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WLM Concert Review: Guns n’ Roses, Soldier Field, Chicago

July 9, 2016

gnr lifetimeI’m not much of a fan of Guns n’ Roses.  Too much drama and not enough music over the years for my taste.

That said, I was presented with the opportunity to grab a couple of free tickets to the show (thanks Vettix).  I figured why not?  They did release one of the iconic Hard Rock albums of all time.  The middle of a holiday weekend with the following day off of work.  Free parking downtown courtesy my job.  Sounds like the right price to me.  Besides, how much longer will this reunion of sorts among Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan last?  Better get in on it now.

I am totally partial to the debut album, Appetite for Destruction compared to anything else the band has ever done.  In fact, they could have played only that stuff and I would have been satisfied.  The band, though, played songs from all four (!) of their albums – five if you count the Use Your Illusions as two distinct albums.  Still, over 30 years that isn’t exactly prolific.  Anyway, all of the expected songs were played and they hit on some of my favorites like Mr. Brownstone and It’s So Easy.

Axl is certainly a performer at heart and still has the ability to hit a lot of the notes after all these years.  His performance was quite good and there was no BS before or during the show – which amazingly started right on time. GnR was full of energy and passion playing in front of the 50,000 or so in attendance for their second show in three nights in the Windy City.

The performance that really blew me away was Slash‘s.  In my mind, he was always a decent guitarist but not someone that would come to mind when talking about the upper tier of players.  Well, he belongs on that level.  His technical playing was tremendous and his feel is excellent.  I was impressed with everything he did and walked away more of a fan of him than of the band as a whole.  I dug his work with Velvet Revolver and may have to go revisit that album and more of his GnR work.

Alice in Chains opened the show.  I have been a fan since they released Facelift way back when.  While they didn’t exude a ton of energy, I certainly enjoyed their performance and look forward to seeing them in a more intimate setting some day.

All in all, a good show for the right price.  If you have a chance, try to catch this tour and revel in some outstanding guitar work as well as a bit of nostalgia of a leaner and probably hungrier Guns n’ Roses – although this version isn’t too bad either.

I hear the sound in a Metal way.

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