Being a Singaporean fan of Guns N’ Roses is not easy.
The American rock band, which has been prominent since the mid 80’s, has gone through departures, drug overdoses, break ups and plenty of inter-band rivalry in between. But what cuts the deepest is that, during the lengthy period they have been active, the band has never touched Singaporean soil.
Well, there was the Slash concert featuring Myles Kennedy in 2010 and a subsequent one in 2011’s Big Day Out, but they never really seemed to feed our appetite for destruction (hey? hey?). Six years since the guitarist's first appearance on our shores, the reunited band will make their mark on February 25th, 2017 at the Changi Exhibition Centre, with original founding members, Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan.
While ticket prices have caused fans to be divided, here are five things you can still expect when Guns N’ Roses come knockin’ on our doors in February next year.
150 minutes of "Heavy Hitting Music™ "
As reunion concerts go, a heavy chunk of their repertoire comes from their earlier successful days.
The recent set list of Guns N’ Roses have been similar, with a huge emphasis on the Appetite for Destruction album, with tunes from 'Nightrain' to the anthemic 'Sweet Child O’ Mine'.
Possibly due to Axl Rose's insistence, four songs from Chinese Democracy have slipped into the setlist — it'll be great to see how Slash and McKagan would fare with the newer, more controversial material. Come up to the show, expect trash-talking, long chain necklaces, bandanas and a whole lot of attitude; this seems like a total walk down nostalgia lane.
The level of skills and technical and musical proficiencies on show at every Guns N’ Roses show is astounding; just observe the number of Guns N’ Roses covers splashed over YouTube — some pitch perfect, others not even close — but it goes to show how regarded the band are in terms of musical mastery.
With Slash's irreverent guitar licks, McKagan’s equally disruptive bass riffs, coupled with Axl’s monstrous shrieks which span across a lengthy vocal range, they all hold up well and will be a sight to behold. Even the power ballads of 'November Rain' and 'Estranged' will be... worth the 'Patience' (sorry) afforded to them by their everlasting Singaporean fans.
A Waiting Game
It’s always a mystery when the band might show up: the last instance I caught the band during their Chinese Democracy show in the O2 stadium, a good quarter of the crowd left after a lengthy wait close to an hour after they were scheduled to come on. As it stands, the band has been reasonably prompt in their previous tour dates over the year.
But please avoid anything directed at Axl or the band, we didn’t pay good money for someone to piss him off and leave the stage! You’ve been warned!
Reunion of Sorts
Back in 2012, fans trotting their Slash shirts to the Guns N’ Roses show in London were denied entry unless they remove their Slash-imprinted tops. It seems the animosity between Slash and Axl has remained a mystery to most — until the ‘true’ reason was revealed that Axl had believed Slash’s soul had left his body in a crow-like form, after a drug overdose which had left the guitarist dead for eight minutes, with another foreign soul taking over.
Conspiracy theories aside, it is great to see that these old friends have patched it up, and with Slash onstage in February being the real soul and flesh of Saul Hudson. Now, we are hoping that founding members Izzy Stradllin and Steve Adler make their way back to the lineup.
The Humbling of Rose
Ever since the departure of Slash and McKagan, Chinese Democracy was to be the album that would stamp Axl Rose’s name onto the tarmac and to show the world that he is rightly representative of the Guns N Roses namesake. But it wasn’t as huge a success as Axl would have hoped for.
After all, the album took nearly ten years to finish, was worked on by multiple lineups and surpassed the mark as the most expensive produced album totalling to a cool US$13 million. While no one knows the true reason behind this reunion of Slash, Rose and McKagan, speculations speculate and this could be a possible reason why.
Axl has shedded some of his rockstar personality from age, but he has been hard at work in getting his vocals to tip-top shape with lessons, along with his appearances with fellow Australian rockers AC/DC. In comparison, this is peak Axl Rose of this decade and the last against that of his tours from 2001—2012.
Tickets to the Guns N’ Roses Not In This Lifetime Tour are now available at SISTIC.