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Guns n’ Roses to kick off Outer Harbor Summer Concert Series tonight

Guns N’ Roses has been a band plagued by controversy and internal dissent from the beginning, but one constant in the group’s tenure has been virtuoso hard-rock guitar playing.

Of course, the Guns N’ Roses that the world initially fell in love with in the late ’80s was all about guitarist Slash, whose killer tone, attitude-infused solos, and in-your-face riffs defined the GN’R sound for so many. Slash has been gone for a long time, and he’s not at all likely to return, so alienated from vocalist and current band leader Axl Rose has he become over the years. But the line of supreme guitar playing in the ranks has remained unbroken, with the mysterious shredmaster Buckethead having served a stint under Rose’s rule around the time of the “Chinese Democracy” release.

Now, the jaw-droppingly intense and highly inventive Bumblefoot (Ron Thal to his mom) is handling the primary six-string duties in the GN’R lineup. Bumblefoot – and you should check YouTube for some examples of his prowess, if you are unfamiliar with him – will be flanked by former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, as well as guitarists Richard Fortus and Dizzy Reed when Guns N’Roses arrives for a show at 10 p.m. tonight at the Outer Harbor concert site.

This will be the first Guns N’ Roses show in Western New York in more than 20 years. Tickets are $43 advance (Town Ballroom box office, Ticketmaster).

– Jeff Miers