22 Songs, 2 Hours 12 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At the peak of their powers, Guns N’ Roses were a devastating live act. They made their name in the late 1980s as the leanest, meanest band on the L.A. club circuit, and though the majority of Live Era is drawn from the band’s massive 1991-1993 Use Your Illusion tour, much of what made G N’ R the most charismatic stage show in rock’n’roll is on display here. The first album draws heavily on Appetite For Destruction, as the group turns in particularly fearsome versions of “Nightrain” and “It’s So Easy.” Even when playing before packed arenas in Paris and Tokyo G N’ R brought the stink and smoke of Hollywood’s dives into their performances. “Welcome To the Jungle” contains one of Axl’s most electrifying squeals, while “You’re Crazy” is handled with a bluesy strut. Save for a sneering “Out Ta Get Me” from the band’s 1987 debut in London, the second album is drawn entirely from shows in 1992, when the band’s concerts included an immense stage platform and support from a horn section, backing singers, and other multi-instrumentalists. While older numbers like “Move To the City” didn’t benefit from this fleshed-out approach, Illusion songs like “Yesterday” and “Estranged” are propelled to thunderous heights by the grandiose setting. The extended version of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” might be a little hammy for fans of the band’s menacing early years, but it is hard to argue with the thousands of concertgoers who lend their voices to the song’s chorus. As the music drops out and Axl duets with the unified voice of a rapt sea of fans, the power Guns N’ Roses held over their audiences is forever preserved.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At the peak of their powers, Guns N’ Roses were a devastating live act. They made their name in the late 1980s as the leanest, meanest band on the L.A. club circuit, and though the majority of Live Era is drawn from the band’s massive 1991-1993 Use Your Illusion tour, much of what made G N’ R the most charismatic stage show in rock’n’roll is on display here. The first album draws heavily on Appetite For Destruction, as the group turns in particularly fearsome versions of “Nightrain” and “It’s So Easy.” Even when playing before packed arenas in Paris and Tokyo G N’ R brought the stink and smoke of Hollywood’s dives into their performances. “Welcome To the Jungle” contains one of Axl’s most electrifying squeals, while “You’re Crazy” is handled with a bluesy strut. Save for a sneering “Out Ta Get Me” from the band’s 1987 debut in London, the second album is drawn entirely from shows in 1992, when the band’s concerts included an immense stage platform and support from a horn section, backing singers, and other multi-instrumentalists. While older numbers like “Move To the City” didn’t benefit from this fleshed-out approach, Illusion songs like “Yesterday” and “Estranged” are propelled to thunderous heights by the grandiose setting. The extended version of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” might be a little hammy for fans of the band’s menacing early years, but it is hard to argue with the thousands of concertgoers who lend their voices to the song’s chorus. As the music drops out and Axl duets with the unified voice of a rapt sea of fans, the power Guns N’ Roses held over their audiences is forever preserved.

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