We like to get out and see the state, and when there’s a music hook you’ll find our music contributor Ian Weed on the scene, as he recently was with Guns N’ Roses and ZZ Top.
There’s just something about the 80s and its music that continues to live on. If you were in downtown recently San Antonio and were to ask somebody “Do you know where the F&*$ you are?”… chances are it would be met with a “You’re in the jungle baby!” Response. Yep, because Guns N’ Roses (GNR) brought their seemingly never-ending Not In This Lifetime tour to Texas. It didn’t take a detective to figure this out since about every other person on Commerce Street was wearing a GNR T-shirt, which set the tone for the evening.
GNR were back in San Antonio at The Alamodome, a 64,000 seat arena mind you, and the opening band ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill tore through their set playing all the hits: Gimme All Your Lovin’, Sharp Dressed Man and Just Got Paid, to name a few. The crowd was screaming as they teased the intro to La Grange, and they stretched and jammed the song out to what seemed like 10 minutes. Next, they played Tush and the crowd went nuts because it was an awesome one-two punch to end their set.
Isn’t It Ironic?
It’s a little ironic that ZZ Top was the opener for GNR, a band who hasn’t had a line-up change since 1970. Especially since GNR who have had notorious public feuds and line up changes for the past 20 years. This tour is named after a response Axl gave in an interview years ago: when asked if the band would re-unite, he retorted, ‘Not in this lifetime.”
The original-ish members on this tour besides Axl are Duff McKagan, Dizzy Reed, and, of course, Slash. They came out and got right into it and played It’s So Easy, which is funny because it doesn’t appear to have been easy for Axl who looked and sounded pretty rough. The rest of the band were in top form and crushed it over the three-plus hour set.
They ripped through a majority of covers, tracks from Appetite for Destruction, and the infamous Chinese Democracy. My favorite cover of the night was the Duff-led Misfits’ song Attitude. Aside from the standard hits like Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child O’ Mine, it was fantastic to hear You Could Be Mine and Estranged live. Melissa Reese, their keyboardist, also added backup vocals to several songs that resonated with the tremendous crowd.
Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction album turned 30 this year and it’s wild to think about the fact that it’s sold around 30 million copies worldwide. In today’s music climate on one-song downloads, an artist is grateful to sell a million copies.
Despite Axl’s vocals, GNR tore it up and I am betting they can keep the momentum from this tour going forward. Hopefully they add an Austin date for you to see, but know It’s really cool to see a band like this, in their element, tearing the roof off of an arena and people losing their minds…after 30-plus years of performing.