Top 10 Reasons to See Guns N’ Roses at a Stadium Near You

 
Review by Ilya MirmanDSC02119-74
The long-awaited Guns N’ Roses “Not In This Lifetime…” tour, featuring the original
lineup’s Slash and Duff McKagan finally kicked off with two epic shows in Las Vegas on April 8 and 9.  Millions of fans have waited decades for this, always aware that it may not even come to pass.  Well, come to pass it did, and my brother Eugene and I were there for
both nights, soaking in all the glory that is Guns N’ Roses.  (Side note: It’s hard to find bigger fans than us: I’ve been a rabid fan since hearing of them in 1987’s Los Angeles, and took Eugene to what was his first concert – GNR with Aerosmith in the summer of 1988. For his 2009 book release party, Eugene came as close as possible to hiring Guns N’ Roses while staying within budget).
DSC01825-22This summer, Guns N’ Roses are coming to a stadium near you – and here are just a few of the reasons to go:

  1. Set list for fans of every era: While there is likely to be a bit of variation
    across the tour, the shows so far imply a balanced diet from across GNR’s 30+ year catalog, enough to satisfy diehard Appetite For Destruction fans, but also plenty from Use Your Illusions (I and II) and Chinese Democracy, as well as a taste from “Spaghetti Incident?”
  2. Axl sounds amazing: Given Axl’s vocal range of nearly six octaves and signature growl, a legitimate question may be, what shape is the voice in after decades as front man? Well, I’m happy to report that Axl’s vocals are in absolutely top form: he hit the highs, hit the lows, growled forcefully, and even made it seem effortless.
  3. Deep cuts – songs we rarely hear live: Coma (from Use Your Illusions I) is a 10-minute song, and one that – until Vegas – wasn’t played live in 23 years. So whether or not you’ve seen GNR recently, or ever, you’re likely to hear something you haven’t heard before.
  4. Slash plays music you never saw him play: Even if you’ve seen Slash with his prolific post-GNR projects (Slash’s Snakepit, Velvet Revolver, and his latest work with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators) you will likely hear something new – for a couple reasons. First, there are Chinese Democracy songs he’s never played until this tour (e.g., “This I love”).  And second, the band has introduced new covers and jams into the set list.
  5. DSC02000-57Richard Fortus – guitarist extraordinaire: Richard is an accomplished, spectacular guitarist, lending his multifaceted skills to multiple bands over the years (Guns N’ Roses, Dead Daisies, Thin Lizzy, Rhianna, Psychedelic Furs, Love Spit Love, The Crystal Method, Honky Toast, Enrique Iglesias, Pale Divine). Whether at a small club or a stadium, he is a blast to watch – terrific stage presence, energy, soul.  And as Axl points out, Richard has been with the band for 15 years, and had chemistry to match this tenure – both with his longtime GNR colleagues, as well as Duff and Slash – trading licks and smiles as he darted about the stage, and wailed on the guitar.
  6. Special Guests: As the tour winds across U.S. stadiums (and beyond), expect guests to join the band here and there. Foreshadowing such surprises, longtime friend and fellow metal frontman Sebastian Bach joined Axl on vocals for My Michelle at the second Vegas show.
  7. Terrific covers: Within the two dozen song set list, you will likely hear some awesome covers. We were treated to half a dozen, including Live and Let Die (Wings), New Rose (The Damned), Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd), Layla (Clapton), and of course the GNR concert staple Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan) – made famous during their 1988 show at the Ritz, broadcast on MTV.
  8. Great chemistry within the band: Whatever feuds there were, it feels like the hatchet’s been buried. There’s clearly camaraderie among the band members, including Axl, Duff and Slash – smiles and asides were traded with ease and comfort throughout the show.
  9. Great camaraderie among the fans: People are psyched about this lineup and tour, and there’s a unique, euphoric vibe that hangs over the crowd. Fans are spontaneously high-fiving each other.  On the flight back from Vegas to Boston, it seemed like half the plane attended the concerts – and many attended both nights!
  10. 673D30D7DAFC4C1193C5C5CDF986875FTop-shelf entertainment at the after-party: If you make it backstage, you might not only mingle with members of Green Day and The Killers, but also see Emmy award winning shows on the lounge monitors. (Pictured is the exact moment Eugene realizes his character is on TV backstage at Guns N’ Roses!)

 
Set List: Friday April 8

  1. It’s So Easy
  2. Brownstone
  3. Chinese Democracy
  4. Welcome to the Jungle
  5. Double Talkin’ Jive
  6. Estranged
  7. Live and Let Die (Wings cover)
  8. Rocket Queen
  9. You Could Be Mine
  10. New Rose (The Damned cover)
  11. This I Love (First time with Slash)
  12. Coma (First time live since April 10, 1993)
  13. Speak Softly Love (Love Theme from The Godfather)
  14. Sweet Child O’ Mine
  15. Better
  16. Civil War
  17. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover)
  18. Layla (Derek and the Dominos cover)
  19. November Rain
  20. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan cover)
  21. Nightrain
  22. Patience
  23. Paradise City

Set List: Saturday April 9

  1. It’s So Easy
  2. Brownstone
  3. Chinese Democracy
  4. Welcome to the Jungle
  5. Double Talkin’ Jive
  6. Estranged
  7. Live and Let Die (Wings cover)
  8. Rocket Queen
  9. You Could Be Mine
  10. Attitude (Misfits cover)
  11. This I Love
  12. Coma
  13. Speak Softly Love (Godfather theme)
  14. Sweet Child O’ Mine
  15. Better
  16. Civil War
  17. My Michelle (with Sebastian Bach)
  18. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover)
  19. Layla (Derek and the Dominos cover)
  20. November Rain
  21. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan cover)
  22. Nightrain
  23. Don’t Cry
  24. The Seeker (The Who cover)
  25. Paradise City

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