They said it would never happen. One of the biggest rock bands in the world – after over a decade of refusing to play with one another – playing together once more. They were wrong. It was always a dream of mine to see Guns N’ Roses in concert, and with the aptly titled “Not in this Lifetime” tour, they did not disappoint.
An arena couldn’t contain an event of this magnitude, so it was of no surprise that they opted to hold the show in our much larger local baseball stadium, creating the classic GnR spectacle that they are known best for. 36,000 people strong, Marlin's Park was a full house that was in for three hours of loud music, great vibes, and 30 plus years of nostalgia.
The band took the stage only slightly late (by classic Guns N' Roses standards), but did not waste any time with a musical assault of classics both new and old. With no long intro, just a verbal announcement, the unmistakable bass line of “It’s So Easy” started blaring from the speakers, and there they were. Duff, Slash, and of course Axl... sounding and looking the best they have in over a decade, in front of a screaming crowd, most of which having their dreams come true of witnessing this reunion.
The set list was supercharged and never dull. Even with the inclusion of three tracks from the unpopular Chinese Democracy album (which was unexpected as they were written and recorded during the absence of both Duff and Slash), it was a great ride from start to finish. Personal highlights for me were getting to hear live renditions of “Coma,” an impressive cover of “Black Hole Sun,” and a pyro filled version of “Paradise City” which ended the show just as it did in years prior.
The question I am sure many of you are asking is how did the band, especially Axl who has taken some flack in previous years, sound? I am happy to report that it seems they took this reunion seriously, and as such made sure they were in peak performance conditions. The vocals sounded as best as they could (with the mindset that these guys are NOT as young as they used to be, so to expect the vocals of a young Axl would be unrealistic), the backing band super tight, and not once was there a moment on stage where nothing was going on.
It should be of no surprise based on this review that I cannot recommend hard enough that if you have the means to do so, catch this show. The tickets may seem a bit expensive, but you are also getting three FULL hours of music. Similar acts charge the same amount for much shorter shows. You will get your moneys worth here. Just prepare to not have a voice the next day...you will be singing at the top of your lungs.
1. It's So Easy
2. Mr. Brownstone
3. Chinese Democracy
4. Welcome to the Jungle
5. Double Talkin' Jive
8. Live and Let Die (Wings cover)
9. Rocket Queen
10. You Could Be Mine
11. Attitude (Misfits cover)
12. This I Love
13. Civil War
16. Slash Guitar Solo
17. Speak Softly Love (Love Theme from the Godfather)
18. Sweet Child O' Mine
19. Used to Love Her
20. My Michelle
21. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover)
22. November Rain
23. Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden cover)
24. Knockin' on Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan cover)
Encore: Don't Cry
Whole Lotta Rosie (AC/DC cover)
The Seeker (The Who cover)