Before their acrimonious split, Guns N’ Roses were accustomed to playing in front of packed stadiums. But on Friday night, as the band’s original line-up performed together for the first time in 23 years, it was to a lucky audience of just 500.
The surprise show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles was only announced on Friday morning, leaving many to wonder whether it was in fact an April Fools prank. But the news soon drew hundreds of fans to the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, in the hope of securing tickets to the once-in-a-lifetime concert.
Frontman Axl Rose was joined on stage by guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, who both played their last gig with Guns N’ Roses in Buenos Aires in July 1993. The band played a 17-song set-list including GnR classics such as “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “Paradise City” and “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”.
Slash also played, for the first time ever, on tracks from the 2008 album Chinese Democracy, which famously took the perfectionist Rose a decade to complete without his best-known bandmates. Other erstwhile GnR members including guitarist Izzy Stradlin and drummer Steven Adler are not involved in the band’s reunion.
The intimate show was attended by celebrity fans including Kate Hudson, Jim Carrey and Emily Ratajkowski, who was two years old at the time of the band’s 1993 split. Actor Bradley Cooper watched the gig with his mother, Gloria Campano. The Troubadour date was a warm-up for the band’s US reunion tour, which kicks off in Las Vegas on 8 April.
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