Guns ‘N’ Roses paid an emotional tribute to Chris Cornell on Saturday Night (27th May 2017) at the opening night of the European leg of their ‘Not In This Lifetime’ tour. Taking place at Slane in Co. Meath on Saturday night (27th May 2017), the band’s Irish show marked 25 years since they last played at the iconic venue.
Returning to the sleepy Irish village for the first time since their ‘Use Your Illusion’ tour in 1992, the most dangerous band in the world ripped through a lengthy three hour set in the picturesque Irish countryside that featured all of their most well-known tracks, as well as a number of choice cover versions.
From a tip of the hat to local legends Thin Lizzy with the Dublin band’s music exclusively play listed throughout the day, to an inspired and joyous take of Derek And The Dominoes ‘Layla’ and a run through The Who’s ‘The Seeker’, attendees to the most anticipated show of the year were not left wanting when it came to classic rock.
It was however, the iconic songs from the L.A. acts own songbook that the crowd had come to hear. Kicking off at the uncustomarily early time of 7.45pm (despite a 7.30pm billing), G’n’R arrived on stage to Duff McKagan’s instantly recognisable bass riff from ‘Appetite For Destruction’ lead single ‘It’s So Easy’, sending the Slane audience into a frenzy.
Belying their toughened image with the band looking thoroughly like they were enjoying themselves throughought, even the one time rivalry between lead singer Axl Rose and - “your friend, and mine” – guitarist Slash, was laid to rest, as the pair exchanged smiles and glances.
Letting the music do the talking for the most of the evening, it was three songs in before Rose greeted the crowd, by asking the 80,000 concert goers; “How you doing?” Introducing a frenzied ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ meanwhile, the band leader was in much more predictable form, shrieking; “Do you know where the f**k you are? You’re in the jungle, Slane”.
Taking a break and handing over lead vocals to his right-hand man and bassist, the former William Bailey delighted the crowd telling them; “Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce your fellow Irishman; Duff McKagan”, as the Seattle native led the band through a riotous version of The Damned’s ‘New Rose’.
It was another Seattle son however, that provided the night's most poignant moment. Laid to rest just a day earlier in Los Angeles (on Friday 26th May), it was a sombre Axl Rose who introduced a fitting tribute to late Soundgarden figurehead Chris Cornell. “We’re going to try something here”, said the singer; “We wish we were doing it under better circumstances, but it’s meant with love”.
Delivering a stirring tribute in a faithful recreation of Soundgarden’s ‘Black Hole Sun’ complete with visuals that featured Seattle’s Space Needle observation tower in silhouette, as the song drew to its climactic close, a reverent Axl simply said; “For Chris”.
With the evening nearing an end, the band ended their elongated set with a run through some of their most celebrated tracks, including an impassioned ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, a thunderous ‘Night Train’, and inevitable set closer ‘Paradise City’. Taking their bows together, the partially reunited act said goodnight on what had been a fantastic day of music, and a stirring reminder of what a force the band really are.
Guns ‘N’ Roses ‘Not In This Lifetime’ tour continues on Tuesday 30th May, when the band arrive in Spain for a show at Bilbao’s San Mames Stadium. A full list of dates can be viewed below.
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Guns N’ Roses 'Not In This Lifetime' 2017 European Dates:
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
San Mames Stadium
Friday, June 2, 2017
Passeio Martimo De Alges
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Vincente Calderon Stadium
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Friday, June 16, 2017
London, United Kingdom
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Stadion Energa Gdansk
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Prague, Czech Republic
Friday, July 7, 2017
Stade de France
Monday, July 10, 2017
Ernst Happel Stadion
Wednesday, July 12, 2017