Call it a throwback but still, it was “THE” major rock and roll event of the year when Guns n’ Roses (GnR) performed at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan last 2018 as part of their “Not in This Lifetime… Tour.” It featured classic lineup members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan, marking the first time since the Use Your Illusion Tour in 1993 that the three performed together.
***NOTE: This is a Fathers’ Day tribute post & concert review at the same time.
I remember when my brothers and I were growing up, music is how we bonded with our father, whether playing instruments or listening to his old cassette tapes (which is now in my possession), one of which is Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses.
As soon as Guns N’ Roses announced their tour in Asia, and seeing that they’ll be performing in Manila I immediately called my brothers and prepared to surprise our old man.
I thought I’ll be seeing middle-aged people but to my surprise there were lot of younger concert goers too!
The words “You’re In the jungle, Manila, you’re gonna die…” was never met with so much enthusiasm as Axl and the rest of Gunners dropped one hit track after another: “Double Talkin’ Jive,” “Estranged” with its singing guitar solo, “You Could Be Mine,” personal favorite “Civil War,” and their cover of Wings’ “Live And Let Die” definitely brought back memories of the early ’90s. I used to play the “Use Your Illusion” album so much that I wore down the ribbon of that cassette. And there it was being played live!
Guns n’ Roses certainly made up for lost time on this tour. There was nary a low moment. Among the highlights were Slash’s guitar solo that took hi from bluesy noodling, to a Chuck Berry instrumental, then peaked at “The Godfather” Theme, “Speak Softly, Love” (I fangirled so hard because it’s my all-time favorite movie) – only to segue to “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Axl also brought out the grand piano for “November Rain” natch!
Sweet Child O’ Mine Live
There were some surprise covers. First was Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” which was mainly a springboard for Slash and co-guitarist Richard Fortus’ guitar solo exchanges. Then there’s Axl and the gunners tribute to Glen Campbell and Chris Cornell with “Wichita Lineman” and “Black Hole Sun,” respectively.
Slash (my favorite Gunner) is a living legend!
And the hits just kept on coming: “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” and “Patience” prompted the endearing/dreaded Pinoy sing-along. Ditto rocking on “Don’t Cry,” “Night Train,” and another personal favorite, “Rocket Queen.” Guns n’ Roses had played so many songs on a jam-packed three-hour set and they still had room for four legit hits on their encore including the closing song “Paradise City.”
Overall, it was like hopping on a time-machine. Just us kids and our dad rocking to some classic hard rock music but this time, while the band performs live. It took them DECADES to get to the Philippines but the wait was certainly worth it.
- It’s So Easy
- Mr. Brownstone
- Chinese Democracy
- Welcome to the Jungle
- Double Talkin’ Jive
- Live and Let Die (Wings cover)
- Slither (Velvet Revolver cover)
- Rocket Queen
- You Could Be Mine
- Attitude (Misfits cover) (“You Can’t Put Your Arms… more )
- This I Love
- Civil War
- Slash Guitar Solo
- Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From The Godfather)
- Sweet Child O’ Mine
- Wichita Lineman (Jimmy Webb cover)
- Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover) (Slash and Richard Fortus guitar duet)
- November Rain (Axl on grand piano)
- Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden cover)
- Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan cover) (“Only Women Bleed” intro)
- Patience (“Melissa” intro)
- Don’t Cry
- The Seeker (The Who cover)
- Paradise City
- You Know My Name (Chris Cornell song)