Flashback: Guns N’ Roses Officially Launch 2016 Reunion Tour in Las Vegas
Guns N’ Roses rolled out yet another leg of their reunion tour earlier this week that will bring them to stadiums across North America throughout the summer. They downgraded to arenas in America after the first leg of the tour in 2016, and filling 60,000 seat venues might seem like a tough task at this point, but they must have reason to think that the demand remains this high.
Amazingly, this will be the 14th leg of the tour. By this point, they’ve hit just about every place on the planet where they could conceivably play, including Malaysia, Taiwan, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, and Indonesia. They’re going to Central America for the second time next month and Europe for the third time in May. If promoters start booking concerts on the moon, Antarctica, or man-made islands along the coast of China, they’ll probably play there, too.
The reunion informally began with a quick show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on April 1st, 2016. Just a few songs into the night, Axl Rose broke his left foot while thrashing about the stage. When the tour officially began at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas just a week later, he was confined to a throne created by Dave Grohl when the Foo Fighters leader broke his leg the previous year. It was hardly the ideal way to kick off one of the most anticipated reunion tours in rock history, but with Coachella coming up later that month, the band had no other choice.
Here’s video of “Welcome to the Jungle” from that show in Las Vegas. Many fans pointed out that with Rose unable to run around the stage and exhaust himself, he sounded better than he had in years. At this point, nobody knew if the reunion would flame out after just a few more shows. After all, Rose had spent the previous 23 years ripping Slash to part in the press, even calling him a “cancer” at one point. He also had a bad history of showing up very late to concerts and causing chaos.
Against all odds, close to four years later, Rose hasn’t been late to a single show. There also hasn’t been even a tiny glimpse of tension with Slash or anyone else in the band. It’s amazing how pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars can mend relationships. The show has also grown a lot since that night in Las Vegas, with covers like “Black Hole Sun” and “Wichita Lineman” entering the set list along alongside rarities like “Shadow of Your Love” and “Locomotive,” and even the Velvet Revolver song “Slither.”
Guns N’ Roses haven’t announced any fun surprises for this next leg of the tour, like a complete performance of Appetite for Destruction or appearances by former members Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin. They also haven’t released a note of new music despite numerous interviews where they promise they’re working on an album. But if this tour has proven anything, it’s that a band can just tour forever and ever on their hits and people will keep coming. We look forward to legs 15, 16, 17, and beyond. Maybe in 2026, they can do a 10-year anniversary tour of the reunion tour.
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