Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

June 6, 2013

GNR delivers in visit to Buffalo's Outer Harbor


Niagara Gazette — Rose, now 51, strained at times as he attempted to achieve the vocal heights of his earlier days. He still delivered, offering fans the trademark sway and serpentine moves they know and love. And, yes, when necessary, he still has the voice to hit those screechy high notes. 

While Rose was, is and will always be the star of a GNR show, some of the evening's most memorable moments came courtesy of the rest of the band, in particular GNR's three guitarists — D.J. Ashba, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and Richard Fortus.  

Slash is, of course, Slash and there's really no replacing him. What's interesting about the band's new trio is how each guy alone can wow with an extended solo but as a whole makeups the sort of high-volume, wall of sound you'd expect from a hard rock act of this type. 

The best of the band's older radio hits were here - "Welcome to the Jungle," "So Easy," "Rocket Queen," "Used to Love Her," "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Don't Cry," "Civil War" and "Nightrain." The new guys did them all justice. Big crowd pops came during the bittersweet "November Rain" and the band's cover of Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die" and Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." In homage to what was traditionally one of the original band's setlist mainstays, the crew pulled out the acoustic guitars as part of the sing-a-long friendly "Patience," another crowd pleaser. 

A few newer songs off "Chinese Democracy" were sprinkled in between the better-known stuff. 

As an aside, I recently picked up a copy of "Democracy" in a clearance bin at a local music store for $3. The album - which drew both critical praise and criticism - became notorious for taking 13 years and millions of dollars to create. 

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