For 23 years the rift was visible to the watching world. For many diehard fans, the thought of Axl Rose and Slash appearing on the same stage was nothing but a pipe dream. But in 2016, the news broke. It sent the rock media into hysteria – clamoring to write column inches on one of the world’s biggest ever band returning to the rock landscape.
Although the news broke, it didn’t feel real until Guns N’ Roses first show in Los Angeles on April 2, 2016. The show also featured Duff McKagan, keyboardist Dizzy Reed, drummer Frank Ferrer, guitarist Richard Fortus and the newest addition to the GnR roster, Melissa Reese.
The show was nothing short of a celebration. The band hurtled through a set consisting of classics such as Sweet Child O’ Mine, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door and a number of tracks from the band’s last album, Chinese Democracy. The LA Show was a success, and ultimately put GnR back on the map. You can see the entire set here published by Consequence of Sound.
Roll on a month and the big announcement came that the band would be going on a world tour. The ‘Not In This Lifetime Tour was real, the band would cover numerous countries across the course of five long months.
But what have we learned from the reunion tour so far?
Money makes the world go round…
The vast amount of money on the table for a GnR reunion could’ve bridged any dispute. A musician often earns more when he or she has passed than they do when they are living. You only have to look at the likes of Elvis Presley, Jeff Buckley and Jim Morrison to understand that the value of their back catalogues skyrockets when they died. The same can be said for the worth of a band that haven’t spoken for 10+ years. The rift brought about intrigue with fans posing the question: ‘could this really happen?’ When it did, they announced a world tour that was reminiscent of the famous Use Your Illusion Tour that lasted between 1991 and 1993. The money that the band is set to earn from the tour is reported to be north of $230 million, according to a news piece by Billboard.
There could be a new album on the horizon…
If reports are correct then Axl and Slash have already started writing songs for a new GnR album. 2008’s Chinese Democracy isn’t classed as a true GnR record as it only featured Axl Rose. Therefore, a new album would mean the first time the two have collaborated since The Spaghetti Incident in 1993. And with the money rolling in, it would seem stupid not to cash in with a new album, a tour to support it, and, well, you get the idea.
If you haven’t noticed the merch… then you’ve had your head in the sand…
With the announcement of the band’s reunion came the official GnR website fully stocked with classic merchandise. The band is set to earn millions from classic t-shirts, badges, jackets and the like. The chances of them collaborating with Guitar Hero again is also high due to the band being very much relevant again. There’s also been an officially licensed Guns N’ Roses video slot game, which has brought the band to new markets via the gaming platform, Slingo Slots. The band has turned into a proverbial cash cow for resellers too who have profited from their reunion. Check eBay and you’re likely to see an abundance of GnR rare merchandise.
Good things come to those who wait
While it took Axl and Slash 23 years to break their silence, the wait was certainly worth it. How long this journey will continue is unsure, but fans should enjoy it while it lasts. Anything from here is a bonus.
Check out this video of Guns N’ Roses playing Nightrain in Tokyo, Japan: