I met up with Michele in Seattle on Friday morning for the last leg of our epic rock n roller 16 coaster tour of America. We would have one more weekend together before we head home to the bee business, dog training and our next semester at school at UAA. This leg of the tour will include the ‘Rock” portion of it in a huge way! Early in the spring one of our favorite bands of all time, Gun’s n Roses announced a tour. I jumped online as quick as I possibly could and bought tickets. We got awesome seats in the first section from the floor directly in front of the stage just about 300 feet away.
We spent Friday hanging out and shopping. Living in Alaska you quickly realize how much you miss the things that everyone else takes for granted with all of the stores and shopping. Michele and I love to window shop and stock up on things that you can’t find up north. We had dinner at The Crab Pot. This place was amazing! They deliver you a huge portion of seafood in well, a pot, as you sit along the water. We dove in and got our hands super greasy but loved every minute of it.
Saturday was the concert at Century Link Field. It is the home to the Seattle Seahawks and a beautiful stadium that is known as one of the loudest in the NFL and if it was half as good for concerts as it is for football we are in for a real treat. We arrived early and parked the car about 20 blocks away so we wouldn’t have to pay the outrageous 100 bucks for parking. We walked along the busy streets. This was a place I spent a lot of time in the early 90s when I was in college and in a band at the height of the grunge movement. You know, the Seattle rockers, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains? Our little band thought we would be the next big thing. Doesn’t every band?
Anyway, back to the concert, Michele and I had a couple beers at some hipster bar just outside the gates, spending way too much on appetizers and drinks. Seriously! We waited in line for the gates to open and were one of the first waves in. We found our seats. As I said, they were awesome. We waited for a while for the opening band to start playing. It was The Pink Slips. This is a band that is fronted by Duff McKagen’s daughter, Grace. Duff, if you don’t know is the father to this young lady and just a happens to be the bassist for Gun’s N Roses. Of course he would let his daughter open for his band in their home town!
The second band of the day to hit the stage is my favorite, Alice in Chains. These hometown rockers were right at home playing on their own turf. This was the second time I have seen them since they added their new frontman, William DuVall that replaced Layne Staley when he passed away in the mid-90s. DuVall has become much more of a true frontman now than when he first arrived on scene with the cd and tour for The Devil Put the Dinosaurs Here. At that time it was guitarist and founding member, Jerry Cantrell singing most of the vocals with DuVall doing back up.
This was a great show opening up for GNR. They opened with Hollow, Them Bones and a grinding rendition of Again. They ended the show with an extended version of Man in the Box with DuVall sounding excellent, Would? and Rooster to follow. We waited almost an hour for the Looney Tunes theme to start and the Not in This Lifetime tour to be really happening!
The Gunner’s brought the house to their feet and played for almost 2.5 hours. It was by far one of the best concerts I have ever seen in my life. Axl sounded great, Slash killed it, Duff and the rest of the gang were awesome. A lot of negativity was brought on about this tour and I can say they did not disappoint. Gone are the days of Axl coming in late and throwing tantrums. I guess that was all in the past. I saw GNR here in Seattle almost 25 years ago when they were touring for their Use your Illusion Tour and at that time it was a great concert with Skid Row opening the show.
They played all of their hits and a lot of their lesser known stuff as well. They opened the show with It’s So Easy and Mr. Brownstone with what seemed like 70,000 people singing along. Some of my favorites of the set were Estranged and Coma. With their huge video board in the background it seemed like it was 1985 again at the height of MTV. Later in the set they played a killer cover of Wish You Were Here with Slash starting off on a double neck guitar. There aren’t many guitarist like Slash and I would argue he is the true definition of a Guitar God. People just don’t play like that anymore on modern rock n roll. They ended the show with a raucous four song encore and closed the show with fan favorite Paradise City with everyone screaming at the top of their lungs.
Michele here: some of you rabid readers may not know, Robert took me to my very first concert for my 28th birthday! My first concert was at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado with Godsmack headlining! You see prior to Robert I didn’t get out much. I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to concert going! So, I missed out on GNR’s first go-round in the 80’s/90’s and I definitely missed out on seeing Layne belting it out for AIC. I was so excited about GNR I had goosebumps. They did not disappoint. In fact, I had so much fun, I talked Robert into taking us to see them in Denver in 2017 when we hit the tour again!
What a show! After the concert we had to bop and weave through the rowdy streets to make it back to our car. We made it before the 1am cut off, otherwise we would have to come back in the morning to retrieve it.
The rest of the weekend we managed to see all we could of Seattle. We spend Sunday morning over on Bainbridge Island as we took the ferry across the sound. What a cool place. We drove around, ate a great lunch and shopped at all the cool shops including a way cool toy store. We rode the Big Wheel and saw a not-so-funny comedy show at the Hard Rock Cafe after a mediocre dinner. We walked around City Park and Michele managed to score a close parking spot and managed to squeeze in our rental from Enterprise in a wicked parallel job. We hung out at Pikes Place Market looking at old Playboys and hippie herb shops too.
Sadly the tour comes to an end but we will continue to rock on. In fact we will be back in Seattle in December to see one of the coolest bands around, The Pretty Reckless. Did you know I bought tickets to this show while I was still in Denver on this portion of the coaster tour. So, I guess the rock n roller 16 tour continues on…
We will be back on the road in the summer of 2017 visiting new theme parks and searching out some epic coasters and more concerts. I hope you will follow along.
Tomorrow: Wild Waves and Enchanted Village
Coasters to date on the tour: 92
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