Guns N’ Roses: Not in This Lifetime tour
Western Springs Stadium, Auckland, NZ
February 4th, 2017
5/5 stars
Reviewed by MADDIE PAYNE

 

Guns N’ Roses blew away the crowd of 50,000 fans on Saturday night at Western Springs Stadium for their last New Zealand show of the Not in This Lifetime tour. Duff McKagan, Axl Rose and Slash, the three from the original Guns N’ Roses, haven’t performed together since the 1993 Use Your Illusion tour. They were joined by three others; Melissa Reese, Richard Fortus and Frank Ferrer, who meshed into the band like they were originals and performed exceptionally well.

Before the band even came out the opening act, WolfMother, warmed up the crowd with their 70s rock vibes and got us all pumped for Guns N’ Roses. Two particular songs played by WolfMother, Woman and Joker & the Thief were definite crowd pleasers, with most of the crowd either jumping or singing along. They were a great band to open for GNR.

After all the waiting and anticipating, the legendary rock n’ roll band walked out on stage. They were welcomed with loud cheering, whistling and plenty of hand gestures. They opened with It’s so Easy, Mr. Brownstone and Chinese Democracy which got the crowd going before the sun even went down.

As the night went on, I saw what rock n’ roll is all about. Five people had been pulled out of my section by security due to either passing out or being so obnoxiously drunk they had to be removed, and fights were erupting right behind me. By the time the band got around to playing all time smash hit Sweet Child O’ Mine I was fully emerged in the rock atmosphere and loving it. Listening to some songs live, such as Civil War, This I love and Sorry were unbelievable and I had to pinch myself to make sure I was really there.

Surprisingly even the aged members of Guns N’ Roses were amazing to listen to. Going in I was expecting them, Axl especially, to be a bit slow or off key. However Axl ran around the stage all night and sang his heart out, reaching every note and impressing every single person in attendance. Slash’s guitar playing was a show stopper, making the crowd go crazy every time he had a solo. I’ve never seen so many people worship one band this much. Duff sang You can’t put your arms around a memory / Attitude and his voice was beautiful, it really did blow me away.

Looking around at the rest of the crowd sing along to the lyrics and know every single word was refreshing to see and being able to share a passion with 50,000 other people was insane. Being one of the youngest in attendance at this concert (the band was well before my time) didn’t stop me from being able to relate to the oldies. I’d share a smile here and there, receive many questions about my age, (“How could someone so young possibly be a fan?”) and getting surprised looks from others when they noticed I knew all the words and was able to sing along with Axl.

The Guns N’ Roses concert had to be the greatest night of my life and I would 10/10 recommend seeing them live if the slim chance ever arises. It truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity! Axl, Duff and Slash are incredible artists and still have the talent they had back in the day.

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