NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - "You know where you are!..."
In the world of rock and roll is there any other response than, "...You're in the jungle baby!"
Now you'll get to hear that famous shriek live one more time in New Orleans as Guns N' Roses reunites for the "Not In This Lifetime..." tour.
Three of the original quintet, Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan, are back to together in a highly desired and anticipated tour that arrives in New Orleans Sunday July 31st at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Until their surprise show on April Fools Day at the Troubadour in L.A., Axl, Slash and Duff hadn't performed together in public since July 1993.
Friday night in Las Vegas they kick off the first of six dates in April before headlining two nights of the Coachella Festival in California and two nights in Mexico City. GNR then prepare for a 20 night stadium tour of America beginning June 23rd in Detroit, so they should be nice and warmed up before making their way to New Orleans.
If you want tickets before they go on sale to the general public Friday April 8th, you must have a Citicard or you can join the bands fan club "Nightrain". Depending on where you want to sit, a quick glance at Ticketmaster online show seats going for anywhere from $52 to $237. If you really want to drop some coin, there are special packages like the "Welcome to the Jungle Pit Experience", which will cost $1,747 or the "Paradise City VIP Lounge Package" for $747.
Guns N' Roses return to the Crescent City comes nearly 24 years since they co-headlined at the Superdome with Metallica on Aug. 29, 1992. While I missed that show, it had me thinking about whether some fans of the band would be reluctant to see them so long after disbanding and the musicians now performing in their 50's.
Here's how I size that up, I was born in 1964 essentially when the Rolling Stones started. If you are a GNR fan born in 1987 when they hit the scene then we are roughly at the same starting point. The Stones came to the Dome in 1994 and at the time Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were 51 and 50 while this time around Axl and Slash will be 54 and 51, roughly the same age. At the time the Stones were on their way to New Orleans, I wondered back then, "could they still pull it off and was it worth the $50 I would pay to see the legends?" You may have the similar thoughts.
So was it worth seeing the Stones? Absolutely! The show was the Stones at their best, Mick sounded strong and the band was as solid as a rock. Maybe it wasn't the legendary rip roaring shows of the '70's but I've heard enough live material back then and quite frankly I appreciated the '94 show as much or more. I certainly feel like I experienced a proper "Stones" show.
Sound familiar? You have to make a bet on whether GNR will measure up to their late 80's and early 90's reputation as one of the most daring and exhilarating live bands of the time. I have no doubt the musicianship will be as good or better than ever. The big question is can Axl's vocals hold up literally and to the standard you expect from those songs. Mick sounded fantastic in '94, for that matter he still sounds good today at 72! Reports have Axl working out and getting in shape for the tour and he'll need it with the vocal gymnastics his songs demand.
The true legends have proved they not only could deliver raucous, first class gigs in their 50's, they can still do it today. Check out the Stones or Paul McCartney, who still jams out 38 song, three hour shows at 73. Or Bruce Springsteen, who at the young age of 66, is tearing up audiences with blood rushing three hour shows as well! Will Axl, Slash and Duff measure up to their legendary status and add to their legacy like the greatest ever?