Posted: 11:28 pm Sunday, July 24th, 2016

GNR Conquer MetLife (and MY life) 

By Brando

This wasn’t supposed to happen. “Not in this lifetime,” Axl Rose once responded to the possibility of getting back together with his old bandmate, Slash. Now humorously named the “Not in This Lifetime Tour,” the semi-reunited Guns N’ Roses have had a stellar run at the start of their North American stadium tour. Overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and  fans alike have poured in. It’s happening…and in THIS lifetime.

Slash officially quit the band in October 1996, the same month and year I was a 13-year-old Bar Mitzvah boy. I had previously never seen Axl and Slash on the same stage. I have however seen the “new” Guns N’ Roses which included members like DJ Ashba, Bumblefoot, and the man known as Buckethead. The 3 times I’ve seen the new version I had fun, but as much as I didn’t want to admit at the time, was always left with an empty feeling. The band was great, but there was no “magic.”

I was lucky enough to see the late Scott Weiland front Velvet Revolver with Slash and Duff McKagan twice. Amazing shows, but still, just as seeing Axl without Slash, seeing Slash without Axl left something to be desired.

For reasons still not known to the public, Axl Rose and Slash have repaired their relationship, at least enough to tour. As soon as this semi-reunited GNR (Axl, Slash, and Duff) announced a comeback, I pounced on the pre-sales. I would not miss this moment in history.

The date I had circled for months had finally come. A warm summer night, Saturday July 23rd at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The atmosphere was electric, palpable from the parking lot. Hours before opener Lenny Kravitz was set to hit the stage, fans of all ages were grilling hamburgers, hotdogs, throwing water balloons, and had all types of rock music blasting from every section in every lot. This was going to be more than a concert, this was going to be an event.

Doors opened at 7pm and that’s when it all hit me. I was really excited to see Lenny Kravitz as well. A fan for years, yet I’ve never seen him live. And wow, he did not disappoint. The high school classmate of Slash, Kravitz truly set the tone for the night.

Lenny Kravitz played for almost an hour, and contrary to how Guns N’ Roses used to be regarding tardiness, I knew that they would be hitting the stage soon after. And they did…

From the opening It’s So Easy, to the Chinese Democracy songs that somehow Slash and Duff agreed to (or perhaps want to?!) play, to ending with Paradise City, Guns N’ Roses were relentless for 3 hours. However he may have sounded in years past, Axl’s voice is top notch now and seeing Slash do his thing is a gift. My videos and words only do this show so much justice. I left fulfilled, yet wanting more. I would have stayed for 3 more hours and if I had the means I would have went to their 2nd show on Sunday.

I cannot wait to see what is in store for this mysterious rock band, whether it be a full reunion or new music. But for 1 night, I got want I wanted…and in THIS lifetime.

— Brando

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