Guns N’ Roses kicked off the 2018 leg of their unending Not in This Lifetime Tour in Berlin, Germany Sunday with one surprise addition to the setlist: A cover of “Slither” by Velvet Revolver, the supergroup featuring GN’R’s Slash and Duff McKagan alongside late singer Scott Weiland.
“We’re gonna try something. Hope you like it,” Axl Rose prefaced before launching into the faithful rendition of the song, marking the first time the singer had attempted lead on a track by the his then-former bandmates’ supergroup.
The “Slither” performance wasn’t a complete surprise to GN’R fans: Earlier in the weekend, video of the band’s soundcheck revealed that they were rehearsing the Grammy-winning 2005 single.
Slash and McKagan have performed Chinese Democracy songs – tracks that were recorded in the studio by Rose’s non-“classic” GN’R lineup – throughout the Not in This Lifetime tour, so the acknowledgement of their work outside of Guns N’ Roses appeared like a reparation for the guitarist and bassist.
While the Not in This Lifetime Tour has focused on Guns N’ Roses’ hits and assorted Chinese Democracy tracks alongside their oft-played covers of bands like Misfits, the Damned and AC/DC, the band has mixed it up occasionally since the reunion trek launched in 2016. Following the death of Chris Cornell in May 2017, Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” became a staple of the band’s setlist. The band also covered Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman” following that singer’s death.
Guns N’ Roses’ trek through Europe continues throughout the summer before jumping to Southeast Asia in the fall. On June 29th, the band will release a massive reissue celebrating the 30th anniversary of their Appetite for Destruction.