HOLLYWOOD—Welcome to the jungle. Guns N’ Roses are back with a vengeance, featuring original members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan. In the summer heat, the two-night tour titled “Not In This Lifetime…” was a success. The sold-out show on Saturday, July 23, was full of energy at the Metife Stadium in East Rutherford. Unlike the old GNR, famous for their tardiness which would create havoc and riots. They were there to play, and play they did for over two and a half hours. Frontman Axl Rose,54, wished Slash (guitarist) a happy birthday, who turned 51 on July 23.
They are on tour with bassist Duff McKagan, 52, who was an original member, guitarist Richard Fortus, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese, and drummer Frank Ferrer. Besides, Axl Rose, the return of Slash, is the big news, with his usual intensity and wearing his trademark top hat. Slash delivered an instrumental version of Bobby Vinton’s “Speak Softly Love,” also known as the theme of “The Godfather.” He killed it. It was amazing to see both Axl and Slash together on stage.
They were committed and played their hearts out. I guess age does matter, however, it’s only a number and they were honestly better now, than when they were in their 20s. Slash, who last played New Jersey last September at the Rock Carnival in Clark, departed Guns N’ Roses in 1996 and fans have always wanted them to make amends and play together again.
Interestingly enough, they sounded better and performed better than in the 80s. They returned the very next evening for Day 2 at the Metlife Stadium to another successful night. It was extremely hot, Axl Rose was sweating profusely and changed T-shirts about seven times. Rose still has that look in his eyes when he performs and looks better than ever. He is a king and a unique performer. His voice is still impressive.
The GNR frontman has sung notes that span six octaves, from F1, in the second-lowest octave in scientific pitch notation, to B flat 6. Rose has a lower baritone than Barry White, and could reach higher notes than Tina Turner, Mariah Carey and Beyonce. So his vocal ability is still on point. The chart was compiled a few years ago by comparing both the highest and lowest recorded note by a singer. According to the article, Axl Rose was thankful and humbled when he responded to the Spin top vocalists article, before mentioning other artists he admires.
The crowd cheered on when they performed hits such as “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” my all time favorite, “November Rain,” “Paradise City,” and its version of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin on Heaven’s Door.” They mostly played their older material, however, played three songs from their Slash-less 2008 album, “Chinese Democracy.”
Lenny Kravitz opened up for GNR, with his 10-piece backing band for an hour-long set that included such hits as “Are You Gonna Go My Way” and “Let Love Rule,” and his version of “American Woman.” A long jam on “Always on the Run,” Kravitz mentioned that his last song was co-written by his “high school buddy,” Slash, and recorded, like most of Kravitz’s early material, in Hoboken at Waterfront Studios.
The concert ended with fireworks that was extremely impressive and they came back for their encore playing another four songs before taking two bows and saying goodnight. Everyone that loved GNR was in the audience including Jonathan Cheban, who also attended the after-party. Jonathan is a reality star, known for his friendship with Kim Kardashian and is the founder of the website TheDishh.com and former CEO of CommandPR, a public relations firm.
Rose’s Scoop: The North American tour will end on August 22 in San Diego and will resume in South America on October 27 in Lima, Peru and end on November 26, in Costa Rica.