APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
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2016.08.18 - Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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2016.08.18 - Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, USA Empty 2016.08.18 - Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:47 pm


2016.08.18 - Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, USA NeWborder_zpsk3uwcgt1

August 18, 2016
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Setlist:
01. It's So Easy
02. Mr. Brownstone
03. Chinese Democracy
04. Welcome to the Jungle
05. Double Talkin' Jive
06. Estranged
07. Live and Let Die
08. Rocket Queen
09. You Could Be Mine
10. Attitude (w/ You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory intro)
11. This I Love
12. Civil War
13. Coma
Godfather theme (Slash's solo)
14. Sweet Child O' Mine
15. Better
16. Out Ta Get Me
Wish You Were Here jam
17. November Rain
18. Yesterdays
19. Knockin' One Heaven's Door
20. Nightrain
ENCORE:
21. Catcher in the Rye
22. Patience
23. The Seeker
24. Paradise City

Date:
August 18, 2016.

Venue:
Dodger Stadium.

Location:
Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Line-up:
Axl Rose: Vocals and piano
Slash: Lead and rhythm guitar, and backing vocals
Richard Fortus: Rhythm and lead guitar, and backing vocals
Duff Mckagan: Bass and backing vocals
Dizzy Reed: Piano and backing vocals
Frank Ferrer: Drums
Melissa Reese: Keyboard and backing vocals

Poster:
(Artist: Arian Buhler)



____________________________________________________________________
2016.08.18 - Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, USA NeWborder_zpsk3uwcgt1
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Post by Blackstar Sat May 27, 2023 10:18 am

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Post by Blackstar Sat May 27, 2023 10:22 am

























Last edited by Blackstar on Sat May 27, 2023 3:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Blackstar Sat May 27, 2023 10:35 am

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2016.08.18 - Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, USA Empty Re: 2016.08.18 - Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Post by Blackstar Sat May 27, 2023 3:01 pm

Review in Los Angeles Times, Aug. 19:
Welcome back to the jungle: Axl Rose finds his snake hips as Guns N’ Roses regains its edge at Dodger Stadium

By Mikael Wood

The sideways crab walk. The snake-hipped shimmy. The headlong dash from one end of the stage to the other.

Leading the partly reunited Guns N’ Roses he’s been on the road with since April, Axl Rose brought his full arsenal of moves to Dodger Stadium for the first of two hometown shows as part of the influential hard-rock band’s “Not in This Lifetime” tour.

And what a relief it was to see him up and at ’em.

When Guns N’ Roses played a warm-up gig at the Troubadour a few months ago — the first time in more than 20 years that the singer had performed in public with guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan — Rose fell and fractured a bone in his left foot. As a result, this deeply physical frontman performed the early portion of the tour, including an appearance at the closely watched Coachella festival, seated in an elaborate throne borrowed from Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters (who’d had it built after he broke his leg last year).

The effect was deflating: Though Slash’s presence restored the group’s trademark dynamics — its ability to shift between punky aggression and flowery lyricism — Rose’s injury prevented him from putting across much of the sex or danger that made him a taunting yet seductive pop icon in the late 1980s.

At Coachella and in another concert in Las Vegas, Guns N’ Roses felt more like Sticks N’ Daffodils.

Not anymore.

On Thursday, before a huge crowd in what he called “my neighborhood,” Rose, 54, moved with surprising energy and menace throughout a nearly three-hour production.

He swiveled in his pointy cowboy boots during “Mr. Brownstone.” He charged toward the front of the stage in “Sweet Child o’ Mine” — all the better to see him lick his lips suggestively — then skidded to a halt at the very edge.

Midway through “Welcome to the Jungle” he hurled a microphone stand for no apparent reason, sending the thing crashing into a lighted staircase.

Just to ensure you were getting the message, one of the T-shirts Rose wore quoted his hero Elton John to proclaim “The bitch is back.”

The singer’s renewed intensity seemed to drive the other members of Guns N’ Roses to play harder and faster too.

Rounded out by musicians Rose employed in the years after Slash and McKagan left (as well as a fresh recruit in keyboardist Melissa Reese), the band pummeled its way through “Coma” and cranked “You Could Be Mine” to a breakneck tempo.

But they could also slow down and savor a groove or melody, as in a deliciously trashy “Live and Let Die” and the crisply tuneful “Yesterdays,” which Guns N’ Roses hasn’t often played since the mid ’90s.

“We just pulled that out of our…,” Rose said, trailing off into a chuckle that suggested he was enjoying himself. Then he added, “Our hat — yeah, that’s it.”

As convincing as he was in his old villain’s guise, the frontman’s display made you think about something typically overshadowed by his famous appetite for destruction, and that was his dedication to hard work.

Part of what made the earlier gigs so disappointing was that Rose didn’t give off a caged-animal vibe while in the throne (as Grohl had); he seemed almost to relish the opportunity to take it easy.

Yet here you got a clear sense of how important it was for Rose — who’s pulling double duty this year filling in for Brian Johnson in AC/DC — to get back on his feet, an oddly endearing development for a bad attitude in human form.

You could tell too how proud Rose is of Guns N’ Roses’ notoriously labored-over “Chinese Democracy,” the 2008 album he made largely by himself and which he pulled from numerous times at Dodger Stadium, for “Better” and “Catcher in the Rye” and the shamelessly sentimental “This I Love.”

As at previous stops on the tour, Thursday’s concert featured no new music; “Not in This Lifetime” is a nostalgia trip, through and through, and to judge by the minimal onstage interaction between Rose and Slash, a return to joint songwriting appears unlikely.

But this strong, complicated performance made you wish that weren’t the case.

Now that he’s up, Rose should keep moving.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-guns-n-roses-dodger-stadium-20160819-snap-story.html
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Post by Blackstar Sat May 27, 2023 3:05 pm

Review in The Orange County Register, Aug. 19:
Review: Guns N’ Roses knocks it out of the park at Dodger Stadium

Guns N’ Roses is one of the world’s best-selling hard-rock bands of all time, so it’s not surprising it was able to mostly fill Dodger Stadium on Thursday night (the band is also set to perform at the stadium tonight). Performing for just under three hours, original members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan, backed by a capable quartet of other tattooed players, delivered a dream set throughout their stop on the Not In This Lifetime tour.

From the time the band took the stage and opened with “It’s So Easy,” fans cheered the returning heavyweights. While the “reunited” lineup of GnR performed a warm up show at the Troubadour (where Rose broke his foot) and subsequently performed both weekends at Coachella in April, this night easily outdistanced the band’s performance at the desert festival. Not only did Axl look fit and run about all night while hitting all the high notes, the ensemble was locked in and delivered nuanced performances of two dozen or so songs, including all the hits.

A close look at the proceedings going on throughout the night revealed little interaction or obvious camaraderie among Rose and Slash, but it would be hard to argue with the overall power of the band’s performance. There was a 20-plus- year span between the departure of Slash and his rejoining the band earlier this year, but musically the two locked in as if they had never parted.

After performing “Mr. Brownstone,” Rose looked out at the crowd and said: “Los Angeles, my neighborhood. What a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” That was about as far from the rock music, bright lights, video images and pyrotechnics as things veered.

The night was all about the big show and highlights came often. A driving “Welcome to the Jungle” found GnR rocking as video images of futuristic skyscrapers raced by behind the band. Slash’s distinctive, technically precise, flashy and affecting guitar work was a highlight of that song (and many others this night). Not long later, the band’s cover of Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Live and Let Die” incorporated strobe lights, and images of firearms and the sound of gunfire into the song’s attack.

But the night’s best performances came during the second half of the show, beginning with a potent take on “Civil War,” with the song’s recorded segment from the film “Cool Hand Luke,” acoustic intro and hard-charging rock section questioning the costs of war executed with power.

“Sweet Child o’ Mine” is among the band’s best songs, and afforded yet another chance to see where GnR’s music frequently has outdistanced the majority of its hard rock contemporaries. The song’s powerful melody, as well as Slash’s brilliant guitar work, had everyone temporarily forget about their smart phones and actually pay attention to the group’s performance.

GnR’s encore was a home run befitting the Dodger Stadium site, including performances of the folk rock original “Patience,” a fiery take of the Who’s “The Seeker” and GnR’s own epic rocker “Paradise City” sending the faithful home with a bombastic finale.

Although the Cult hails from the other side of the Pond, the group provided plenty of good reasons to celebrate its performance on the big stage. Armed with material from the band’s great new album (“Hidden City”), singer Ian Astbury and guitar great Billy Duffy led the troupe through a fast-moving set featuring ’80s rock favorites (“Wild Flower,” “Lil’ Devil,” “She Sells Sanctuary” and set-ending “Love Removal Machine”) and new material “Deeply Ordered Chaos”). Good news for local audiences is the Cult will perform at Jack’s 11th Show at Irvine Meadows on Sept. 23.
https://www.ocregister.com/2016/08/19/review-guns-n-roses-knocks-it-out-of-the-park-at-dodger-stadium/
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Post by Blackstar Sat May 27, 2023 3:15 pm

Review in OC Weekly, Aug. 19:
Guns N' Roses Hit It Out of the Park at Dodger Stadium

Guns N' Roses
Dodger Stadium
8/18/2016


The last time we saw the reunited-and-feels-so-good version of Guns N’ Roses, the gang was playing in front of a bizarre mix of diehards and curious millennials at Coachella. At the time, we were pleased with the band’s quick cohesiveness, which after 23 years away from one another, the core members seemed to be getting back into a groove.

As the former debaucherious deans of the Sunset Strip took the stage less than 10 miles from where, A) they first performed as fresh-faced twenty-somethings and B) where they kicked off their tour in April, there was a certain curiosity that piqued some attendees’ interested. For starters, how have they progressed since their date in the desert? Since then, the reformed GNR have played 20 or so shows, so for fans seeing them again, a fair question would be, once the nostalgia wore off course, whether or not they were into the actual music or the idea of something that once was.

Only 13 minutes late, Axl, Slash, Duff and company plowed through a nearly identical set that sprinted past the two hour and thirty minute mark. The major difference aesthetically was Axl. In Indio, the singer was confined to Dave Grohl’s throne due to an untimely broken foot. Now that he was back being Axl, it was easy to forgive his numerous wardrobe changes now that was able to roam freely and being the singer who melted girl’s hearts in the early ‘90s, and the guys every dude everyone wanted to party with.

The singer’s good spirits translated into the crisp 25 songs set, and to the nearly full crowd. Thankfully, the band deviated a bit from the standard set, sneaking in the criminally underrated “Yesterdays,” which was played only once before on this tour, and “Catcher in the Rye” that a steady sonic trust building. Songs that could have been misconstrued earlier as haphazard are crisp. Classics are now in a much more polished state that a veteran rock band — nevertheless a kinda, sorta reunited one — would proud to unleash to their devoted disciples. That's the only to describe the Appetite-era songs that encompassed the set list, with a ferocious “Out Ta Get Me” being a stand out.

Again, Slash made things look effortless handling axe duties that took four other guys to do in the Chinese Democracy era. Unlike some of the slight hesitancy to let loose during the early shows, the top-hatted one really let things rip during his solos, especially “Coma” and “Estranged.” Gliding through GNR classics was nostalgic, but there’s was a definitiveness to his playing that straddled the line between comfort and cockiness that will continue as the band’s tour hits Australia and Japan in 2017. There isn’t a guitarist, when on, can compete with Slash’s virtuosity and charisma.

Seeing GNR at Coachella felt right for the right reasons. Seeing them at Dodger Stadium confirmed something else: you’re never too old to grow as a unit. Usually a band with members in their early-to-mid 50s are starting to enter autopilot mode. There wasn’t that feeling. It was easy to see that Axl was giving maximum effort as confidently slithered across the massive stage. His earlier mentioned wardrobe changes weren’t due to stylistic set choices, but simply due to him exerting so much energy — like in his prime — that he was soaked from giving it his all. Say what you want about the 54-year-old, but there aren’t many singers, rappers or pop stars who can pull off sprinting around a stage at a stadium like Rose, which leads us to Duff McKagan. The buff bassist is the glue that holds the whole band together, and was never frazzled. A constant pro, McKagan provided soothing harmonies that filled out songs, while his bass held the band together, and not once did he ever seem anything but a steadying influence.

By the time the theatrics of “Paradise City,” fireworks, explosions and all, closed out the set, the slickly polished production confirmed what was set forth at Coachella: Guns N’ Roses really is back. Few, if any bands, can pull off an explosive stage show to go along with a marathon set. With only two dates left on their North American run, the true test begins once the good feelings subside: what does the band have left in the tank in terms of new music? Then, and only then, will we know if this GNR truly is back and leaving the coulda/woulda/shouldas of the past 23 years in the rearview mirror.
https://www.ocweekly.com/guns-n-roses-hit-it-out-of-the-park-at-dodger-stadium-7440857/
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Post by Blackstar Sat May 27, 2023 3:39 pm

Review in mxdwn.com, Aug. 19:
Concert Review: Guns N’ Roses Return to Los Angeles With Mixed Three-Hour Set

By Raymond Flotat

Each few years the music industry as a whole has a mega reunion that drives excitement and intrigue. With the noted exception of The Smiths, by now nearly every band that could have reunited has. This year, it’s Guns N’ Roses turn to reclaim their place. After years of acrimonious tension—and even an infamous quote by Axl Rose claiming “not in this liftetime”—the main three members of the group Duff McKagan, Slash and Rose finally buried the hatchet. mxdwn was fortunate enough to be at their first show back at the Troubadour (coincidentally the first venue the band ever played in the ‘80s) and the show was one for the ages without a doubt. From there, the band embarked on the beginning of the now tongue-in-cheek named “Not in this Lifetime Tour” and a pair of headlining shows at this year’s Coachella Festival.

Speculation dogged the band until these shows started happening. Could Axl Rose still sing? Would the band even take the stage on time? Would someone scream at someone else? Whatever happened to Izzy Stradlin? Probably the biggest surprise was that the three core members and the mostly new band (save for Dizzy Reed) showed up to work with professionalism. Yes, no fights, no late arrivals and Axl’s voice more on point then it had been in years. G’N’F’N’R is back. Festival dates behind them, tonight was the first of two huge shows in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, arguably the first real hometown show for them yet.

True to form of the last point Slash and McKagan were still active members of the band in the early ‘90s, the band played just shy of three hours straight. Except for “Don’t Cry” every major hit the band is famous for made an appearance before the night was done. In its totality though, the show was a bit uneven. Definitely not bad, and impressive in terms of overall quality, but several odd choices hampered what could have been a precision assault of a set.

On the plus side, the players sound tight and pristine. Slash and Richard Fortus compliment each other well. Expectedly, Slash has tons of intricate solos over the course of the evening, but Fortus has his own share at one point dueling in leads on an instrumental cover of “Wish You Were Here.” Drummer Frank Ferrer hits with a convincing fury living up to the Matt Sorum’s presence there in the ‘90s (think the opening pummel of “You Could Be Mine”). Longtime keyboardist Dizzy Reed perfectly plucks the serene lines of “Estranged.” And most importantly, the mix overall is solid. Every instrument is audible, not drowned under bottom end or guitar crunch. Add all that together, and when Rose’s voice sounds on point, it’s magic to behold. Songs such as “Sweet Child of Mine” and “Night Train” rock with stunning ferocity.

However, on the bad side, the show lost momentum a couple of times. Following a stretch that included stellar cuts “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Double Talkin’ Jive,” “Estranged” and their Paul McCartney/Wings cover “Live and Let Die,” a meandering slate derailed the manic enthusiasm of the crowd. Immediately after the cathartic power of “Live and Let Die” came an off-pace, jammed-out version of “Rocket Queen.” “You Could Be Mine” followed, but where there should be promise in one of their most ferocious songs, it fell a bit flat as at various points Rose couldn’t seem to hit some of the song’s more complex histrionics, doubly odd considering he did fine on other songs as “Civil War” later on. The band followed that with a cover of the Misfits “Attitude” featuring bassist McKagan on lead vocals. Neat, but not really what anyone here wants to see. Lastly, a song most people even in this crowd likely do not know from Chinese Democracy “This I Love.” Those four easily derailed the momentum created by the preceding four.

Other curiosities included the entirety of the super dark “Coma” from Use Your Illusion I. Diehard GNR fans surely were stoked for that song’s inclusion, but the bleak state of that tune’s lyrics didn’t match the fun-loving spirit that most of this sold-out crowd came to revel in. Furthermore, several points allowed for long instrumentals. One including a rocked-out version of the love theme from The Godfather, the other a worked-out instrumental take combining Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and the latter half of Derek and the Dominoes “Layla.” Each time Rose returned afterword with a slightly different outfit and/or hat. Are the rumors true? Is the strain so hard on Rose’s voice that he requires constant breaks to rest his vocal chords? We may never know, but one thing is for certain: they were another segue that drained momentum rather than added to it.

Yes, for every wonderful moment like the piece-by-piece perfect “November Rain” or the enraptured singalong on their Bob Dylan cover “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” there was an equally perplexing moment such as four cuts from Chinese Democracy or an almost race-to-the-finish “Paradise City” as the set’s final number. There’s no question that the reunited Guns N’ Roses have the chops, drive and songs to legitimately live up to the stature of being a stadium-filling band. There might be a need to trim some of the fat from the set though for longevity’s sake. This could have been a lean two hours and had the crowd riveted for every single number.

The best moments came in the form of their seminal greats. Direct numbers like “It’s So Easy” and “Mr. Brownstone” had the crowd on their feet and dancing. “Civil War” impressed with its complexity of scale. “Patience” had 30,000 people longingly singing every word. “Sweet Child of Mine” crushed, every 10 seconds or so playing like the most unforgettable melody ever crafted. “Estranged” showed the band could go long with remarkable grace, never losing the crowd’s attention or lingering on an idea too long. That’s really the band’s most undeniable trait too. The current members (and former ones such as Izzy Stradlin) had top-of-the-game command of songcraft. When at their best, the songs play as timeless masterpieces. For all Slash’s technical skill, it’s really the fact that he plays guitar solos like a series of ten immaculate melodies as strong as the establishing melody of the song itself that makes him a genius.

It’s easy to poke holes in something this accomplished from an armchair. There’s a skill level on display here few bands in rock and roll have ever attained and none of us have had to put on a three-hour show and not suck at it. But for all the nostalgia, and how deeply ingrained fans affinity for Guns N’ Roses is, it’s impossible to not want them to be the best formulation of the group imaginable. To surpass expectations and play as living legends.
https://music.mxdwn.com/2016/08/19/reviews/concert-review-guns-n-roses-return-to-los-angeles-with-mixed-three-hour-set/
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2016.08.18 - Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, USA Empty Re: 2016.08.18 - Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Post by Blackstar Sat May 27, 2023 3:46 pm

Review in Rex and the Bass Music Blog, Aug. 23:
Guns N’ Roses Not in this Lifetime Tour: Live at Dodger Stadium

Howdy!

When I learned that Guns N’ Roses was going on tour with three of the original members, I was very interested in seeing what they had to offer. But, when I heard the Los Angeles stop was going to be at Dodger Stadium I lost interest pretty quickly. Dodger Stadium is a hassle to get to, huge outdoor shows rarely have very good sound, and large groups of people are usually terrible to deal with.

But, I kept getting emails about how there were still good seats available, and a few days before last week’s show I bit the bullet so I could see what it was all about, and I am glad that I did.

GNR’s Not in this Lifetime Tour brings frontman Axl Rose back together with Slash and Duff McKagan, who (to me) were the heart of the original band. The other original members, Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler, were not included in the group for this tour. Other touring band members include drummer Frank Ferrer, guitarist Richard Fortus, and keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese.

I attended the first of the two Los Angeles shows, on Thursday, August 18. The tickets and website were a bit vague as to what time the show would actually start, but I arrived and got parked pretty close to the “doors open” time of 5:00PM. After getting into the stadium the concession guys told me that the warm-up band would start at 6:30 and the main act would start at 8:00. Right.

The stadium was pretty empty at 6:30 when The Cult hit the stage, and it was cool to see that they started on time. Long-time members Ian Astbury (vocals), Billy Duffy (guitar), and John Tempesta (drums) were joined by newcomers Grant Fitzpatrick (bass) and Damon Fox (keyboards). The band was able to cover their big hits, including “Fire Woman,” “She Sells Sanctuary,” and Sweet Soul Sister.” Duffy did a tight job on the guitars, and Astbury showed that he still has a good vocal range, though it seemed like he did not have the breath and stamina to carry all of the vocals; the band helped out a lot with backing vocals on the choruses for most every song. Still, it was a solid set and the Cult was a solid opener, finishing up at 7:20PM.

With the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds as the soundtrack, the crew broke down The Cult’s equipment and prepped for Guns N’ Roses. I was curious when GNR would actually go on, as Axl is notorious for starting shows hours after their scheduled time. But, again, at 8:00PM the lights went out and the band hit the stage with “It’s So Easy,” and this cut from Appetite for Destruction was exactly what the crowd was looking for.

From there they played songs from their debut album, GNR Lies, Use Your Illusion 1 & 2, and Chinese Democracy; and with two dozen songs in the playlist this ended up being a nearly three hour set. I have heard that Axl runs hot and cold, but he was definitely on his game this evening. He was mobile on the stage, was able to hit the high notes, and got the job done. He did take breaks from time to time, but he did well. As an added bonus, he kind of looks like an older version of Cybill Shepherd nowadays.

Slash has lost nothing over the years, and he has one of the strongest left hands in the business. He did an extended solo break that included a kind of hokey rendition of the theme song from The Godfather, but it played well to the audience. He also had good rapport with Fortus, and this duo did a bang up instrumental version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were here.”

Duff McKagan is a crowd favorite, and his bass work was good but was often lost in the mix. One high point of the show for me was when he took the microphone to lead the band with a rousing rendition of The Misfits’ “Attitude.” I was glad to see that he still has love for the Fender Jazz Bass Special, too!

The rest of the band was tight, with kudos to Frank Ferrer for his powerful and skillful drumming. I had a hard time hearing any of the keyboards, but Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese were able to provide a solid job on the backing vocals.

There really were not any clunkers in the set, though the audience reaction to the songs from Chinese Democracy was tepid. This was true of “Catcher in the Rye,” which kicked off the encore, but the band made up for it with the inclusion of “Patience,” the Who’s “The Seeker,” and the closer, “Paradise City.”

All in all, this was a great show – the energy was good, the band clicked, and they did not leave out any of the hits. If you have the chance to see them, do it. This is the closest that you are going to get to seeing an 80s vintage Guns N’ Roses show. Trust me!
http://www.rexbass.com/2016/08/guns-n-roses-not-in-this-lifetime-tour.html
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Post by Blackstar Sat May 27, 2023 3:49 pm

Review in Metal Assault, Aug. 19:
Appetite For Domination: Guns N’ Roses Play Triumphant Homecoming Show At Dodger Stadium

Review by Andrew Bansal

August 18th 2016, Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles CA: Welcoming the return of original members Slash and Duff McKagan, hard rock icons Guns N’ Roses have been going strong with their ‘Not In This Lifetime’ reunion tour in 2016, and having started out with an intimate secret show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood on April 1st, they brought it home to Los Angeles four months later for two nights at the Dodger Stadium. The Cult were chosen as the opening act for these shows, which have undoubtedly been among the most highly anticipated and eagerly awaited events in the Los Angeles concert calendar ever since they were announced. The first show was a sold-out affair and took place on Thursday August 18th. Fans grabbed any tickets they could afford as soon as they went on sale months ago, but even the most diehard Guns N’ Roses faithful perhaps would not have expected the kind of show they witnessed last night, and as for the haters, they were about to be proven very, very wrong.

Some ticket holders were wise enough to arrive as early as 4:30 PM to beat the impending traffic, and lined up even before doors opened at 5. The show started promptly at 6:30, as The Cult took the stage for a 10-song, 50-minute, no-bullshit set wherein they focussed on playing their tunes one after the other, and there was little to no crowd interaction from the usually more talkative vocalist Ian Astbury. The band sounded precise and powerful, guitarist Billy Duffy yet again proving himself as the master of the clean electric guitar tone, a level and quality of sound most other guitarists can only dream of. The Cult played a fine selection of tunes from their ten-album catalog, including the slow, bluesy jam ‘Deeply Ordered Chaos’ off of the 2016 full-length release ‘Hidden City’. Drummer John Tempesta, very much familiar to metalheads for his exploits in bands like Slayer, Testament and Exodus, was hitting the skins with a sense of purpose and played a crucial role along with forerunners Astbury and Duffy. New members Grant Fitzpatrick (bass) and Damon Fox (keyboards) also pulled their weight, and altogether, the five musicians put forth a performance worthy and deserving of being the opening act for the epic headliner to follow soon. “Sorry we’re not Green Day, but with all due respect, we were here first”, said Ian Astbury gleefully, as old-school rockers in the crowd cheered loudly. Guns N’ Roses opened for The Cult on their ‘Appetite For Destruction’ tour in ’87, and GNR returned the favor to The Cult in 2016, which is rare in itself, as more often than not, successful rock bands forget where they came from and who got them to where they are. It was a bit of a pity that many ticket holders were not even aware of The Cult’s participation in this show, or the fact that there was an opening act at all, but those that arrived in time to see The Cult’s set certainly did not regret doing so. A classy set by a masterful band.

The Cult set list:
01. Wild Flower
02. Rain
03. Lil Devil
04. Rise
05. The Phoenix
06. Deeply Ordered Chaos
07. Sweet Soul Sister
08. Fire Woman
09. She Sells Sanctuary
10. Love Removal Machine

Even for a sold-out show, there were a lot of empty seats in the stadium before and during The Cult’s set, simply due to traffic congestion on all freeways leading to the venue, but it was getting increasingly filled, and a nearly packed house waited for Guns N’ Roses to hit the stage. At 8:10, just 10 minutes past the advertised start time, the classic GNR logo appeared on the stage backdrop and on the giant screens either side of the stage, as the Looney Tunes intro was played on the PA, followed by ‘The Equalizer’ theme song, and the seven band members took their positions to begin with ‘It’s So Easy’, starting a set that lasted all of two hours and 45 minutes with no breaks whatsoever. In recent years, there has been much talk and speculation surrounding Axl Rose’s vocal performance, some of it completely unsubstantiated, but here he was, hitting all the notes, singing like he has never sung before, and while doing so, running a marathan from one side of this massive stage to the other throughout the set. In comparison to Metal Assault’s previous Guns N’ Roses live concert experiences in 2011, 2012 and 2014, which were all great performances, this was a much stronger Axl Rose, a singer who has found his peak at the age of 54. Regardless of the participation of other original members, this reunion would fall apart if the singing was not up to scratch, but thankfully, that’s not the case, and Rose is proving himself to be nothing less than a music legend by bringing his A-game when it matters most.

All the expected selections from the band’s iconic ‘Appetite For Destruction’ record were included in the set, along with tunes off of the two ‘Use Your Illusion’ albums, a song from ‘G N’ R Lies’, and even a bit of ‘The Spaghetti Incident’ as Duff McKagan took over lead vocal duties to deliver a thoroughly enjoyable rendition of Misfits’ ‘Attitude’ in the first half of the set. As has been the norm for GNR shows in recent years, a few covers were worked into the set as solo/instrumental spots to let all members of the band shine in the spotlight. The one surprise item was ‘Yesterdays’ off of ‘Use Your Illusion II’, a song most people weren’t expecting to hear. But the most notable aspect of the set list is that the ‘Chinese Democracy’ songs have been retained, and the original members that were not even on the recording are doing a mighty fine job playing these songs, bringing them to life like never before. ‘Chinese Democracy’ was musically never a bad album, and suffered mainly from sub-par production, bad timing and excessive lineup changes, but songs like ‘Better’, ‘This I Love’, ‘Catcher In The Rye’ and the title track stood strong amidst the much better-known classics, and sounded as great as anything else GNR has done. Fans would have expected and probably been totally fine with GNR dropping all of this material and just playing the classics, but to Axl Rose’s credit, he didn’t discard this piece of the band’s history, and Slash and Duff also must be commended for agreeing to play these songs.

This was by no means a show for the casual fan, as it was a hefty dosage of GNR for nearly three hours. Except for very simple, soft-spoken two-word sentences of ‘Thank You’, Axl Rose did not waste any time talking to the crowd, and this performance was all about the music. The production was also tastefully done, the visuals accompanying the songs done with perfection and not overly flashy or tacky like some old rock bands are doing these days (like the Scorpions, for example). It was majorly relieving to note that no giant lyrics were flashed on stage for any song, old or new. Besides, there was the addition of pyrotechnics, which the band was able to use fully with no restrictions, with this being an open outdoor venue. The fireworks flew high in the sky during key moments, specially during and after the set-closing ‘Paradise City’, truly a sight to behold. If any LA residents living within a few miles of Dodger Stadium did not know that GNR was in town, the night sky fireworks view would have told them so.

As much as the three core members were in focus, one must not forget the other four. Guitarist Richard Fortus matched Slash note for note, keyboardists Dizzy Reed adding that extra touch of class on the keyboards, and new synth/keyboard player/backing vocalist Melissa Reese also injecting some freshness into the band’s sound and look. But among the non-original members, the biggest accolades were surely won by drummer Frank Ferrer. A lot of hardcore fans have been lamenting the fact that Steven Adler is not part of this reunion, but there is absolutely no chance Adler would have lasted even one-third of this three-hour set, and Ferrer proved himself to be a real beast, hitting relentlessly with ferociousness throughout the set. Reunions shouldn’t merely be about the names, but more about the quality of musicianship, and whether the said reunion would do justice to the reputation of the band. This is where Adler does not fit in, and Ferrer does. But talking of the other original members that did find a place in this lineup, Slash was phenomenal on guitar and the same with Duff on bass and vocals, and watching and listening to Axl, Slash and Duff, one thing is overwhelmingly clear: they bring the best out of each other, and are performing better together than they’ve ever done separately in other projects.

There was a time when GNR would be upstaged by Metallica, their opening act, but that time has long gone, and this is an incarnation of GNR that has finally fulfilled its true potential and lived up to all its hype and legendary status, so much so that they should challenge the likes of Metallica to play with them again, because the GNR of 2016 will undoubtedly emerge victorious as the true headliner. The ‘Not In This Lifetime’ tag for the tour is very much apt, because no rock fans in their right minds would have imagined a reunion, leave alone the possibility of the band sounding great, and one hopes for this tour to last for the rest of these musicians’ careers.

Guns N’ Roses are delivering a rock show of epic proportions like no one else is, worth top dollar and more, and are re-instilling much needed excitement in rock n’ roll. Rock is not dead, because GNR is alive and kicking.
http://metalassault.com/gig_reviews/2016/08/19/appetite-for-domination-guns-n-roses-play-triumphant-homecoming-show-at-dodger-stadium/
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2016.08.18 - Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, USA Empty Re: 2016.08.18 - Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Post by Soulmonster Sun Sep 03, 2023 9:22 am

Arlett Vereecke attended this show:

I mean, the first one... I went to Dodger Stadium for the first reunion and the crew came up to me and said, "Hey, what do you think?" I said, "It was great," they said, "And...?" I said, "Yes, it was great, what do you want me to say? They played fantastic," he said, "Okay, spit it out." [laughs] Well, there's nothing to spit out, you know, I said, "Okay, let me tell it for you, you miss the fact that there is nobody behind you with a knife, right?" [laughs] I said, "The danger factor isn't there," he said, "Well, there is that." [laughs]. That's the only thing that is different, it's very... But that's the same with Van Halen, these reunion tours are great but it is not the excitement that they had, day in day out, when they were younger, and that is something, you know, I would say I missed. But musically they were fantastic.
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