A weekend of Guns N’ Roses. My expectations were already very high from the Philadelphia show, so I was excited to see what they had in store for MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
On Saturday we were at the top of section 111A, right on the side of the stage. The only differences in the setlist at this show from the one in Philadelphia were that they didn’t do “Sorry,” Duff did “Attitude” instead of “New Rose,” and they did “Patience” in the encore in place of “Don’t Cry.”
When Axl introduced the band, he implored the crowd to wish Slash a happy birthday. They later did a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Angie” as an intro for “Patience.”
Sunday’s show was a little bit shorter than the previous night, starting and ending a bit earlier. As expected, they switched Duff’s song back to “New Rose” and their first encore song was “Don’t Cry” instead of “Patience.” The performance of “Don’t Cry” was incredible, probably one of the best of the entire show. The entire stadium echoed along with Axl. It almost seemed that they were even louder than the previous night.
After the Sunday night show, we decided to go and wait by the loading dock to see the band come out. It was almost two hours until any sort of action. First I saw Melissa Reese’s pastel blue hair and realized that it was time. I looked to my right as Richard Fortus walked very quickly with his head down toward the blacked out Mercedes Sprinter they would be getting into. Dizzy Reed stopped and said hello and shook our hands, Del James was with him as well. He turned and waved when I called his name, and then he and a few roadies loaded into the van. Melissa Reese followed and gave us a gentle but shy smile as people said hello to her.
The first golf cart to drive by had Duff McKagan’s daughters on the back, they held up peace signs and yelled goodnight.
A second golf cart eventually started to creep out and a truck backed into the loading dock and stopped, almost as if to intentionally block the five people standing and waiting to see them come out. Axl was on it. I turned around the truck and watched it drove away. A security guard flashed a high powered flash light at us, blinding us. We walked toward the bus the cart stopped in front of and I saw a security guard point at us, flashing us again with the light. Someone else said Slash was driven by in a black SUV and rolled down the window and waved.
All in all, it was worth the wait despite not getting to really speak with any of them. Three shows and two states later, I am beyond pleased with the “Not in This Lifetime” Tour and can only hope they continue touring in the future beyond the Latin American dates.