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Review: Guns N’ Roses at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg


American Rock ‘n Roll legends Guns N’ Roses played their first ever show in South Africa last night. The concert was held at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

We left Pretoria around 4:45 PM and arrived at the stadium at 6:30 PM. We used Waze to navigate our way through peak time Johannesburg traffic.

Our favourite traffic app guided us to FNB stadium via the R21, some really dodgy parts of Germiston, Main Reef Road, Selby and finally onto the M2 highway.

Getting into the general parking area and through the gates at the stadium wasn’t much of a hassle. It took us a while to get settled in and because of this we missed Wonderboom‘s set.

Eventually we eased into the Guns N’ Roses set and finally heard the songs that we’ve been waiting to hear live for the past 20-30 years.

Guns N' Roses at FNB Stadium
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It was great hearing songs like “Live and Let Die”, “Sweet Child O’Mine”, “You Could Be Mine”, “Civil War”, “Don’t Cry” and “November Rain”. Their versions of “Black Hole Sun” and “Wish You Were Here” were also very pleasant on the ear.

Here are two things that stood out for me during Guns N’ Roses set in Johannesburg:

The first highlight has to be Slash. Not only did he provide my girlfriend with eye candy for the evening, he was the star of the show. He probably already had a guitar in his hands when he was still in his mom’s womb. That’s how good he is at playing guitar.

The second highlight of the show has to be hearing “Paradise City” live. It’s my favorite Guns N’ Roses song of all time and I didn’t mind waiting till the end of their 3 hour set to hear it. The 14 year old rock fan inside me had the time of his life!

Big Concerts, we loved seeing Guns N’ Roses live, but the consider these improvements for future shows:

1. Look at adding extra ATMs at FNB stadium shows

We found a working ATM and queued for nearly 45 minutes, but by the time we reached the front of the queue, it had run out of money. We skipped trying to use the other ATM because didn’t want to waste any more time. It was very frustrating.

2. Add clear signs indicating which vendors accepts cards and which vendors accept cash only

We didn’t have any cash on us and we couldn’t find a single food vendor that accepts cards outside the stadium. Some bars were cash only and some weren’t.

Some folks queued and had to be turned away because this wasn’t clearly displayed at the bars and vendors.

3. We know that bringing acts like this to SA is expensive, but try not to overcharge everyone for booze

I know that booze in Jozi is more expensive than in Pretoria, but R50 for a beer or a cider is a bit steep. R30 for a beer or R35 for a cider would’ve been more acceptable.

Thanks to Big Concerts for bringing acts like Guns N’ Roses and Foo Fighters to South Africa. Can you bring Queens of the Stone Age or Pearl Jam next please?

PS: Thanks to Jacques and Roxanne for getting us there and back in one piece.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.


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