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Introduction
The late 80s was a hard time for parents throughout the world; chances are if you were a teenager during that period, you wore a Guns n’ Roses T-Shirt with pride and probably gave your neighbours a headache with your stereo turned up high. Axl Rose was every girl’s dream date and boys wanted to imitate his eccentric behaviour. Guns N’ Roses were originally formed in the 80s, and their worldwide success lasted almost a decade until the departure of Axl Rose led to the band’s demise. During their heyday, the band were renowned for putting on brilliant live shows, and tickets for these were like gold-dust. This is a review of one of their live DVDs.

Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusions 2
The Concert
Use Your Illusions II was filmed in Tokyo during the band’s 1992 World Tour. This period could be defined as their peak period, at the time the band consisted of frontman Axl Rose , lead guitarist Slash, bassist Duff McKagan, drummer Matt Sorum, rhythm guitarist Gilby Clarke and keyboard player Dizzy Read. As you can probably guess from the title, there are two discs in this series, both of which were filmed in 1992. It may seem a little strange that I chose to review Use Your Illusions II first, but that is more to do with my preference of the songs on this disc. The songs are as follows:

[*]Introduction
[*]You Could Be Mine
[*]Drum Solo & Guitar Solo
[*]Theme From 'The Godfather'
[*]Sweet Child O' Mine
[*]So Fine
[*]Rocket Queen
[*]Move To The City
[*]Knockin' On Heaven's Door
[*]Estranged
[*]Paradise City

This particular release contains some of the bands finest tracks. If you are a fan of rocky, pumping tracks then look no further. The concert starts with the head-banging You Could Be Mine which sets the tone for the whole set. My other personal favourites include Sweet Child O’ Mine, Paradise City and the classic Knockin’ On Heavens Door.

Part of the band’s success during the 90s has to be attributed to their bad behaviour both onstage and off it. The band were often in the headlines for taking drugs, wrecking hotels and other debauched behaviour, and while I don’t particularly agree with that kind of lifestyle, it makes for interesting viewing when the band play live. Key moments in this concert involve Slash ignoring security policies and running to the front of the crowd area to play his guitar, and other bizarre dances from Axl. Whether or not Guns N’ Roses would have the same impact if they were unleashed on the rock market today is open for debate. I am sure their music would be just as popular, especially as there is currently a rock revolution, but whether their behaviour would warrant such publicity now is more of a contentious issue. I am sure that parents would be far happier to buy their children a Guns N’ Roses album rather than an Eminem CD. Today Guns N’ Roses are the equivalent of a band like Nickleback, and their behaviour is in common with most bands, even those in the pop world!

Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusions 2
This DVD is a prime example of Guns N’ Roses at their best. It is obvious that during their peak the band were a class act, and had an array of songs which could grace any concert. Over ten years on and their music hasn’t aged one bit. In fact the band are still adored by fans worldwide, and this is something which was further emphasised by their recent sell-out concerts. The concerts were unfortunately cancelled but even so, the band are still loved by millions. Recommending this DVD is easy, if you love rock music then you will need no introduction to the band. What are you waiting for, make this a part of your collection today!

Video
This live DVD is presented in 1.33:1 full frame. Taking into account the age of this recording, the transfer on offer is reasonable, but far from spectacular. The colour palette is particularly dark, but that is to be expected from a concert DVD. The concert was performed indoors, so black levels are put to the test and pass with flying colours! It is hard to make out the band at times, and this is partially the fault of the restrained colours, but is also to do with the image, which is too soft and lacks detail. This can be seen in the captures which accompany this review. Edge enhancements are also too common for my liking, but thankfully compression artifacts are kept to a manageable level. Overall, this transfer will keep most people happy, to be honest I wasn’t expecting a great deal from this aspect of the disc and the transfer is not the main selling point.

Audio
Only the one soundtrack has been included with this release. The track in question is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 track, which unlike the transfer, exceeded my expectations. Although on paper this doesn’t sound particularly appealing, the band’s anthems are played out in poignant fashion. Axl’s voice is as striking as I remember and never gets drowned out by his band members. There are some interview scenes littered throughout and these are clearly audible.

The menu system is static and fits in well with the band’s image, and a good example of this is the song selector menu which shows a song sheet accompanied with several cigarette ends. As you would expect with a concert DVD, there are no subtitles supplied with this release.

Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusions 2
Extras
The best way to differentiate between a quality concert DVD and an average one is by taking a sneak peak at the extras. In the case of this release there are no extras. I am sure there is Guns N’ Roses extra material which could have been used, but that would have probably meant additional expense.
It’s hard to be too critical though, since as it stands this disc can be found online for less than ten pounds which is a bargain as far as I am concerned.

Overall
I am a big fan of concert DVDs and this one has jumped to the top of my play list. Guns N’ Roses are a band who haven’t aged musically, and the concert shown on this DVD is one of the most enjoyable I have seen in a long while. The DVD isn’t particularly cutting edge, the transfer is adequate and the extras are non-existent, but that doesn’t really matter. How can you resist classics such as You Could Be Mine and Sweet Child O’ Mine? The simple answer is that you can’t, and the fact that you can pick this up for less then ten pounds online means that you should be ordering this DVD as we speak. It really is that simple!


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