Last night, Guns N’ Roses made their first of two NYC-area stops on their Not In This Lifetime tour at Metlife Stadium, and I made the hour and forty minute commute from Brooklyn to New Jersey to witness it. The venture was obviously worth it -- you don't have to really identify as a fan of the band to understand that it's fucking Guns N’ Roses, and when the opportunity strikes you better take advantage of it.

I can't think of any way the show really could have been better. The band gave us exactly what we wanted: the majority of the hits, some covers, some jam sessions, fireworks displays, artwork of bullets and rose petals projected upon the screens. We got to see Slash duck-walk. Axl danced around and changed his shirt a minimum of five times, with a different flannel wrapped around his waist each time purely as accessory.

Basically, Guns N’ Roses knows who they are and knows that we damn well better know who they are, too. There's no denying that they were, and still are, an incredible rock band. In fact, they've essentially defined what being a big-name rock band even means.

It's also just abundantly obvious that everyone in the band is wildly talented, and that age has not dampened that. Axl still manages to hit the high notes with ease and Slash still melts the guitar, which is no surprise. Both Slash and bassist Duff McKagan returned to the stage for this tour, which was something the audience was naturally excited about.

The return of Slash and Duff McKagan to the GN'R fold is the giant selling point, but the audience was pretty excited about damn near everything. They're devoted, and it shows. Everyone around me was so thrilled to be seeing Guns n' Roses, that excitement was contagious.

Surely there's plenty of purists like Chuck Klosterman out there who could point out all that's wrong with the band in its current incarnation, how exactly it functions as spectacle and how much it's changed since the Appetite for Destruction era...but nobody at this show really cared about that. Not even Guns N’ Roses. So what's the point in complaining? Once you hear "Paradise City" live as fireworks and flames shoot up in the air, there's nothing more to think about.

They'll be playing again tonight (Sunday, 7/24) at Metlife, with Lenny Kravitz opening as he did for this show. Setlist and a few more photos and Instagrams from GN'R's Saturday Metlife show, below.


Guns N’ Roses Metlife Stadium 7/23 Setlist
It's So Easy
Mr. Brownstone
Chinese Democracy
Welcome to the Jungle
Double Talkin' Jive
Live and Let Die
Rocket Queen
You Could Be Mine
You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory/Attitude (Misfits cover)
This I Love
Civil War
Band intros into Slash solo - Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From The Godfather)
Sweet Child O' Mine
Out Ta Get Me
Jam (Wish You Were Here/Layla)
November Rain
Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Jam (Angie)/Patience
The Seeker
Paradise City

Sunday, July 24, 2016 – East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium (2ND SHOW)
Wednesday, July 27, 2016 – Atlanta, GA – Georgia Dome
Friday, July 29, 2016 – Orlando, FL – Orlando Citrus Bowl
Sunday, July 31, 2016 – New Orleans, LA – Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Wednesday, August 3, 2016 – Arlington, TX – AT&T Stadium
Friday, August 5, 2016 – Houston, TX – NRG Stadium
Tuesday, August 9, 2016 – San Francisco, CA – AT&T Park
Friday, August 12, 2016 – Seattle, WA – CenturyLink Field
Monday, August 15, 2016 – Glendale, AZ – University of Phoenix Stadium
Thursday, August 18, 2016 – Los Angeles, CA – Dodger Stadium
Monday, August 22, 2016 – San Diego, CA – Qualcomm Stadium

photos by Katarina Benzova and Magdalene Tayler

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