Welcome to the Commonwealth jungle: Stadium set for massive rock concert as Guns N’ Roses returns
It takes four days, 30 trucks and more than 1,100 Edmonton workers to put together the Guns N’ Roses show set for Commonwealth Stadium on Wednesday night.
The 100-person tour crew, along with 150 stage hands from Edmonton, were hard at work Tuesday setting up 8,056 chairs on the stadium floor and working to get the sound, lights, video and pyrotechnics ready to accompany the mammoth stage.
Live Nation Canada production manager for the tour Ken Craig said Tuesday they have three stages, complete with large video screens, that “leap frog” to different locations because one stage is not enough to make every tour date — the setup takes three days.
The stage from the recent Ottawa show is now in Edmonton, which will then make the trip to El Paso, Texas.
To put on the show, Craig said about 1,100 Edmontonians are hired, including electricians, a medical team, stage hands and ushers.
“Edmonton supports the show, we support Edmonton,” he said.
Ron Chamberlain, the Live Nation Touring production manager, has been with the tour since the beginning and he said every venue is unique and poses a challenge, but they plan well in advance.
Being in an outdoor stadium presents a different tune, Chamberlain said, and so they made sure to receive building drawings well in advance and spent Tuesday tuning the stadium’s PA system.
The Not In This Lifetime Tour date is the return of Guns N’ Roses after more than 20 years and Chamberlain said the length of the show has been extended throughout the tour as the band wants to play more songs to ensure they cover off their catalogue.
The show now runs just over three hours and 20 minutes, Chamberlain said.
“It’s almost a double show,” he said.
Unlike the recent Metallica show at Commonwealth, there will be 8,056 reserved seating chairs set up on the floor, which Craig said is the largest floor seating capacity on tour because of the width of the field.
After the concert is over, the stage will be dissembled and the stadium ready to go for football within 36 hours, Craig said.
Over 40,000 tickets have been sold, with some still available, Craig said. The doors open at 5 p.m. Our Lady Peace is set to go on at 6:30 p.m.. Guns N’ Roses will be ready to rock around 7:30 p.m., with Craig emphasizing they will be on time.
“This is a whole new Axl (Rose); he’s on his game, big time,” he said. “It’s 30 trucks, it’s outdoors, it’s 31 degrees tomorrow night, and we have a rock show.”