Velvet Revolver have come a long way since their first small shows at Hammersmith Apollo in London a couple of years ago. With tickets for their debut shows being touted at almost the face value of a Download Festival weekend ticket, there was never any doubt that they wouldn't come a long way. Velvet Revolver were the perfect solution to rock – a mix of classic rock gurus in a new, modern band. The question was always whether they'd live up to the sum of their parts or whether they'd just become popular due to their members – rather than their talent as a band.
With Slash back on a stage he has played countless times before, Velvet Revolver now fill the whole main stage with more people than even Guns 'n' Roses managed to last year. Admittedly, there are more members of the original Guns 'n' Roses on the stage this year than Axl would ever like to see again in a lifetime.
It's not just Slash and his legendary hat though, it's also Scott Weiland. He knows how to control a crowd, how to keep people interested and how to thrust his way to a great performance. With every member of Velvet Revolver these is a huge stage presence that only year's of experience can bring. Can you even imagine Slash looking scared or unsure how to hammer out one of his solos after all this time?
The set is a mix of old and new material with songs like 'Do It For The Kids', 'Sucker Train Blues', 'Fall Down' and 'She Builds Quick Machines' – not least Appetite for Destruction's 'It's So Easy'. It's a good mix of material, and it's all played fantastically.
The only real problem with a band like Velvet Revolver is the question of how many people would be listening if it was the same guys, the same music and the same performance – just without any of them having had a previous legacy. I'd love to think they'd still have as many people watching them – but I'm just not sure that's the case.
With very few emo-green T-Shirts or My Chemical Romance hoodies in sight, it is left to see who will actually remain for tonight's headliner. There's no doubt it will be less people than have witnessed Velvet Revolver though.