Preparing NRG Stadium for Friday night’s Guns N’ Roses concert takes a lot of work. According to production manager Dale "Opie" Skjerseth, the Not in This Lifetime Tour requires the following:
- 16 “steel” trucks that contains the lighting towers, stage, and roof that arrive three days before the performance
- 20 production trucks
- 125 full-time crew members
- 125 local crew members
- 1 million feet of cable
All told, Skjerseth says the production weighs 125,000 pounds, not including the band. “They don’t weigh much anyhow,” he said with a laugh during a behind-the-scenes preview Thursday afternoon.
Of course, the show also includes “a lot” of pyrotechnics.
“We have a lot of pyro,” Skjerseth reiterated. “We have more than normal based on the scope of other tours of theirs. We boosted it up. The guys wanted more, more opening effect, more finishing effect on songs throughout the show.”
But what else should people expect from a show that features three original band members — lead singer Axl Rose and guitarists Slash and Duff McKagan — reunited for the first time since 1992. Guitarist Izzy Stradlin and drummer Steven Adler aren’t on board, but Skjerseth, who also worked with the band for the Use Your Illusion tour, says they’re better than ever.
“The energy level is probably higher on this tour than it was then,” he said. “There was a lot of energy back then, but it was in different directions. We were all young. We’ve all done a lot of crazy things. We’ve matured. Now it’s more focused on the show.”
That show runs for approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes and spans the entirety of the bands career: everything from "Paradise City" (spoiler alert: the final encore) to a couple of tracks from Chinese Democracy. They even mix in the occasional cover.
As of Thursday afternoon, a few tickets remain available, but they’re going quickly. Want to join the 40,000-plus who will attend? Here are the relevant times:
- 4:30 p.m. — Parking lot opens
- 6:30 p.m. — Doors open
- 8:00 p.m. — Opening act Skrillex
- 9:25 - 9:45 p.m. — Guns N’ Roses