The band is back – again

Guns N’ Roses [Katarina Benzova]

Guns N’ Roses are fuckin’ back.

Last night at a packed Hershey Park Stadium, Guns N’ Roses returned to the stage to continue their massive Not In This Lifetime Tour. The trek has resumed after previously being cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Now, frontman Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, and bassist Duff McKagan are back to pack more stadiums and treat fans to some of hard rock’s biggest anthems ever.

Guns N' Roses 2021
Guns N’ Roses [Katarina Benzova]

Wolfgang Van Halen’s Mammoth WVH are serving as special guests for the trek. They performed songs from their self-titled LP which dropped on June 11. After opening with the power anthem “Don’t Back Down, the band proceeded to play a solid 10-song set. The performance included “You’ll Be The One,” “Mammoth,” “Stone,” “Your To Blame,” and the No. 1 Billboard smash hit “Distance.” Missing unfortunately was the banger “Horribly Right.”

The band finished their time with “Epiphany.”

“I just want to thank all of you guys, and Guns N’ Roses,” Wolfgang said in a heartfelt moment near the end of his set. “You guys rule!”

Mammoth WVH’s set did not include any Van Halen tracks, nor should it have. Wolfgang Van Halen played bass for the iconic group his father founded from 2006 to 2020. Now, Wolfgang has set out to establish his own place in the rock world since Eddie’s unfortunate passing last year at just 65 years old – and he’s doing a damn fine job of it. Not only is he not riding his father’s coattails to stardom, the material he’s cranking out on his own has some serious weight to it.

Wolfgang Van Halen is refusing to give in to the fans that are demanding some Van Halen nostalgia, and don’t bother Tweeting him – he’s not backing down.

Guns N’ Roses [Katarina Benzova]

Guns N’ Roses triumphantly took the stage later, opening with “It’s So Easy.” Despite being home along with every other musician on the planet for the past year and half, GnR Still made it look easy. It appeared as thought they haven’t missed a beat.

“Just trying to remember how to do this thing up here,” Axl quipped about the band’s long absence from the stage. “Getting back into the swing of things!”

Alongside drummer Frank Ferrer, guitarist Richard Fortus, keyboardist Melissa Reese, and long-time band member Dizzy Reed, Guns N’ Roses are continuing to bring tight performances to the masses.

The band cranked out a monstrous 21-song set that included their biggest hits, fan favorites, and a few covers. They almost played their seminal 1987 debut album Appetite For Destruction in full, performing 8 of the album’s 12 tracks. They covered Velvet Revolver’s “Slither,” a side project of Slash’s in the early 2000s. Their already well-known versions of “Live and Let Die” and “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” were included, and a performance of The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” was debuted with Duff on vocals.

Guns N’ Roses [Katarina Benzova]

Highlights from the band’s own historic catalog included “Mr. Brownstone,” “Rocket Queen,” “Civil War,” “November Rain,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” and “Nightrain.”

They also pulled out the rare gem “You Could Be Mine” from Use Your Illusions II. Many fans will also remember Edward Furlong’s character John Conner blasting the track from a boom box in the 1991 box office juggernaut Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The nostalgia was supremely real.

Guns N’ Roses returned for a one-song encore of “Paradise City” that brought the show to a thunderous close.

Guns N’ Roses [Katarina Benzova]

In 2016 Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan shocked and thrilled fans around the world after revealing they were reuniting for their now historic Not In This Lifetime Tour. The band brought endless energy  to over 150 shows, playing for more than 5.5 million fans worldwide. Produced and promoted by Live Nation, the Not In This Lifetime Tour was crowned the third highest grossing outing of all time. 

Guns N’ Roses’ current tour with Mammoth WVH will run into the fall, wrapping up with two shows at Hard Rock Live Arena in Hollywood, FL on October 2 and October 3.