29 years ago, Guns n Roses released what is considered by many to be the greatest album and debut album of all time- Appetite for Destruction. They definitely had one of the most tumultuous histories of any band and it came to a head when guitarist Slash and bassist Duff Mckagan left the band and drummer Steven Adler was kicked out.
For over 20 years, everyone in the original lineup said there would never be a reunion and definitely not in this lifetime. Slash and Duff were asked in almost every interview if there would ever be a reunion and it was always a resounding “No.”
A few years ago, McKagan joined GnR on stage overseas and the rumors began swirling but we all knew it was a long shot as one man was missing from the fold- Slash, who was sticking to his guns. Then, in early 2016, Slash revealed that he and Axl Rose had made amends and were on good terms and, naturally, even more rumors started.
Then the social media pages changed to the 1980\’s logo and things started to move forward and the reunion was announced in the form of a mini-tour that hit most of the major markets and was exactly what longtime GnR fans and younger fans who had always wanted to see the band were asking for.
The tour recently hit Cincinnati\’s Paul Brown Stadium for a 2-plus-hour-long show that was almost like GnR was picking up right where they left off over 20 years ago. They opened with “It\’s So Easy” and there was no looking back.
For years, Axl Rose was the subject of criticism for his voice going downhill and being out of shape but on this tour- dubbed Not In This Lifetime, Rose sounded almost as good as he did in 1987, he was in shape, running from one side of the stage to the other. He was a man possessed and didn\’t seem winded one bit.
Everyone was watching to see how his chemistry was with Slash and it didn\’t seem like any time had passed in their relationship. Slash had said in a recent interview that it was surreal having the band tour again like they were and that everyone was getting along very well. Cincinnati was a prime example.
They loaded their set with GnR classics and even brought original drummer Steven Adler on stage for a huge surprise and jammed “Out Ta Get Me” and “My Michelle” and the 50,000+ in attendance roared with jubilation.
Like Slash said, it was surreal seeing the members on stage together again. It almost didn\’t seem like it was really happening but it really was. No one thought this reunion would ever happen. Many thought that if it did, it wouldn\’t last long.
One thing is for sure, though, it is happening, it sounds and looks better than anyone could have imagined. The band\’s light show and LED screen effects are top-notch and add an element to GnR that wasn\’t there when they were together last.
When you think of what a Guns n Roses show was like in 1988- or if you were lucky enough to have actually been there and see it, this show was exactly what you would have hoped or what you experienced back then. It was a party, the band brought the fire, and it was Guns n Roses at their best.
Who knows what will happen when they\’re done with this tour cycle. If this is the only time we will get to see this lineup perform, it was everything we could have hoped for. If we are lucky enough to have them back full-time and permanently, we\’re lucky and thankful to have it.
One thing is for sure, though- this is an iconic tour and a historic event that, if you get the chance to see live, you\’ll remember it forever.