Over 4th of July weekend I saw the newly reunited Guns N’ Roses in Chicago. I had been planning for the concert with my friends for months. GN’R has been my favorite band since 7th grade and I refused to even acknowledge a tour until the band was reunited. It was an emotional night for a fan like me. Here’s how it went:
*Note: It took me almost two weeks to write this because I’m still too emotional to talk about most of it.*
-We arrive at Solider Field. There are a lot of people there. Most of them are a few generations older than me.
-We find our seats quickly but then make the mistake of heading to the merch station.
-The thought process was that we needed a band shirt to celebrate the momentous occasion. The problem was the merch line was forever and a day long and we were getting shoved out of the way by bikers who thought small blonde girls couldn’t hang.
-We did finally make it to the merch table and selected our purchases quickly. I made a new friend with the girl behind me who decided to get the same shirt I got. Nothing like a Guns N’ Roses concert to bring people together!
-We returned to our seats with only one of us getting pelted with a beer (sorry Jenna!).
-Alice in Chains was the opening act. I recognized some songs, but unfortunately didn’t care enough about them.
-However, Alice in Chains should not be discouraged! A kid even younger than me in the row behind us was air guitaring like there was no tomorrow throughout their entire set.
-When GN’R finally took the stage it was a simple, yet powerful opening. It started with “It’s So Easy” and it was like suddenly all my dreams were a reality. There they were; Axl, Slash, and Duff. Standing together and almost looking like they were having fun.
-I forgot that I had this weird ability to instantly remember every word to every Guns song. Even the really fast, weird ones!
-They played “Estranged” so early in the show. I wasn’t ready for it. I cried.
-Slash is freakishly talented. And boy does he look good in a bunch of jewelry!
-It may have seemed like they were letting Slash do a lot of long guitar solos but I mostly think it was just so Axl would have time to run backstage and change again. Or at least put on a different hat (he did this several times).
-Oh sweet Axl. He still does that thing when he sings where he stares down the crowd like he’s about to pull a St. Louis and jump into it because security isn’t doing their job.
-The kid behind me who was loving Alice in Chains is now just standing, staring straight ahead like he doesn’t understand the magic he’s witnessing. He and I obviously have different priorities.
-The couple in front of me starts to google pictures of Axl from 1987. Yes, 20 some odd years can do that to a person.
-How is it that Axl can play the piano, rock a cowboy hat, and still be a badass all at the same time?
-The only disappointing part of the show was that they didn’t play “Patience,” but spent a crazy amount of time on “Coma.” And a “Use Your Illusion” fan like me was a little sad I wasn’t going to get to hear some deep cuts, but hey, I get why.
-“Don’t Cry” was a surprising highlight and I was very happy the encore was “Paradise City” and not “Sweet Child.”
-When they did finish the encore they all emerged onto the stage one more time for a final bow, together, arm in arm.
And that my friends, was one of the best days of my life. And at their next show Adler started showing up to play a couple songs. All the more reason to go see my beloved Guns N’ Roses again!