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Coast music fans will welcome Guns N’ Roses back to New Orleans

Kiln resident Tori Ritter said she has always wanted to see the rock band Guns N’ Roses.

But for true fans such as Ritter, it’s been nearly impossible. Sure, lead singer Axl Rose kept the band going and touring in different incarnations. He even oversaw the release of the band’s long-awaited album “Chinese Democracy,”

But something had been missing from Guns N’ Roses — and that something was founding members Slash and Duff McKagan.

Ritter, who said her favorite GnR songs are “Paradise City” and “November Rain,” will join thousands of rock fans from across the region in welcoming Slash, Rose and McKagan back to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday.

“I’ve never seen them before,” Ritter said. “When I found out the show was the same day as my birthday, I knew I had to get tickets and go.”

Welcome back to the jungle

The last time this incarnation of the band graced a stage at the Superdome was in the early 1990s, when they were touring with Metallica in support of the “Use Your Illusion” double albums.

The band’s crew rolled into New Orleans on Saturday to begin constructing one of three stages being used for the “Not in this Lifetime” tour.

Dale “Opie” Skjerseth, the band’s longtime production manager, said the tour travels with 20 trucks of equipment, including sound gear, lighting rigs and pyrotechnics.

“We have three steel rigs that we are using for the tour,” he said. “And we travel with 125 touring members between 15 tour buses.”

Skjerseth said the tour has been going well.

“It’s an exciting show and everything has been running smoothly,” he said.

The tour has been going so well, he said, dates are being added in South America.

But not until after Rose completes some prior commitments.

“We’re going to play in Brazil but before we do that, Axl has got to do a tour with AC/DC,” Skjerseth said.

A ferret named Axl

James Gillies of D’Iberville will also be attending Sunday’s show. He said the band influenced his life.

“They are my favorite band and the reason I picked up a guitar,” he said.

Debbie Stalans, who will be at Sunday’s show in the “pit” with her boyfriend, said the band has also made an impact on her life.

“I love Guns N’ Roses,” she said. “I even named my ferret Axl.”

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