1. Guns N’ Roses’ former reputation for extreme tardiness (which was primarily just lead singer Axl Rose’s reputation) has turned into something like extreme punctuality, however plenty of fans plainly were surprised when the band took the stage simply 15 minutes after the program’s listed start time, with no opening act. The empty seats rapidly filled up, though, and Rose and his bandmates bet a marathon (and rather exhausting) three and a half hours, ending ideal around the time among their shows might have drawn back in the ’90s.
2. The last time GNR remained in town, in April 2016, it was for the kick-off of the still-running Not in This Lifetime semi-reunion tour, bringing Rose back together with fellow original members Slash (guitar) and Duff McKagan (bass), together with bandmates who have actually been working with Rose considering that Slash and McKagan left. That program was excellent, but the band has actually clearly gotten tighter since then, as well as increasing its endurance, sounding excellent from the first notes of “It’s So Easy” through the last notes of “Paradise City,” the older members fitting together seamlessly with the later additions.
3. Also back in April 2016, Rose was recovering from a broken foot and carried out the entire program sitting down, however this time he nearly never stopped moving, as well as with all the effort, his voice still sounded great. Rose’s regular (as in, almost each song) mid-show breaks have become part of his mystique, however whatever he does backstage every few minutes to revitalize himself, it deserves it if it enables him to wail through epics like “Separated” and “Coma” sounding almost as powerful as he did 25 years ago.
4. 3 and a half hours left a lot of space for a variety of product, including six tunes from 2008 pre-reunion album Chinese Democracy, which were boosted a bit by remarkable lead guitar work from Slash, but there was just a lot he could provide for plodding dirges like “Prostitute” and “Sorry.” A minimum of punchy rockers “Better” and the album’s title track have semi-decent hooks.
5. The band also included a whole lot of covers– from GNR hits like Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Pass Away” and Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” to show staples like The Who’s “The Hunter” and Pink Floyd’s “Desire You Were Here” (an instrumental with dueling guitar solos from Slash and Richard Fortus). The holdover tributes to Glen Campbell (“Wichita Lineman”) and Chris Cornell (“Great Void Sun”) were fascinating left-field tune choices, but felt a little out of location, particularly since they were presented without comment. Surely there are at least some classic pictures of the band members socializing with Cornell that could have been displayed on the video screens?