Guns N’ Roses have faced criticism yet again by consistently turning up late for gigs during their UK tour. It’s pretty much common knowledge now that Guns N’ Roses shows are not going to run too smoothly. However, NME reports that at a recent gig in Manchester on May 29th, the band were slated to finish by 11pm yet didn’t appear on stage until 11.15pm. The band played a three hour, thirty three song set at the Manchester Arena that many attendees couldn’t enjoy. It is estimated 4000 fans had no other option but to leave well before the band’s 2:15 am finishing time because of transport issues. Fan Alison Parker tweeted: “I’m angry. Guns N’ Roses? No Goons and Losers. Had to leave for last train before they even graced us with their presence. Disgusted”.
Fans might be even more disgusted by reports that the band’s habitual lateness may be less of a habit and more of a premeditated event. A report in Classic Rock Magazine says that the band has been planning their shows to run late. A member of the road crew at the band’s show in Glasgow told reporters that the band asked the road crew to delay loading the band’s equipment into trucks by two hours. The band then finished their set a full hour behind their own delayed finish time.
But the controversy doesn’t stop there. At their London gig a couple of days later on May 31st, fans were reportedly told they would be turned away if they wore Slash t-shirts. Axl Rose has had notoriously frosty relations with his ex-bandmate, which were no doubt exacerbated by the band’s Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction, which Rose publicly refused to attend. Venue staff had been informed by the band’s management “not to allow anyone into the O2 Arena who is wearing a Slash T-shirt” a source stated. “We are asking anyone who is to remove it and if they refuse they will be turned away.” 18 year-old fan James Revell was forced to watch the show bare-chested or face ejection. To add to the humiliation, Revell had to leave after three songs in due to the show starting at a much later time than advertised.
During the Manchester gig one fan let his frustration be known by hurling a pint, striking Axl Rose during “Welcome to the Jungle.” For his part, neither Rose nor any other current members of the band have acknowledged anything about late shows during the tour: a post on the band’s Twitter after the Manchester gig only stated: “A tip of the hat to the good folks at Manchester Arena! To say Manchester rocks is an understatement!”