Guns N' Roses announced some of the acts joining them on their Not in This Lifetime Tour this summer. Alice in Chains will join the group on the first few dates, from June 23rd in Detroit through July 3rd in Chicago, and Lenny Kravitz will be performing with the reunited group at their shows in Foxboro, Massachusetts (July 19th and 20th) and East Rutherford, New Jersey (July 23rd and 24th).
Kravitz is the first person to point out how unusual it is for him to be opening for Guns N' Roses. "I don't normally do gigs like this," he tells Rolling Stone. "But sometimes you've got to do things for the fun of it, for the experience. I'm looking forward to playing with them and celebrating them coming back together."
For Kravitz, the shows are also a personal reunion of sorts. "I went to high school with Slash," he says. "I've known Axl, Slash and Duff from the beginning. We all came up together, and we worked together. I wrote 'Always on the Run' with Slash and he played on 'Fields of Joy,' both on my Mama Said album."
The last time Kravitz joined Guns N' Roses onstage, the singer was one of a handful of special guests who came out during the band's Paris concert in June 1992. The rock band accompanied Kravitz on a round of "Always on the Run." "I remember that time very well because we were all staying at the Hôtel de Crillon, and we were all in Paris for a few days together," Kravitz says. "It was a lot of fun."
The song was an obvious choice for that show, because its funky riff was once considered for Guns N' Roses. "I think Slash presented it to the group and it was too funky or maybe two quirky for them," Kravitz says. "But he and I put it together and that riff ended up being a really great blend of rock & roll and funk."
Kravitz reconnected with the band when they staged their first reunion show at Los Angeles' Troubadour in April, a gig he found out about the day it happened. "I ran over there," he says. "It was exciting. I mean, come on. They're a stadium act playing a small room. The energy and anticipation in that room was crazy before they came up. It was high energy."
As for how he'll structure his set to appeal to a Guns N' Roses audience, Kravitz says it'll likely consist more of his rock material. "We're definitely going to jam and improvise and get loose, and treat it like a festival," he says. "Summertime always makes me think of festivals like the Isle of Wight, when Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix played. I love the summer, outdoor concert vibe, so we'll rock out and improvise and go deep and get psychedelic and out there."
"I haven't seen Slash since the [Troubadour] gig, but I've texted with him," Kravitz says. "I'm sure something fun and off-the-cuff is bound to happen."