Four songs in, the nearly 12,000 people who filled Pinnacle Bank Arena on Tuesday got what they’d come for — W. Axl Rose, Slash and the rest of Guns N’ Roses on stage in Lincoln doing “Welcome to the Jungle.”
And they hung on for another two-plus hours as the reunited '80/'90s rock colossus made its Lincoln debut, playing a variation on the set that carried it around the world the last two years.
Scattering hits amid deep tracks with a few covers thrown in here and there, the band, in classic guitar-rock fashion, stretched the songs to six or seven minutes, letting the top-hatted Slash cut loose on guitar on nearly every song.
As for Rose, his vocals were rough on the ballads, especially early on, but they got better the closer he came to screaming — a contrast easily heard on the cover of Wings’ “Live and Let Die.” He does, however, remain the reigning mic stand-tossing champ.
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Among the highlights of the show — an anthemic “Civil War,” bassist Duff McKagan’s turn at the mic on the Misfits’ “Attitude” and, of course, the big hits at the end starting with the classic riff of "Sweet Child O Mine,” the other song that the crowd that had waited decades to see Guns N’ Roses had to hear.
That sprint to the finish included a nine-minute “November Rain,” with Rose at the piano; a long, squealing guitar singalong of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan (who’ll be at PBA on Saturday), the roaring set closer “Night Train” and the ballad-rocker encore of “Patience,” with Rose whistling the intro; and “Paradise City.”
Rose didn’t say much during the 2 1/2-hour show. But by the end it was clear he and the band had connected and thrilled the fans, many of whom were seeing Guns N’ Roses for the first time.
Photos from the concert:
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