Chris Stapleton indulged his inner fan when he got to open for Guns N' Roses at their Nashville gig on Saturday night (July 9), especially after a face-to-face chat with singer Axl Rose.

Stapleton opened for the re-formed rock icons at the Music City date of their Not in This Lifetime Tour, which brings together most of the classic lineup of the group for a series of shows fans never thought they would get to see. Stapleton gave a powerful performance himself, and after the Gunners left the stage, he and his producer, Dave Cobb, and their wives were summoned backstage by Rose's assistant, who ushered them in to see the reclusive vocalist.

The whole night seemed surreal for Stapleton, who tells Rolling Stone Country, "It was one of those moments where you get to be a kid again."

As for Rose, "He was great. Very polite and gracious," Stapleton says. "I'm sure he was tired and had to go get cleaned up before the buses or planes rolled out, but he was a gentleman and we had a brief conversation about music and both went on our way. It was a good night."

Stapleton's one of the most high-octane singers in country music, and he took the chance to grab some vocal tips from Rose, who's been garnering better reviews on the current tour than he has since GNR's early days.

"I asked him how many nights in a row he can possibly scream like that, and do all the high, high rock & roll singing that he does. Because I know for myself I have limits, and how many nights in a row I can actually sing," relates the Grammy winner, adding that they also talked briefly about Rose's stint with AC/DC. "It was conversations you don't think you're ever going to have."

But if Stapleton actually learned the secret to Rose's vocal longevity, he's not sharing.

"He's Axl Rose, man," he tells RSC. "He's one of a kind."

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