This first live package since 1999 for Gun N’ Roses signals a lot of changes since that first double live album, and most of it is not for the better.
Gone are the lynchpin members Slash and Duff McKagan, and instead is the latest in a circus of session members and bit parts to satisfy Axl Rose’s needlessly inflated ego.
Quite why a DVD document of a band that is largely considered Axl Rose’s Guns tribute band is needed is anyone’s guess, and it really only serves to show how much of a shame it is that this is the Gun N’ Roses of today.
It is churlish to expect a full reunion, but one has to look at Slash and how much more dignified his treatment of the Guns legacy is.
Appetite For Democracy is a singe DVD and two CD set containing songs mostly from, you guessed it, Appetite For Democracy and Chinese Democracy. The old songs stack up much better than the new, with Catcher In The Rye the only genuinely decent song to emerge from the latter album; which is worrying considering it was written over 10 years ago.
The production is a little overblown, a rising piano with Axl sat at it for November Rain is particularly indulgent, but it is the riser for guitarist DJ Ashba – considering he the least experienced member in the band – that really raises the question marks.
In terms of extras, a photo gallery and interviews with four of the band members are interesting. They are only six minutes apiece, but the back stories of each member reveals interesting careers which makes you wonder why they have lowered themselves to being in a band which seems to serve only to satisfy one musician.
Indeed, the amount of attention that goes into the members discussing just how ordinary a guy Axl Rose is seems to point entirely to the opposite.
What would have made this set fascinating is an insight into the backstage workings of the current Guns lineup, in addition to shedding a light on all the rumours of excess, which sadly this doesn’t address.
A pointless DVD that leaves the viewer feeling disappointed at the end.