'Live and Let Die'
'You Could Be Mine'
'This I Love'
'Shadow of Your Love'
Slash Guitar Solo
'Speak Softly Love' (Love Theme From 'The Godfather')
'Sweet Child O' Mine'
'Wish You Were Here'
'Black Hole Sun'
'Knockin' on Heaven's Door'
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