Pictures and review by Paul Donahue, Jr.
There were more than 42,000 people in attendance at Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL’s New England Patriots, with almost every attendee behind me for this EPIC event.
The open air arena, combined with being down on the field, made this an incredible show before Guns N Roses even took the stage.
Lenny Kravitz warmed up the mostly middle-aged crowd as the fans slowly streamed in and filled the seats. Lenny was great! A cool mo-fo with a mo-town feel. The 20,000 or so that made it in while Lenny was playing were more than pleased with his performance.
The usual pause between bands was a little different on this evening with lots of people wondering…”will they start on time?”; “How will Axl sound?”; “Will they suck?”
These were some of the questions people around me were asking. One of my friends called Gillette Stadium and asked what time Guns was gonna hit the stage.
The Answer: They are “supposed” to go on around 8:30.
Personally, I wasn’t worried. I’ve been following the bands tour and didn’t read anything anywhere that would suggest there would be any B.S., but, lets be honest here, nobody really knew for sure.
As the sun started to set, the GnR logo appeared on the screen above and behind the drums. Within a minute the Guns were blazing as the logo came to life, blasting rounds into the air with a dynamic sound sound that rang throughout the stadium like bombs were going off.
Watching the time with wonder and anticipation, Guns hit the stage right at 8:30 as scheduled and they played right til the 11:30 Gillette-imposed curfew with a non-stop show and very little talking between songs…. just straight up old school 80’s hard rock/metal at its finest.
Everyone keeps asking, “How did they sound?”
The doubters and the haters could not have been more wrong. If you weren’t at Gillette, you may have missed the concert of the summer, or maybe the concert of the year, or decade, or MAYBE you missed the concert of a LIFETIME.
I also want to add that Axl’s voice was on the money. Song after song, each high note or tough vocal part was attacked. He never once let up or took the safe road and he didn’t need to. After each difficult vocal stunt Axl, with his wild eyes looked out into the crowd as if he was saying “See, my voice is fine”, proving all the naysayers wrong.
The same goes for the rest of the band. Slash, Duff, Frank Ferrer and Richard Fortus were spot-on. The solos gave me goosebumps.
The inclusions of cover songs were outstanding. The addition of ‘Voodoo Child’ at the outro of ‘Civil War’ fit like it was written in the song from day one.
The lights, sound, stage and equipment used was all absolute top of the line gear.
From top to bottom and start to finish the entire show was 100% PRO.
I’m still in awe and sooooo glad I was within the first few rows for a show that was highly anticipated, highly controversial and now…highly recommended.
If this tour is coming through your town, go get a ticket.
A show like this comes along… Once in a Lifetime.