Guns N’ Roses perform at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore on Sept. 26, 2021. (Photo by Katarina Benzova)
It must be a difficult process deciding which songs make it into a setlist when you have created numerous hits, including some of the most famous songs in rock and roll. But for Guns N’ Roses, it appears that the decision was easy — just play everything. Over the course of an epic 3+ hour set at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore recently, Guns N’ Roses managed to fit in every major single, numerous deep cuts, a few covers, and even a historical moment.
With the booming bassline start to “It’s So Easy,” Guns N’ Roses burst onto the Baltimore stage on Sept. 26. They followed that with “Mr. Brownstone,” and opened the show with back to back songs off their mega successful debut album, Appetite For Destruction.
Duff McKagan (second from left) and Shooter Jennings (center) with their band (Photo courtesy BWR)
It’s difficult being stuck inside, unable to interact with others face to face. We here at Parklife DC are feeling that along with everyone else. I am regularly looking at my calendar, trying to guess when I’ll be able to get back in a club or arena and do what I love, photograph concerts.
I certainly don’t have the answer to when we’ll all be back to our normal lives, but one thing that is helping me get through this time is listening to music. We are fortunate that so much great music is still being created. Even in these trying times, bands and artists are finding ways to entertain us with live streams and basic recordings from their homes.
But it can be difficult to keep track of who will be performing and when. And if you’re like me, you may just want to throw on an album and let it play. So I have put together a list of some of my favorite albums that came out in 2019.
Duff McKagan performs at City Winery DC on May 31, 2019. (Photo by Chris Smyth)
Often times when people go to a concert, they want an escape from the day’s headlines and news. But at City Winery recently, that distraction was not possible. Duff McKagan showed up to the intimate venue on the night of his new solo album, Tenderness, release. With the album tackling current and relevant topics including opioid abuse, school shootings, sexual assault, and mental health and suicide, a night of mindless escapism was not on the table.
Metal fans pose during M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion on May 4, 2019. (Photo by Chris Smyth)
The M3 Rock Festival turned it up to 11 this year for the 11th anniversary of the glam-metal festival.
Sons of Apollo performs at the Howard Theatre on May 20, 2018. (Photo by Chris R. Smyth)
You hope that with any band, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. But when you start with amazing individual parts, the expectations can get quite high. Fortunately, with prog-metal supergroup, Sons of Apollo, those expectations were not only met but exceeded in a thrilling show at the Howard Theatre on Sunday.
Sons of Apollo (Photo by Hristo Shindov)
Former Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses), Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth), and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force) formed supergroup Sons of Apollo in 2017. The band released Psychotic Symphony, their debut album, in October via Inside Out Music/Sony — and in March, they released an EP with several versions of Psychotic Symphony song “Alive.”
Now, the quintet is on tour, and they perform locally at the Howard Theatre on Sunday, May 20.