I was at the Guns N’ Roses concert at the O2 in Dublin, and I was appauled at the behaviour of so called fans when Guns N’ Roses eventually took to the stage at around 10:30pm. The support act were late finishing and for 1h 30 minutes there was a gap. For the most part it was good humoureed with a few Mexican Waves, cheers and so forth. However once it came near 10:15pm booos started to ring out.
The band took to the stage at 10:30 to a tirade of boos and jeers. Then bottles and cups full of liquid started hitting the stage and for Axl all hell was breaking loose.
For a performer, being on stage, with the lights in your face, you may not see very much – so if a bottle or cup full of beer is thrown you have no way of avoiding it. I think that sort of behaviour from “Fans” was uncalled for. Axl asked for people to stop and said that he would walk if it happened again … only minutes later this is exactly what happened and I don’t blame him. No performer should be attacked in this way.
The start to the show was spectacular, fireworks, pyros, huge intro so it wasn’t a half-baked or poor performace. There was no need for the jeering or throwing. Many people left when the house lights came back up, thinking it was all over. I asked an O2 steward and was told ” There is no chance of him coming back on “. Apparently the promoter, MCD, restrained Axl and prevented him from leaving the venue after walking off stage. The promoters did come on stage twice to ask for calm and patience while technical difficulties were looked at.
I left the O2 once the house lights came back on, and 20 minutes later I got a phone call from my sister (Thanks Elaine) letting me know that the concert was back on. We went back and the atmosphere was less hostile but still not right. Axl was back mid-stage to avoid any missiles, almost at the drum kit. He just stood at the mic and sung, breaking once or twice to play the piano – November Rain was excellent. The band itself were excellent and it good humour despite what happened.
They played until just before 1am to a creshendo of tickertape and pyros.
I think the organisers should have had the stage better perpared, as they seemed to be doing sound checks, stage clearance, wiring and so on for about an hour. Also, having people drinking for 4 hours before Guns N’ Roses appeared on stage was not a good idea. Although Guns N’ Roses have a history of problems and late shows, you know this about the band and its not a reason to run riot and physically attack an artist.
Guns N’ Roses released a statement after the concert which read: “Despite every effort being made by promoters to ensure Guns N’ Roses would go on stage on time, they went on at 22:26hrs having been due to be on stage at 21:45hrs, support artist finished at 21:00hrs.
“During the second song Axl requested members of crowd who were throwing plastic glasses containing unknown substances to immediately stop or he would have no option but to leave the stage. He confirmed band’s wish to perform stating “we want to stay…one more bottle and we go home”. Despite his continued appeals, having tried to continue performing for 22 minutes, people continued throwing unknown substances leaving artist with no choice but to leave the stage.
“From the stage MCD Promoter Denis Desmond again appealed to audience to refrain from throwing items and stated that the band would be back on stage shortly.
“The artist was prevented from leaving the venue by the Promoter and following backstage discussions Guns N’ Roses went back on stage at 23:20 hrs and performed their full set until 00:53 hrs.
“While the artist has a long history for being late on stage (Slane 1992 – crowd waiting 2 hours and last weekend’s UK Reading festival), NO artist should be subjected to missiles and unknown substances being thrown at them. However, despite this the band went back on stage after people stopped throwing items performing their full set of songs in full.
“MCD and The 02 wish to apologise for any inconvenience caused due to late running of the show.”
Video – Guns n’ Roses at the O2