Last night, September 26, 2021, I saw Guns N Roses at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. This will be my review of the show. Please keep in mind, I went with my Aunt and we left before the encore, which, unfortunately, was Paradise City. But we did see and hear everything else. The reason we left early was to beat the crowd to the parking garage.
The show started at 7pm and I arrived around 6:30ish. Guns N Roses had an opening band called Mammoth WVH. The WVH stands for Wolfgang Van Halen, son of legendary guitar player Eddie Van Halen of the band, well, Van Halen. Unfortunately, Mammoth is their own entity and did not play any Van Halen songs. I feel I am saying “Van Halen” too much in this segment…
After Mammoth WVH finished up a half hour later, it was time for the main event: the one and only Guns N Roses. And before you complain that, “It’s not GNR without Slash”…I got some news. Not only is Slash playing with Axl Rose, but it is the majority of the original lineup. The only absence was Izzy Stradlin and their original drummer, Steven Adler. But the rest of the lineup, including Axl Rose, Slash, Dizzy Reed and Duff McKagan are all original members.
If you know anything about Axl Rose, you know he is known to go off on tirades and come on late. Not just a few minutes, either. We’re talking hours late! So imagine the crowd’s amazement when Guns N Roses, including Axl, took the stage at 8pm on the dot! Oh my God! Axl is on time! It’s a miracle! Let’s all join hands and sing Kumbaya!
Anyway, enough of my own little tirade. At 8pm, Guns N Roses came onstage. They opened the show with It’s So Easy, followed by Mister Brownstone and Chinese Democracy. From there, they launched into a cover of Slither by Velvet Revolver. Although is it a cover if someone in that band plays it? Hmm…Double Talkin’ Jive was next and Slash even did a Duck Walk during this one.
After that came the famous song Welcome to the Jungle. Axl introduced the song, as always, by screaming, “Baltimore…DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE FUCK YOU ARE?! YOU IN THE JUNGLE! YOU’RE GONNA DIE!” I will say, with Axl, he used to be skinny, attractive, and kinda dangerous with his antics. Nowadays, Axl is a little heavy and not as attractive or dangerous. Although I will say, based on footage I have seen in the past, he does look like he lost some weight. Having said that, Axl still tries to act sexy by doing his famous Snake Dance.
Better and Estranged were next, but I do not really know those songs, so I was kinda “ok. Cool.” about them. After those two came Live and Let Die, a cover of a song by Paul McCartney. I love this cover! It is a great cover paying homage to a rock legend and it sounds a little edgier.
After Live and Let Die came You’re Crazy, Rocket Queen, Shadow of Your Love and You Could Be Mine. After that, Duff took lead vocals for a great cover of I Wanna Be Your Dog by Iggy and the Stooges. Duff McKagan is the bass/guitar player of GNR. It was cool hearing one hard rock band cover another arguably heavier and edgier hard rock band.
Absurd was the next song, but, again I do not know that song so I cannot say much about it. After that was something pretty cool, though. The band played Old Skool live for the first time EVER! I am not all familiar with this song, either, but recorded it because it was the first time Guns N Roses ever played it live. So that was cool!
Civil War was next on the setlist. This is from the Use Your Illusion II album. This was neat to hear live. But after that came, for me, the highlight of the show. Axl introduced the band and, naturally, Slash got a standing ovation and a 15 minute solo. After that solo was, as I said, the highlight: Sweet Child O Mine. The audience was INCREDIBLY loud on this! You couldn’t even hear Axl over the audience! It is that popular a song!
After Sweet Child O Mine came the insanely popular November Rain with Axl on piano. Again, this was a song where the audience was insanely loud, even though this is a more mellow song.
After November Rain came probably the weirdest song. An acoustic cover of Wichita County Lineman, which is basically a country song. What the Hell? Oh well…at least it gave me time to sit down for a few minutes.
Patience was next. In case you can’t tell, they saved the majority of their most popular songs for last. Again, the crowd was loud on this one. This was a great song live with the audience singing! After Patience came Sorry, which was a debut on this tour. Meaning they have not played it on this tour up until last night.
Following Sorry came Knocking On Heaven’s Door. This was great! A little drawn out but a great song nonetheless. Axl let the audience take over at the chorus at one point. We left right after that. Nightrain would have been next, followed by Paradise City as the encore, but again, we did not hear those.
So all in all, GNR was a good show! I am glad I had the chance to see the original lineup. Axl has always been kind of a fascination of mine with all his antics. He was a lot tamer last night, but oh well. The one thing I cannot wrap my head around was the merchandise. They had merch for sale, of course. I bought a tour poster for $10. And that was actually cheap. For God’s sake, they wanted a whopping $50 for a shirt! That’s insane! And people were lining up to buy them! Don’t get me wrong. It was a cool design, but $50?! That should be illegal! Hell, the beer was cheaper than the poster! The beer was $5 at the bar, which is actually really cheap for a venue beer.
So that is my take on my experience with Guns N Roses at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. Thanks for reading!