Monday 20 November 2023

Guns N' Roses live in Athens July 2023

Years ago, before Release Athens Festival became so huge (and we're glad that it did because it has offered us variety within the city of Athens) there used to be "The Big Summer Concert". It was one concert, usually during the summer, and usually at the Olympic Stadium, that was the biggest event of that year. In 1998 it was The Rolling Stones (of course). In 2007 it was George Michael. In 2008 it was Madonna. In 2009 it was AC/DC. In 2010 it was U2. In 2011 it was Bon Jovi. Well, in 2023 it was definitely Guns N' Roses!

Well, Axl Rose had already played in Greece with what he called "Guns N' Roses", but we all know that that wasn't the real GNR. What we wanted to see was the original line-up and when that reformed a few years ago, I knew that I had to see them. I had already been thinking of planning a trip abroad, but sometime during last winter I got lucky. They announced that they would be coming to Greece. I secured my ticket early enough (making sure they didn't clash with Bruce) and sat back and waited for the summer to come.




When the time came, which was the day following yet another Release Athens Festival date, I was ready even though it was the hottest day of the year. I went there quite early, but what I didn't expect was that I would get to the very front and also that I would find my friends there. I also found a guy I didn't know wearing a Billy Joel t-shirt and when I talked to him he confirmed that yes, he had also been at Hyde Park a few days earlier.


The Last Internationale, the support band were a pleasant surprise, with their very outstanding singer who managed to get us in the mood even though the sun was still shining and it was still, as a result, very hot.




What was to follow was three hours of Guns N' Roses. Yes, they do a Bruce Springsteen and play a 3 hour set on this tour. And as they don't have so many albums as Bruce you'd think they would manage to fit in everything during those three hours. Well, not so, because they wanted to include songs from Velvet Revolver, Chinese Democracy and other solo projects. Still, there were only a handful of classics left out, the most notable being "Don't Cry" (although personally I would prefer "Get In The Ring"). There were a few rumours that they would not be that good, however Axl had lost a lot of weight, his voice was a lot better than some people thought it would be and even though Slash was showing his age, the energy was still there. The hottest day of the year was just that: The hottest! Now all I had to do was pack my bags and go to Monza for another three hour concert : Bruce Springsteen!

01. Killing Fields
02. Wanted Man
03. Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Indian Blood
04. 1984
05. Freedom Town
06. Soul On Fire

01. It's So Easy
02. Bad Obsession
03. Chinese Democracy
04. Slither
05. Pretty Tied Up
06. Mr. Brownstone
07. Welcome To The Jungle
08. Double Talkin' Jive
09. Hard Skool
10. Absurd
11. Estranged
12. Live And Let Die
13. Rocket Queen
14. Down On The Farm
15. You Could Be Mine
16. T.V. Eye
17. Anything Goes
18. Civil War
19. Slash Guitar Solo
20. Sweet Child O' Mine
21. November Rain
22. Reckless Life
23. Wichita Lineman
24. Locomotive
25. Knockin' On Heaven's Door
26. Nightrain
27. Patience
28. Happy Birthday to You
29. Paradise City

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