Guns N’ Roses, BST Hyde Park: Review, setlist and highlights as GnR backed by Pretenders and The Darkness

Following their Glastonbury performance, Guns N’ Roses headlined a day at BST Hyde Park in London.
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The T-shirt count for Guns N’ Roses at BST Hyde Park outstrips even Pearl Jam and the Rolling Stones last year, which is quite an achievement.

Whether you’re a fan or not, the success of the brand is undeniable, and 60,000 people here tonight were certainly fans. And they’re runners too - as soon as the gates opened people were making a dash to grab their spot.

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Despite a rare grey day this week, spirits in Hyde Park were high among a multigenerational crowd. It’s noticeable how many older rockers have sons and daughters by their side, also in GnR T-shirts.

The band ease their way in with It’s So Easy, but it is four songs in with Welcome to the Jungle that they really hit their stride. This is what everyone came for.

Axl seems relaxed and likes he’s enjoying himself - and Slash and Duff always seem relaxed.

It’s a three-hour set so I must admit I took a break in the middle and missed Live and Let Die , which seemed to go down well.

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After Civil War is the traditional Slash solo to worship (it’s great) and then into the huge hits. Sweet Child O’ Mine is a big song (obviously) with dancing throughout the crowd, but November Rain really gets them. Everyone loves a ballad at heart.

And, writing as a Dylan fan, I’ve always enjoyed Knockin’s On Heaven’s being given the rock anthem treatment that Bob never would. It’s a great lyric and a great singalong.

Nightrain follows, and Don’t Cry is thrown in before Paradise City closes.

Axl Rose with Guns N’ Roses at BST Hyde Park. (Photo by Guilherme Nunes Cunha Neto / @guilhermeneto)Axl Rose with Guns N’ Roses at BST Hyde Park. (Photo by Guilherme Nunes Cunha Neto / @guilhermeneto)
Axl Rose with Guns N’ Roses at BST Hyde Park. (Photo by Guilherme Nunes Cunha Neto / @guilhermeneto)

Guns N’ Roses BST Hyde Park setlist

It's So Easy

Bad Obsession

Chinese Democracy

Slither (Velvet Revolver cover)

Mr. Brownstone

Welcome to the Jungle (Link Wray's "Rumble" intro)

Reckless Life

Double Talkin' Jive

Pretty Tied Up

Absurd

Hard Skool

Estranged

Live and Let Die (Wings cover)

Rocket Queen

You Could Be Mine

T.V. Eye (The Stooges cover) (Duff on lead vocals)

Anything Goes

Civil War (Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child"… more )

Slash Guitar Solo

Sweet Child o' Mine

November Rain

Patience

Knockin' on Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan cover)

Nightrain

Don’t Cry

Paradise City

Axl Rose and Slash at BST Hyde Park. (Photo by Guilherme Nunes Cunha Neto / @guilhermeneto)Axl Rose and Slash at BST Hyde Park. (Photo by Guilherme Nunes Cunha Neto / @guilhermeneto)
Axl Rose and Slash at BST Hyde Park. (Photo by Guilherme Nunes Cunha Neto / @guilhermeneto)

The Pretenders at BST Hyde Park

Chrissie Hynde sounds great and is having the time of her life out there, despite a drop of rain and tarp being deployed across the electrics, cymbal stands toppling and a guitar malfunctioning.

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They’ve always had a light touch in the new wave arena and they sound, frankly, great on this stage. Talk of the Town and Back on the Chain Gang are lovely melodies and perfect festival fare.

There’s almost a reluctance to I’ll Stand By You but it’s a brilliant tune, and heartfelt nonetheless - and the audience get the singalong they deserve.

The Darkness at BST Hyde Park

Justin Hawkins and pals know how to work a crowd, and the obvious highlight is I Believe in a Thing Called Love. Hawkins tells the fans they must bounce even before the song starts: “I don’t make the rules but those are the rules.”

The crowd even convinces them to play a snippet of “The Christmas Song”. They love it.

Larkin Poe

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“When you get down to it, all rock and roll is built on the blues. Can I get an ‘amen’?”

Larkin Poe, from Nashville, Tennessee, kicked the day off on the Great Oak Stage with some deep and dirty blues rock. It’s a double attack of Strat and slide, and it’s heavy, riffy, gorgeous stuff.

The Foxies at BST Hyde Park. (Photo by André Langlois)The Foxies at BST Hyde Park. (Photo by André Langlois)
The Foxies at BST Hyde Park. (Photo by André Langlois)

The Foxies

Another highlight is another Nashville (Tennessee) act, The Foxies, who put in a brilliant show on The Birdcage Stage. With a front person as dynamic as Julia Lauren Bullock and some great pop tunes, they deserve some big festival slots.

The Dust Coda

The Dust Coda brought the riffs to The Rainbow Stage with heavy rock going down well with the GnR fans.

The Dust Coda at BST Hyde Park. (Photo by André Langlois)The Dust Coda at BST Hyde Park. (Photo by André Langlois)
The Dust Coda at BST Hyde Park. (Photo by André Langlois)

Bad Nerves

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If you like your rock’n’roll bands skinny, in Revolver and Television T-shirts and with star jumps and attitude, Bad Nerves are for you. They’re from London but they scream New York. You Could Be Mine? Check out Bad Nerves’ Can’t Be mine.

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