Axl Rose honored the late Biz Markie Thursday at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium by singing an extended portion of his 1989 classic “Just a Friend” during the intro to “November Rain.” He then returned to the “oh, baby, you, you got what I need” refrain just before Slash’s guitar solo, and yet again as the song came to an end. Check out fan-shot footage above.
“I want to dedicate this next song to Mr. Biz Markie,” he said right before the band continued the show with “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”
The concert also featured the first “Patience” of the 2021 tour along with standards like “It’s So Easy,” “Rocket Queen” and “Nightrain.” They also played “Absurd,” a reworking of their 2001 obscurity “Silkworms.” A studio recording of “Absurd” was shared with fans Thursday night.
The “Just a Friend” singalong is one of several times that Guns N’ Roses have a honored a fallen icon since reuniting with Slash and Duff in 2016. They brought Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” into the set list just days after the death of Chris Cornell, and Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman” became part of the show shortly after his death.
The Guns N’ Roses tour continues August 8th at Comerica Park in Detroit. They stay on the road in North America through an October 12th gig at Estadio de Beisbol in Monterrey, Mexico before heading to Australia and New Zealand in November, and then Europe in June 2022.
The reworking of “Silkworms” into “Absurd” could mean that the group is prepping a new studio album, something that Slash has hinted at many times, but they have yet to reveal any firm plans.