The theme from Looney Toons filled Western Springs. It felt apt.

With Guns n' Roses needing to bury so much bad blood to play here the question was, were we about to see the real deal or a cartoon parody?

Opener It's So Easy convinced. Axl sounded as dangerously non-plussed as he did on record all those decades ago.

Crowds line up for the Guns n Roses Concert at Western Springs Stadium 4th February 2017 New Zeland Herald Photograph / Steven McNicholl
Crowds line up for the Guns n Roses Concert at Western Springs Stadium 4th February 2017 New Zeland Herald Photograph / Steven McNicholl

But those decades soon caught up. After a grooving stomp through what has to be the world's only danceable ode to heroin, Mr Brownstone, Axl was close to done.

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Far from encapsulating LA's menacing mean streets Welcome to the Jungle was puffed out and tired. Those old serpentine moves were suffering not slippery.

The screeched warning of You're Gonna Die, making it feel like a heart attack was imminent, not a pissed off pimps knife.

Still the band hit it when it counted. The vocals sometimes lagged at first, but when it was time to bring it, Axl bought the house down.

The power was obviously no longer effortlessly on tap, but was now utilised for maximum effect.

Guns n Roses Concert at Western Springs Stadium. Auckland Axl Rose and Slash on stage. 4th February 2017 New Zealand Herald / Steven McNicholl
Guns n Roses Concert at Western Springs Stadium. Auckland Axl Rose and Slash on stage. 4th February 2017 New Zealand Herald / Steven McNicholl

And as the night went on and he warmed up he just got better and better.

When the dude cut loose, which he did often, it truly was something else. The extended screams during Live and Let Die a brutal reminder of just how dangerous this cat once was.

Slash, of course, killed it. His guitar squealing and soloing like the bad mofo he is.

The band was undoubtedly slick. But far from the wild, untamed bad hombres that they once were.

A searing hot extended run through of the stone cold classic Rocket Queen featured dueling solos, a prince funk tribute and a loose jam showed the band had swapped living on the edge for a safer brand of fun.

But in all honesty a stadium show like this, and they get no bigger than the Springs, is about the event more than the act. Nothing proves that more than the fact that 90 minutes into their set the stadium ran out of beer.

Crowds line up for the Guns n Roses Concert at Western Springs Stadium 4th February 2017 New Zealand Herald Photograph / Steven McNicholl
Crowds line up for the Guns n Roses Concert at Western Springs Stadium 4th February 2017 New Zealand Herald Photograph / Steven McNicholl

There's no doubt that Guns n Roses did their bit. They played the hits, they jammed some epic solos, they surprised ( a cover of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here anyone?), they had costume changes. I stopped counting Axl's cowboy hat changes at six.

But more than that they brought the ruckus.

Early number Civil War boomed, November Rain at almost 15 minutes was totally epic, Sweet Child O Mine was just unfreaking belivably good as Slash confirmed his guitar God status.

Despite the sanitary nature of the stadium, and the elder age of the band, the songs still retained that deadly hedonistic sense of sex, drugs n rock n roll that made these guys reputation back in the day. If you closed your eyes the power riffing stomp through My Michelle almost made you believe you were back on LA's notorious strip back in the 80s.

But there was no escaping the fact we weren't. Every missed vocal, slipped beat and rancid sip of Woodstock reminded you of that.

Guns n Roses Concert at Western Springs Stadium. Auckland Axl Rose on stage. 4th February 2017 New Zealand Herald Photograph / Steven McNicholl
Guns n Roses Concert at Western Springs Stadium. Auckland Axl Rose on stage. 4th February 2017 New Zealand Herald Photograph / Steven McNicholl

'Are you still with us?' Axl asked right before the band lurched into the mind melting power riff of You Could Be Mine.

It may have been rhetorical but the stadium erupted. As they, and I, did throughout the night.

Because no one here ever thought they'd see these guys together again.
As the official tour t-shirt ($55) stated, it was G N' f'n R.

It was Axl Rose mostly on fire, and it was Slash entirely apocalyptic.

And even in those moments when it wasn't good, when it was abundantly clear that these guys weren't 21 and completely, uncompromisingly rock n roll anymore, it was still awesome.