You guys. Guns N' Roses. First time ever. In Hawaii. AND I WAS THERE!
I was so friggin' stoked when the show was announced, my friend and I pulled the trigger and got 6th row floor seats! Lemme tell you, it was well worth it.
In the band's 33-year history, Guns N' Roses has never come to Hawaii...until last weekend, December 8th, at Aloha Stadium. It took the band 33 YEARS to come here! Sure, the band aren't in their prime anymore, but with Axl, Slash and Duff reunited? Last time those 3 guys toured together was in 1993 for their Use Your Illusion Tour! They definitely appropriately named this tour Not In This Lifetime... Tour – which started on April 1, 2016 at The Troubadour in Los Angeles – and ended 2 years later here in Honolulu!
My friend and I were so stoked for the show, we dressed as appropriately as we could for the show. "Axl" looking more like Axl than Axl looks like Axl. That was a mouthful (TWSS)! And me? Sl(ash). Cause I'm Ashley. Duh, it only made sense!
Oh! Another lil thing to note. Local band Kings of Spade opened the show! I unfortunately only heard them from outside the stadium, and their set ended right when I walked down towards the field to our seats...but they sounded great as always! I've had the pleasure of seeing the band perform at The Republik a few times. Kasi and the guys absolutely kill it every time! Please check them out and support them at their future gigs – they're representing Hawaii so well with their incredible bluesy rock sound!
Lots of Jameson and beer was consumed before/during the show, so my memory in recalling the show ain't all there. Oops. Thank god for these setlist sites that people can submit the setlist for essentially any concert ever! I do remember though, during "Sweet Child O' Mine", Slash was a mere 20 feet away from me, shredding the sh!t out of his guitar!
If you're wondering how the F he's so close in my picture? Because he was so close! My friend had a pit ticket, and I may or may not have flashed my goods to the ushers so I could join my friend. Just kidding. Maybe. Good ol' Jameson. But I made it in the pit!
The show was ridiculously long. Probably 3 and a half hours long! In a way, I was stoked since I absolutely love hearing musicians just jam and play guitar solos for like 5 minutes. It's their chance to show off their musicality and talent, and play whatever feels right in that moment. Because it was GNR's first time in Hawaii, it was cool to have a long show that the other cities got to experience as well. There were definitely songs I did not recognize, such as their cover of Velvet Revolver's "Slither" and even their originals like "Better" (although that song was off Chinese Democracy...let's be real here). I was hoping to hear one of my favorites, "My Michelle", but that song didn't make an appearance unfortunately. However, hearing them cover Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" was a treat.
One part of the show I'll never forget was Slash's solo during "November Rain". Absolutely unbelievable. I recall watching Slash with my mouth agape, just in awe of his talent. Sure, lots of rock heads argue that Slash is "overrated" or "he's no Jimmy Page", but I'd have to say that Slash is probably one of the most talented guitarists I've ever seen live - next to Joe Walsh of Eagles, and John Mayer (arguably the most talented guitarist of my generation).
All in all, I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to see Guns N' Roses! Huge shoutout to BAMP Project for making shows like these happen in the state of Hawaii. Without them so many shows here wouldn't be happening! Can't wait for so many more shows in 2019!