Last night was my second go at seeing the reformed American hard rock band Guns N’ Roses on their ‘Not In This Lifetime’ tour.
I originally saw them in Seattle back in August of 2016. That show left me in awe of their ability and general lust for being back in the game together.
Opening the show yesterday evening was UK rock duo Royal Blood. The twosome went on a little earlier than listed and put on a stellar opening set. In the first few songs, those around me were clapping and head bobbing along, even though many did not know the band or their music. By the end of their set, I heard a few people around me asking around to find out who the band was. As usual, Mike, on the vocalist on the bass/guitar hybrid, and Ben, on drums and evil stares, were explosive in their delivery and captivating in their performance.
Royal Blood Setlist
Where Are You Now?
Come on Over
I Only Lie When I Love You
Hook, Line & Sinker
Figure It Out
Out of the Black
Guns N’ Roses took over the stage quite quickly afterward and stormed head first into their set.
Axl Rose, the band leader, was in masterful control of his vocals throughout the night. From the delicate notes in songs like “Patience” to the powerful screams in songs like “Welcome To The Jungle”, he worked his voice with precise accuracy. He was quite athletic as well, running the length of the stage through the course of the night. Mr. Rose looked in fine form and lead his team to victorious evening, and he did it all with a smile and a humble bow after each song.
Slash, on lead guitar, worked his bevy of guitars with a calm cool and a sense of ease. His fingers flew along in a fury of blurry waves as they danced up and down the necks of his various guitars, while the stone wall look on his face rarely changed. In between songs, he too was casting smiles to the fans. Another appreciative professional enjoying what he loves.
Duff McKagan, on bass, brought a punk edge to his performance. He stood with badass scowl pasted across his face, leaning back with his bass guitar hung low as he snapped his wrist and generated the life-giving beat to each song. He looked proud and content as he strutted along the stage and made sure to play to as many parts of the surrounding crowd as he could.
Richard Fortus, on rhythm and occasional lead guitar, was the most intense about his delivery. He spun his strumming arm in a windmill like fashion to add an exclamation mark on peak points of both his guitar solos and his rhythm-centric playing portions. He was the most “rock star” like throughout the show. Everything he did was over the top but it always just fit and felt so right. He seemed to be a hybrid between Duff’s and Slash’s personas. He would try to stand all badass and punk but would break into smiles when the right audience member caught him off guard with a funny shirt or sign.
The rest of the band were on point as well; Frank on drums was a beast, Melissa on keys was playful, and Dizzy Reid on keys was the calm cool.
The show was wonderfully orchestrated and impeccably executed. A slew of fireworks charges, flame ball bursts, confetti cannons, choreographed lighting rigs, and three enormous video screens made for an over the top presentation that was visually stunning and accentuated each song as near perfectly as they could have.
The band was on fire and is back at the top of their game.
Now we all wait with baited breath to see if we get new music from the group. I mean a reunion tour is more than anyone thought would ever happen but should we start getting a little greedy and expecting new releases? I for one think it is possible and it just seems likely. The amount of talent contained within the group is astronomical and their track record with creation back in the day speaks for itself. So, here’s hoping.
Thank you to both bands for an amazing night of music. We hope you come back to Vancouver very soon.
Guns N Roses Setlist
It’s So Easy
Mr. Brownstone — (Axl apologizes for being distracted by a guys shirt that says “feed me to the lesbians”)
Welcome to the Jungle
Double Talkin’ Jive
Live and Let Die — (Wings cover)
You Could Be Mine
New Rose — (The Damned cover) (with “You Can’t Put Your Arms… more )
This I Love
Civil War — (with ‘Voodoo Child’ intro-outro)
Coma — (Axl introduces the band)
Slash Guitar Solo — (with ‘Jonny Be Goode’ jam in the middle)
Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From The Godfather) — (Nino Rota cover)
Sweet Child O’ Mine
Wichita Lineman — (Glen Campbell cover)
Used to Love Her
Wish You Were Here — (Pink Floyd cover) (Slash & Richard Fortus guitar duet)
November Rain — (“Layla” piano exit-intro with… more )
Black Hole Sun — (Soundgarden cover)
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door — (Bob Dylan cover) (with “Only Women Bleed” intro)
Catcher in the Rye — (First time since Estadio… more )
Patience — (with ‘Melissa’ intro)
I Got You (I Feel Good) — (James Brown cover)
The Seeker — (The Who cover)