It was a real treat for rock and roll fans when Guns N’ Roses performed at the Philippine Arena, Bulacan last November 11, 2018 as part of their “Not in This Lifetime… Tour.” The classic lineup of Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan played together for the first time since the Use Your Illusion Tour in 1993, much to the delight of the crowd.
***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!
During this tour, Guns n’ Roses certainly made up for lost time. There was never a dull moment. Among the highlights were Slash’s guitar solo, which took him 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 fave movie) – only to transition to “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
Of course, Axl brought out the grand piano for “November Rain.”
Sweet Child O’ Mine Live
There were several surprising covers. The first song was Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” which served as a jumping off point for Slash and co-guitarist Richard Fortus’ guitar solo exchanges. The Gunners pay tribute to Glen Campbell and Chris Cornell with “Wichita Lineman” and “Black Hole Sun,” respectively.
Slash (my favorite Gunner) is a living legend!
Yet the hits just kept on coming: “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” and “Patience” prompted the endearing/dreaded Pinoy sing-along. Guns N’ Roses had performed so many songs on a jam-packed three-hour concert that they still had enough for four legit hits on their encore, including the closing song “Paradise City.”
Altogether, it was like stepping into a time machine. Us kids and our dad are rocking up to some classic hard rock music, but this time the band is performing live. It took them DECADES to get to the Philippines, but it was definitely worth the wait.
- 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)