You may have seen the billboard on I-15 with the Guns N’ Roses logo on it, teasing something big for the band locally this spring.
Here it is: The group will be returning to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel for a second residency after a well-received stint there in the fall of 2012.
I saw the nearly three-hour show, dubbed “Appetite for Democracy,” and it was indeed an awesomely overblown rock ’n’ roll spectacle.
But here’s the gripe: Despite what the band said in advance of their residency, the set list at The Joint shows was pretty much exactly what GNR has been playing on tour with their current lineup for years now.
The production may have been slightly different, but not the selection of material they performed, with a few exceptions.
The same thing can be said for Motley Crue during their two extended stays at The Joint.
The band that did the whole residency thing at the venue the best?
Def Leppard, who played two sets each night, with the first set being rare songs and B-sides that the band had seldom, if ever, played before. This made the concert feel special, something worth traveling to Vegas for in order to see a show that you couldn’t see anywhere else.
And that’s what a residency is supposed to be all about, right?
With this in mind, with Guns N’ Roses returning to The Joint, here are five seldom-played songs that I’d like to see the band dust off at the Hard Rock:
“Coma”: My personal favorite song off of “Use Your Illusion I,” “Coma” is the band’s longest at more than 10 minutes in duration. The epic, tangled tune doesn’t have a chorus and is among the most adventurous they ever recorded.
“14 Years”: Easily the coolest moment during GNR’s first Vegas residency was when the band was joined by former guitarist Izzy Stradlin, who performed this ode to Rose and Stradlin’s friendship that the latter sang on “Use Your Illusion II.” But Stradlin only participated in the last two gigs of the 12-date run. Bring him back for the whole thing this time, please.
“Reckless Life”: Pretty much one prolonged snarl, this bare bones, bare knuckle rocker was originally penned by Hollywood Rose, the band that prefaced Guns N’ Roses. You can hear a live version of it on the band’s “Lies” EP. Twenty five years later, let’s hear it live once more.
“Anything Goes”: This libidinous come-on is just about the only song off of “Appetite for Destruction” that the band stopped playing ages ago. This might have something to do with the profane lyrics, but it’s a down and dirty reminder of this band’s down and dirty origins.
“Prostitute”: Not sure why this great, reflective, symphonic “Chinese Democracy” album closer has never made into the band’s set list much, but this would be a good time to change all that.