Guns N' Roses
August 3, 2016
By Andrea D. Morin
Photos by Andrea D. Morin
Guns N' Roses Exceeded All Expectations At AT&T Stadium
The high expectations Dallas area fans had for Guns N' Roses were far exceeded last night the minute Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan took the stage together at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. This "Not In This Lifetime" tour was the most highly anticipated, most sought after tickets event for this summer! Every die hard GNR fan in DFW was there!
The stage went black after The Cult left the stage and the crowd was getting anxious awaiting GNR to take the start. Looking around at the crowd, it was not surprising to see mostly GenXer-aged fans in their 40s. The sprinkle of teens were mostly likely children of the die-hards sharing their passion with the next generation.
For a band notoriously known for its late starts and wild antics, the band started right on time, just after 10:00 p.m. and played flawlessly for almost three hours! They kicked off their set with "It's So Easy" followed by "Mr. Brownstone" both off Appetite for Destruction followed by "Chinese Democracy." The set was beautifully designed with ample pyrotechnics and sound effects. Slash delighted the fans with his continuous guitar solos throughout the night that exuded unbelievable talent out of every pore. The first riff of "Welcome to the Jungle" sent the crowd into a wild frenzy. It was thrilling to hear lesser known songs like "Estranged," "Rocket Queen" and "Double Talkin' Jive" among the mega hits like "You Could Be Mine" "Nightrain" and "Sweet Child of Mine."
The grand piano raising up from the stage ignited screams from the whole stadium because they knew that "November Rain" was next. A true surprise was when Slash started playing the love theme from The Godfather that morphed into Axl playing the ending piano part of "Layla" by Eric Clapton & The Domino's, just before playing "November Rain."
Guns N' Roses salute to the classics continued throughout the night by performing a guitar instrumental of "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd and "The Seeker" by The Who, which worked perfectly with known covers like "Live and Let Die" by Wings and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by the legendary Bob Dylan. Duff's homage to Lemmy Kilmister on his t-shirt and the Prince symbol sticker on his guitar was pure class. Duff exercised his vocals with a solo performance of "Attitude" a Misfits cover.
What was really interesting is that Slash created his own guitar parts for the three songs they played from the Chinese Democracy album and made it completely his own. He wasn't involved with the original production of that studio album. Slash as the world knows would never need to simply copy any other guitarist. He added a whole new dimension to those songs, "Chinese Democracy," "Better" and "Sorry."
There was a brief break after two hours and twenty minutes with four more songs for the encore including "Sorry," "Patience," "The Seeker" and ending with a powerful, electrifying version of "Paradise City" that launched huge cannons full of red, white and blue paper into the crowd. The crowd screamed for more but ended when Axl threw his microphone into the crowd!
AT&T Stadium was not designed to showcase the amazing acoustics and bass for concerts. Axl's vocals were not as loud as they should have been so we could properly hear his amazing vocal range echo throughout the stadium. His voice remained strong and true all night.
Axl's energy as he constantly ran all over the stage, along with his side shimmy, serpentine, and jumping in circles with his mic stand, all signature Axl moves that we know and love, was astounding in between his numerous shirt changes due to sweat pouring off him. The "Fat Axl" comments and jokes need to end now. He looked amazing and sounded phenomenal.
This band still has that magic that we all love, however the chemistry between Axl and Slash seemed a bit forced. It's obvious they are here for the fans and the fat paycheck not because they love making music together. We all know the history there hence the name of their tour "Not In This Lifetime" after the famous quote when asked if they would ever get back together. I speak for all GenXers all over the world when I say, thank you for putting your differences aside to give us all this fantasy dream come true! Now get in the studio and record a new album together!
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