Guns N’ Roses kick off their summer Not in This Lifetime tour in the Motor City with special guests, Alice in Chains.

23-June-2016: After a handful of warm-up shows, a broken foot, and a quick side job with another band, Guns N’ Roses kicked off their two-month long summer tour at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on June 23, 2016.

After witnessing the Chinese Democracy debacle at The Palace of Auburn Hills and the Halloween Night sleeper of a show at the Joint in the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, this journalist’s expectations were low.

However, GNR dashed all visions of a delayed start, God-awful vocals, and musicians phoning-it-in as the band took the stage two minutes early at 9:43 with Axl Rose effortlessly belting out the opening lyrics to “It’s So Easy.” Following up with “Mr. Brownstone,” it was clear that this was going to be a special night.

Axl’s vocal range never faltered, and Slash worked the axe as they ripped thru a 24-song, two-and-a-half hour set of hits and covers. Rounding out the new line-up were stalwart Duff McKagan on bass and newcomers drummer Frank Ferrer, keyboardist Dizzy Reed, guitarist Richard Fortus, and Melissa Reese.

The band ripped thru hits off of their debut album, Appetite for Destruction as well as Use Your Illusion I and II spiced up with a dash of Chinese Democracy.

Complementing the menu of hits were a group of covers ranging from Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die,” The Who’s “The Seeker,” Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” and hometown hero Iggy and The Stooge’s “Raw Power,” the latter being performed by Duff McKagan on vocals.

Slash added a sprinkle of instrumental magic with his renditions of The Godfather theme “Speak Softly Love” and a duet with Fortus of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.”

There was no sign of Axl’s recent foot problems, as he broke out his trademark snake dance moves and effortlessly worked all ends of the stage. Duff, Axl, and drummer Ferrer each paid a personal tribute by donning Detroit-inspired shirts. Axl exchanged pleasant banter with the crowd like “Detroit, where everything is deep-fried,” and “You want the jungle, Detroit?”

There was a heart-filled interaction between Slash and his vocalist, including a shoulder-to-shoulder embrace.

GNR finished with “Paradise City” as the confetti rained down and fireworks lit up the arena; any true fan could not have asked for more.

Next up on the 25-stop tour is FedEx Field in Washington, DC on June 26.

Guns N’ Roses Setlist:
Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney & Wings cover), Rocket Queen, You Could Be Mine, Raw Power, This I Love, Civil War, Coma, Speak Softly, Love” (Theme from The Godfather/Andy Williams), Sweet Child O’ Mine, Better, Out Ta Get Me, Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover), November Rain, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (Bob Dylan cover), Nightrain, Encore: Don’t Cry, The Seeker (The Who cover), Paradise City

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