It was not a concert, but a pilgrimage of more than 40,000 souls. Hundreds of black polo shirts with guns and roses, crucifixes with hairy skulls, some new, others preserved for three decades, filled the surroundings of the San Marcos University stadium from very early on Saturday the 8th. That venue that for months brought together young people paying their entrance exam, now stands as the paradise of pure, wild, sweaty hard rock. One Entertainment’s feat to bring Guns N’ Roses two years after the suspension of his concert in Lima due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The attendees, willing to shake their necks and surrender to the energizing “pogo”, began to fill the stadium from 3:00 PM At 6:00 PM, with a thousand expectations, these “parishioners” began spontaneous chants: the national anthem , “With you Peru”, among others.
The band spent the day with their families, out for a walk. They bought handicrafts, signed autographs to those who asked for them. Even Axl himself, arriving in Lima the night before, had dinner and happily signed autographs for the fans who waited for him outside the hotel at 2:00 AM Blessed souls.
By 7:30 PM, spirits were running high. They received a shock of Mexican ‘power’ thanks to Molotov’s unbeatable musicians and their powerful playlist of 23 songs (an entire concert apart). The most grateful, those forty-somethings who in the nineties raised their fists to the sound of “Gimme tha Power”, “Voto Latino”, “Frijolero”, to name a few. Empowered and rebellious, the stadium began to roar: “Castle out!” right after “Gimme tha Power”.
Rock under the cover of night
At 9:20 PM, the impressive central screen, flanked by Ukrainian flags (Axl has publicly expressed his support for the European country’s cause), showed the hallucinated intro video with a giant rolling iron ball threatening to come off and crush to all. Suddenly, the unmistakable chords of an incomparable Slash and a masterful Duff gave way to “It’s so Easy”, which unleashed a tidal wave of jumps and raised cell phones.
An energetic Axl came out on stage unleashing the screams. The last time he stepped on the Peruvian stage was in 2016 and there was even a tremor. But the real delirium came with “Welcome to the Jungle”, whose chorus was perhaps the most sung of the night. The popularity of this song was given not only by the powerful chords of Slash’s guitar or Axl’s wild high-pitched vocals, but also because the video clip flooded the world’s screens thanks to MTV. Meanwhile, Slash’s girlfriend, Meegan Hodges, stationed on the right side of the stage (near the guitarist), broadcast live for her Instagram, in addition to taking photos of her.
“Live and Let Die” unleashed one of the many pogos that left the attendees, especially the devotees from Campo B, with more than one happy concussion. “You Could Be Mine” brought back memories of the movie “Terminator 2” and took the breath away of the brave ones who tried to follow the lyrics. Duff launched with “Attitude”, a Misfits cover that reminded us that you can be second guitar, but have frontman quality. For ”Civil War”, a giant Ukrainian flag made its appearance on the main screen.
Slash’s spell and a great closing
At 10:53 PM, after being introduced by Axl, Slash silenced the audience with a 9 minute 23 second guitar solo, thus confirming why he is one of the best guitarists in the world. Suddenly, the catchy, remembered guitar strumming heralded Sweet Child o’ Mine.
The Guns gave no respite to the public. They launched with “November Rain,” where Axl hypnotized on piano to make way for one of rock’s most remarkable guitar riffs. The tachycardic night had a truce with “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, which reminded more than one of the memorable ‘slows’ at parties, non-existent today. It is on this track that Slash’s double-necked Gibson EDS-1275 made its appearance.
The encore started with “Coma” which was followed by three historic gunera songs: “Patience” (how many first kisses have there been between the whistles and whispers of the song over three decades), “Don’t Cry” and “Paradise City”. At the end, Axl threw a red rose into the audience. For this last song, he put on a jacket with the flags of the countries they have toured through, including Peru. Duff threw his spikes as did Slash, who landed a handstand before leaving the stage.
A concert awaited for two years and a discharge of emotion accumulated in more than thirty. Gunera fans, and rock lovers in general, came out with bruised throats and grateful hearts. The sea of black shirts flooded the surrounding avenues. Everyone is happy, tired, but above all with the satisfaction of having seen the most dangerous band in rock and having survived to tell the tale. A parishioner in her fifties, she hoarsely cried out: “I have never been so happy when I was a nun”. Amen.
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Guns N’ Roses in Lima: the chair of rock | CHRONICLE