Royal Farms Arena
GUNS N ROSES Set List:
It’s So Easy, Mr. Brownstone, Chinese Democracy, Slither, Double Talkin’ Jive, Welcome To The Jungle, Better, Estranged, Live and Let Die, You’re Crazy, Rocket Queen, Shadow of Your Love, You Could Be Mine, I Wanna Be Your Dog, Absurd, Hard Skool, Civil War, Slash Solo, Sweet Child o’ Mine, November Rain, Wichita Lineman, Patience, Coma, Sorry, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Nightrain, ENCORE: Madagascar, Don’t Cry, The Seeker, Paradise City
MAMMOTH WVH Set List:
Don’t Back Down, Mammoth, Mr. Ed, Think It Over, You’re To Blame, Distance, Epiphany
This particular show was special for several reasons, the biggest of which being the fact that Guns N Roses played “Hard Skool” live onstage for the first time ever on this night.
Guns N Roses stayed in Baltimore at the Four Seasons for several days prior to their show on Sunday, September 26, 2021 at Royal Farms Arena in downtown Baltimore. Founding member Duff McKagan was spotted walking outside the hotel a few times and he was gracious enough to stop, pose for photo’s and even sign a few autographs. If you look at the photo of Duff signing you can see that he used my marker but wrapped it in his shirt so he had no contact with it. I told Duff that I was fully vaccinated and he replied back, “Yeah, so am I, but I still have to be careful.”
Guns N Roses drummer Frank Ferrer was also outside of the Hotel walking around and posed for a photo with a fan; he chose to pull his mask down for the photo.
It was interesting to witness members of Guns N Roses interacting in public while on tour because it had been stated that the entire band were pretty much isolated from the entire outside world in an attempt to keep everyone safe and from getting sick.
Flash forward to Sunday morning and people began lining up outside of Royal Farms Arena around 10 AM to claim their front rail space in the pit. Doors opened at 5:30 PM and Wolf Van Halen’s band took the stage at 7 PM.
The Guns N Roses Tour trailer did not sell the limited edition Baltimore show poster outside. They told us that they began selling them inside the venue because bad people were buying them all before real fans could get them and placing them on eBay for triple the price.
The Baltimore show poster featured a Raven with Edgar Allen Poe artwork as did the Baltimore shirt.
At the merch table all short sleeve shirts were $50, the tour poster was $50, and there was a cool Mammoth WVH Vinyl. Further down the hallway sat a smaller merch table further that sold only flags, posters, and cups, those ranged from $10 - $40.
Upon entering the front doors of Royal Farms Arena all patrons were asked to please wear a mask. No proof of vaccination or negative covid test was required to enter the building and unfortunately a large portion of the audience chose to not wear their masks after they entered the venue despite Baltimore City’s mandate that masks be worn at all indoor events.
When Mammoth WVH took the stage the venue was half empty with every section in the venue scarcely filled. Interesting side note: this show was not sold out and when the lights went down those empty seats were filled fast by patrons who “took” a free upgrade.
The original ticket prices dropped as the show date approached and upper level seats were eventually available for $35.
Rock N Roll Experience reviewed the opening night of this tour in Hershey, Pennsylvania and since that point this tour and both bands have evolved and tweaked their live shows considerably. Opening night Mammoth WVH played 10 songs, on this night they played 8. Guns N Roses first show of the tour saw them performing 21 songs, by the time they got to Baltimore their set featured 30 songs and was almost 3 and 1/2 hours long.
Wolfie and his band ripped through a strong 30 minute set that opened with “Don’t Back Down” and closed with “Epiphany”. “The Distance” will always be the moment in his live set where everyone celebrates the life of Eddie and it’s an undeniably touching moment for sure.
The major question of the night was, “Will Guns N Roses take the stage on time?” GNR are notorious for not being on time but on this night the lights dimmed at 8 PM promptly and with Duff banging out the opening bass notes “It’s So Easy” started with pure punk/hard rock fury and the bands setlist seemed to flow very effortlessly.
By the time 10 PM rolled around it began to look like GNR would be done early because they had already delivered rolled through nearly 20 songs.
This show featured deep cuts like “Shadow of Your Love”, “Double Talkin’ Jive”, and “Madagascar” alongside old standards like “Rocket Queen”, “Welcome to the Jungle”, and “You Could Be Mine”.
“Hard Skool” made it’s live debut for the very first time ever and “Sorry” made it’s tour debut on this night.
“Coma” was an absolute highlight and one of the best performances of the night. AXL’s energy, Slash’s frantic guitar work, and Duff’s droning bass line along with crazy graphics on the jumbo screen created an amazing experience.
“Wichita Lineman” is such an odd choice for Guns N Roses to perform live; it’s one of those songs in the set that they could easily change out. The Velvet Revolver classic “Slither” is another one that’s iffy due in part to AXL’s vocals. The band sounds superb but AXL fails to deliver a strong vocal performance to rival the late Scott Weiland’s.
Slash used an interesting assortment of Gibson guitars including a double neck during “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and a Flying V during “The Seeker”. Richard Fortus is the most underrated member of the band and the best way to describe him is that he’s a punk rock version of Izzy Stradlin on steroids. Fortus is a beast performance wise; his playing is only rivaled his energy.
Another point would be this: If they trimmed the fat a little and cut out some of the excessive jamming the band could easily perform another song or two. The beginning of Slash’s solo had a slow build and you could see portions of the crowd going to the bathroom or buying a beer during this part of the show.
The night ended with GNR performing a loose version of "Paradise City" that ended with AXL tossing his mic deep into the middle of the arena; one fan received an amazing souvenir from this show!
If you live in the tristate area and missed this show you f**ked up because this was a night to remember and one of the best performances Royal Farms Arena has ever hosted.