(KRON) If you were one of the lucky, dare I say punctual people who arrived at AT&T Park long before 6 pm, well, it sure paid off. In what was an unorthodox and non-rock & roll fashion, the Guns N’ Roses Not In This Lifetime show started on time. For many who decided to do some pre-drinking festivities, or whose work schedule did not allow them to get to the venue earlier, their dreams of seeing this Guns N’ Roses long-awaited reunion tour from the beginning were shattered.
By 7 pm, the lines at AT&T Park were wrapped all around the stadium, and despite the multiple metal detectors and screeners on hand, it simply was not sufficient to quickly allow the influx of attendees to the event, calculated at over 39,000. English band The Struts, which recently had a successful sting at Bottlerock, were set as the openers, although it is unknown as to how many people got to see their set scheduled for 6:30 pm. For those who managed to make it inside on time to get to their assigned seats, the sight was pulled straight out of 1993. A sea of 90’s fashion inundated the stadium.
At exactly 8:07 pm (earlier than the original allotted time), Guns N’ Roses, with Axl Rose, Duff McKagan (bass), Slash (lead guitar), Dizzy Reed (keyboard), Richard Fortus (rhythm guitar), Frank Ferrer (drums), and Melissa Reese (keyboard) exploded onto the stage to a screaming herd of fans who waited for this glorious rock & roll moment to make its triumphant return. Also, while last night was not in the same realm as when the Use Your Illusion tour was in full force, there is no denying that seeing Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan together on stage was worth the two-decade wait. All and any animosity, name-calling, or anger were left behind. What everyone witnessed Tuesdaynight is the reason why Guns N’ Roses are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and why they undoubtedly remain music royalty.
The band opened the show with “It’s So Easy” from 1987’s Appetite For Destruction. People rushed to their seats bumping, spilling drinks, running, you name it. Many could not fathom that the show had started and that they were missing out the first minutes of what was going to be a glorious night.
What we witnessed is the beginning of a new Guns N’ Roses: gone are the young men in their 20’s, the temper tantrums, and erratic antics. The GNR that was on stage was a group of legendary rock stars proving that no matter how many years have passed since their iconic “November Rain” was released, are still capable of selling out stadiums around the country, and possibly the world.
The setlist, which comprised over 20 songs, dived into their impressive and extensive award-winning discography, from Appetite For Destruction, Use Your Illusion, and even Chinese Democracy. There were six outfit changes for Axl Rose, which included ripped jeans, plaid shirts, his memorable bandanas, an exquisite collection of leather jackets, and even an interesting collection of hats. “I’m a man of many hats,” Rose told the crowd.
Halfway through the magnificent two and a half hour set, Slash, a virtuoso on the guitar, enchanted the crowd with a guitar solo playing “Speak Softly Love” (Love Theme From The Godfather.)
“Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “November Rain” were fan favorites. The screams, applauses, cheers, and sing-alongs were louder than when the On The Run Tour took place back in 2014.
Also, just when you thought the show was over, here came the three songs encore and an explosion of stellar fireworks which complemented this chilly night of music.
Is the Not In This Lifetime tour a sign that Guns N’ Roses are back to reclaim their throne? It is yet to be seen, but if the reviews from the tour so far are any indication, then it looks like this older, wiser and improved 21st-century version of Guns N’ Roses is here to stay.
It’s So Easy
Welcome to the Jungle
Double Talkin’ Jive
Live and Let Die
You Could Be Mine
You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory/Attitude
This I Love
Band intros into Slash solo – Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From The Godfather/Andy Williams)
Sweet Child O’ Mine
Out Ta Get Me
Jam (“Wish You Were Here/Layla”)
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door