Guns N’ Roses finally played a rock show again. And fans say it all lived up to the hype that has been building since the summer of 1993. Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan are officially back in the same band.
Friday night at the Troubador in Los Angeles, Guns N’ Roses played an intimate surprise concert. It had only been announced mere hours prior. A limited number of tickets (around 250) went on sale for only $10, setting off a massive line of would-be concert-goers at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Horne Avenue by 10:00 AM.
By the evening, the excitement had been brewing all day.
Even as late as 11:00 PM, some fans congregating outside the Troubador speculated that this could be some elaborate April Fools prank. And if it was, the thirty or so sheriff’s deputies on hand would have had a long night of thwarting riots.
But all signs were proving that this was no hoax. Literally:
Under a marquee sign that read “GUNS N ROSES, NOT IN THIS LIFETIME,” hundreds of envious fans gathered outside the Troubador in black leather, red bandanas, and GNR concert shirts. A few lamented that they shelled out as much as $1,000 to buy scalped admission wristbands, only to find out they were scammed. Real fans that obtained the scarce wristbands knew they could not put a price on rock music history.
Before the show, a few A-list celebrities dined at the next door Italian restaurant, Dan Tana’s. Spotted among them were Bradley Cooper and his mother Gloria, David Arquette, Chris Brown, and Jim Carrey. Others inside the Troubador included Nicholas Cage, Andrew Dice Clay, Lana Del Ray, Colin Hanks, Kate Hudson, and Lenny Kravitz.
The West Hollywood concert venue only has a capacity of 500. But in a few days, Guns N’ Roses will be entertaining entire football stadiums, and even headlining Coachella. Face-value for some of the best seats is in the ballpark of $500.
As lucky fans and VIP guests made their way into the Troubador, they were instructed to tuck their phones into green pouches that lock shut. The pouches, made by tech company Yondr, thwart fans from polluting the concert with endless smartphone picture-takers and annoying amateur videographers. Comedians Dave Chapelle and Louie CK have required their audiences to use the Yondr pouches at their recent shows as well. It also keeps the bootleg audio of their newest jokes off the internet.
But the no-phones rule didn’t stop a few fans from snapping some photos from the inside. The first photo of Axl on stage posted to Instagram just after midnight.
Guns N’ Roses opened with “It’s So Easy,” and tore through a thorough setlist that included radio hits “Mr. Brownstone,” “Welcome to the Jungle,” and “Sweet Child O’Mine.” They didn’t have time for the nine-minute ballad, “November Rain.” But it all built up to an encore that closed the night with “Paradise City.”
Like any ordinary concert, fans scooped-up paper setlists and Slash’s guitar picks. One fan even caught a whistle that Axl threw into the crowd.
All of the grateful attendees were issued a souvenir black ticket (since their prized admission ticket had only been a wristband.) It was clearly an homage to their humble roots in the 1980s Los Angeles glam-rock scene, blended with a modern-day hashtag, #GnFnR. The ticket read,
GUNS N’ ROSES
DATE: Fri. April 1st
TIME: Sometime After 11 PM
This was no ordinary concert. Guns N’ Roses are back. And now they are all warmed up to go on their first tour together in over twenty years.