Ahhh. Guns n Roses at Fenway Park in Boston, MA. The 2021 must-attend Super Spreader event of the year. It was awesome!
Of course, this event was originally scheduled for July 2020 with Smashing Pumpkins as the opening act, but it was moved to August 3, 2021 with Mammoth WVH as the opener.
The show started around 6pm with Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang (WVH) opening the show. This was his 2nd big arena show I’m guessing. And admittedly, his first time playing a ball park. The kid has talent. Say what you want about who his dad and uncle are, but that doesn’t diminish his talent in any way. He sounded good and has some solid songs. The new album is out…Check it out!
But the real reason I’m here…..GUNS n’ F’n Roses!!
I’ve been to 100s of shows, and I think this was my 9th (maybe 10th) time seeing Guns n Roses. This time, I decided to bring my 15-year-old son. Time to break him in. While we were 2nd row in our section, we were way to the right, but it was still a fitting to start to his concert going career, should he choose to continue the family tradition. I did get a few “That’s how you raise them right” type of comments from follow fans…so we shall see.
They opened the night at 7:45 p.m. with It’s So Easy, just rocking right out of the gate. They moved seamlessly into Mr. Brownstone after that with Axl doing his signature serpentine dance. Chinese Democracy was next up. I must say, Axl’s vocals were incredibly strong on this song. He really got into the raspy growls he’s known for and seemed to show no struggle hitting all the notes.
Before getting into Welcome to the Jungle, Slash did a short solo. He was playing Rumble by Link Wray and soloing over it like crazy. Axl, or “Uncle Axl” as he called himself, educated the crowd about what Slash was playing and stated it was that song that invented the power chord. Who knew? Not me, but Uncle Axl did!
I love this band and usually I admit no fault, but this show, they didn’t seem as tight as usual. Granted, it was only their 2nd show in 17 months…and Rock n Roll isn’t meant to be perfect. But at times, only for a split second here and there, the band didn’t seem in synch. But whatever! Let the show go on.
Double Talkin’ Jive was great to hear live, and they rocked through Estranged as well. Better had a nice long intro, Rocket Queen was extended through jamming and solos, You Could Be Mine (one of my favorite GNR songs) kicked ass, and then Duff did his thing. He sang a cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” giving Axl a vocal break, before introducing a new song called Absurd.
For those mega fans, this may not have been a new song. As I recall, this was known as Silkworms during their 2000 Vegas show, or perhaps the Rock in Rio show that followed. But every recording I ever heard of it was horrible quality. This time, the song was nice and clear. Now, it will never be a radio hit since it’s quite vulgar, and it’s certainly not a typical GNR song given the style, but it was pretty cool to hear. I have a nice clear, quality sounding video of it…. but I preferred not to be sued by the band by posting it! But I’m sure you can find it online.
Civil War (love this song!) was next. Axl’s whistling was a bit off, and I swear Richard Fortus’s guitar was slightly out of tune because I find it hard to believe it was his playing was off. But other than that…awesome!
Slash’s solo kicked ass as always, and they closed the first part of the show with Nightrain. Perhaps one of my top 3 favorite GNR songs (and my son’s favorite). Axl’s voice was ON POINT for this song. It was fantastic.
Of course, they took the small break before the encore and came out for Paradise City. The song sounded fantastic and is always a great closer. I will say though, this is the first GNR (or even Solo Slash) show I’ve been to where they didn’t have the confetti cannons blasting during the kick ass rock part of the song. I’m guessing it was a Fenway thing? Don’t want to make a mess of their precious ball park I guess. But still, a fitting closer. Great night to be in Boston. I hope to hear a new album announced soon. I guess time will tell. I’ll hold my breath starting……….NOW!
Full Set List
- It’s So Easy
- Mr. Brownstone
- Chinese Democracy
- Mini Slash Solo (Rumble – Link Wray)
- Welcome to the Jungle
- Slither (Velvet Revolver)
- Double Talkin’ Jive
- Live and Let Die
- You’re Crazy
- Better (nice long intro)
- Rocket Queen
- You Could Be Mine
- I Wanna Be Your Dog (Duff singing Stooges cover)
- Civil War
- Dead Horse
- Slash Solo
- Sweet Child O’ Mine
- Knockin on Heaven’s Door
- Paradise City (encore)
You could be meeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnngggggg! Yeaahhhh!
Also, good to see Axl actually give a shit.
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