Rock n Roller 17: Guns n Roses at Mile High

The 2017 Rock n Roller coaster tour rolled on with a stop at Mile High to see Guns n Roses! Just like last year our road trip was book-ended with two concerts and both ended with the Gunner’s Not in this Lifetime Tour.

Who would have ever thought that not only would this band get back together and do well but manage to keep it together long enough to embark on a massive tour and play so well in every single city. Not only did Axl do double-duty for awhile as the lead for the one-and-only AC/DC but he rocked big time arenas just like back in the GNR glory days.

As we arrived in Denver for the show at the (somewhat still new) Sports Authority Field at Mile High we were ready to rock. Did you know that one of the local marijuana conglomerates wanted to buy the naming rights for the stadium in a multi-million dollar deal, since Authority went bust but the brass in power in the high desert wanted no such thing…

Our seats were awesome. One of my favorite sections to see a show, in the first section directly in the center of the stage at the end of the field. Think of right behind the end zone at a football game. We were only 12 rows up from the field and except for a rope that is used in football games to hoist the giant net to catch field goals, the seats were perfect!

As the opening bands warmed up the near sold out crowd, the familiar Looney Tunes intro played with the Gunners taking the stage right on time. Gone are the days of Axl showing up to start the show hours late, if at all. The boys hit it hard with their normal opening rocker, It’s So Easy. Followed in quick succession with Brownstone, Chinese Democracy and a hard core Welcome to the Jungle.

Welcome to the Jungle, Mile High. Its time to die!

A little about Chinese Democracy. This is the ever waited CD that was put out by Axl and a new fangled version of Guns n Roses after more than 10 years into the break-up. While the rest of the Gunners–Slash, Izzy, Duff and second-seated drummer Matt were doing their own thing with personal projects and the Velvet Revolver super-group, Axl and a guy with a KFC chicken bucket on his dome, aptly calling himself ‘Bucket Head’ put out a very interesting CD. Most everyone hated it. It was Axl being Axl. It was a mess. Both factions went on to play the old school GNR stuff at their shows, and the continued feud between the two camps was bitter. They vowed never, ever to get back together again and everyone thought they saw the end of the ‘boys from Hollywood’. That was until last year sometime when this tour was announced, hence the ‘Not in this Lifetime’ name.

But anyway, both times we saw them on our Rock n Roller tour they played a couple songs from Democracy and I thought they were great. They blended very well into the set list and after hearing the CD on the ever-present-shuffle on my iPod in the truck, I knew most of the lyrics.

They next broke out into a groovy Double Talkin’ Jive then Better, and the Wings cover of Live and Let Die. The guys really do that song well I think and is one of my favorites off the Illusions double CD.

The piano banging Estranged was up next and then one of my favorites, Rocket Queen was followed by You Could Be Mine which I am sure everyone thinks of nothing but Terminator 2 every single time it is played. A Misfits cover of Attitude and This is Love was followed by the I-think-this-is-where-the-nation-is-headed Civil War.

Another rarely played back in the day tune, Yesterdays from Illusions was followed by my all-time favorite Guns song, Coma. all 14+ mintues of it. I know, I know it is about a drug overdose but the song has such an arc. It literally takes you on a journey of life and death and the turmoil only one can imagine that you might go through as you slip into the afterlife.

Check it out:

This was followed by the guitar solo by the best guitarist in the world in my opinion and then an interesting tune, the love theme from the movie The Godfather. This is why I love live shows. You have no idea what they are going to play!

Everyone’s favorite rock ballads, Sweet Child O’ Mine followed by Used to Love Her, My Michelle and November Rain. I am sure they planned it that way but that set is a story in of itself isn’t it?

In the middle of that was an awesome cover of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here with a Slash and Fortus duet.

This was the year of tributes to Chris Cornell who had died just a couple weeks before. They played Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun with an awe-inspiring video to accompany it.

They ended the show with Knockin’ and a very heavy Nighttrain.

The place was going wild begging for an encore and finally the Gunner’s come back on stage to play what? Don’t Cry. An interesting song choice followed by AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie which I think Axl does a very stand-up job in replacing Brian Young. No wonder he was the one to stand in for him last year when Young had to take a hiatus from his own band because after all these years as a rocker is nearly deaf. Did you know when he took a break from fronting for AC/DC, Young hosted a pretty cool car show on the Velocity channel?

The encore set ended with Patience, a Who cover of The Seeker and then the one and only Paradise City and a shortened version of another Chris Cornell tune, You Know my Name replete with fireworks, techno and an orgasmic overload of lasers, video and confetti.

What a freaking show. As I said about Metallica and their show at the Rose Bowl which we saw just a couple weeks before, these guys take a concert to a whole other level. I can only imagine how much a show like this costs to put on. Hundreds of thousands of dollars if not more. But It is well worth the $150 ticket price. Obviously it pays off well for the Gunner’s as they were the sixth highest paid musical artists of 2017.

Who ever doubted Not in this Lifetime?

They are still on the road and now playing indoor arenas. Will this tour ever end? Will we be able to catch them again in our lifetime? I sure hope so!