Guns N’ Roses – a first look at Georgia Dome stage and a glimpse backstage

Ready for Guns N' Roses, Atlanta? Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

Ready for Guns N’ Roses, Atlanta? Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

(Scroll down for video.)

Guns N’ Roses will thunder onto the Georgia Dome stage Wednesday night with a show focused on “Big video, big sounds, big lights” – and plenty of pyro, despite the venue roof.

Mid-afternoon Tuesday, some of the 125-member GNR road crew busily assembled the staging inside the Dome (the roof might prevent more elaborate pyro, but in the summer, the air conditioning is a welcome trade-off).

Standing in front of the mild commotion was production manager Dale “Opie” Skjerseth, who has known the band since its “Use Your Illusion” tour in the early ‘90s and is also familiar with the Georgia Dome – he was on board The Rolling Stones’ “Voodoo Lounge” stop at the venue in 1994.

The band will be on site Wednesday afternoon for soundcheck. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

The band will be on site Wednesday afternoon for soundcheck. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

Opie – let’s just call him that – confirmed that contrary to past behavior, Guns N’ Roses – and frontman Axl Rose – has been, without fail, starting their concerts on time, usually taking the stage about 20 minutes after the opener finishes (in Atlanta, it’s The Cult, who will take the stage at 8 p.m., not 8:30 p.m. as your ticket might say). Fans can expect about two hours and 45 minutes of hair-flailing rock, including rock radio staples “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Welcome to the Jungle,” as well as other fan favorites such as “Nightrain” and “Mr. Brownstone.”

Although original GNR drummer Steven Adler surprised fans with an appearance at the band’s Cincinnati, Ohio, show earlier this month, Opie said he hadn’t heard of any guests joining Rose, bassist Duff McKagan, guitarist Slash, keyboardist Dizzy Reed, guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer and keyboardist Melissa Reese.

“I wouldn’t miss this show if I were you,” Opie said. “It’s worth every penny and it finishes on a high note.”

Tickets are still available for $35-$375 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or at the Georgia Dome box office.

For other tips – including a reminder that the “clear bag” policy will be in effect – check out our handy list.

And for a glimpse of the stage and to hear more of what Opie had to say about Axl and the boys, take a look at the video below.

Production Manager Dale “Opie” Skjerseth talks about GNR getting back together and connecting Axl Rose with AC/DC:


Axl Rose, timely? Yes, says Opie:


Opie shares details about the “Big video, big sounds, big lights” that create the GNR live show.


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