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Perfect Attendance, Zero Drama: Guns N’ Roses Wrap Up Their U.S. Reunion Tour

Shirlaine Forrest, Getty Images
Shirlaine Forrest, Getty Images

Over the past few months, Axl Rose broke his foot, which forced a quick shift to a wheelchair. He dealt with a schedule packed with a series of high-profile Guns N’ Roses reunion shows as well as a band-saving turn with AC/DC. A bus broke down. There was even a piano malfunction.

But through it all, as he made a total of 32 stops with Slash and Duff McKagan that followed 13 shows with AC/DC when they needed an emergency fill-in singer, Rose defied every long-held assumption about his former tardiness habit.

The most notable snag on the entire universally praised tour – which wrapped up last night in San Diego – was not when Rose showed up late, but when opening act Lenny Kravitz‘s show ran long one night. Guns N’ Roses cut songs from their set, but still ended up going past an early curfew at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Rose is now slated to jump right back on the road with AC/DC on Aug. 27, then do a month of shows with Guns N’ Roses in South and Central America, continuing a period in which he has emerged as rock’s model citizen.

Some critics wouldn’t have believed it if he hadn’t just pulled it off. Not after a stretch in the ’90s in which Rose was consistently late (or, in the case of a 2002 show in Philadelphia, completely absent) because of technical difficulties, throat problems, arguments with bandmates, stage fright, Ninja Turtles or because, as Rose himself once said, he’s just “not a punctual-type person.”

That was then, and this is now. Everyone got along so well that Guns N’ Roses were able to include a number songs from 2008’s Chinese Democracy – despite the fact that it was released after Slash and McKagan had left the band. Steven Adler, who had been gone since 1990, even returned for a trio of guest turns.

Rose was unfazed after being hurt during a well-received warm-up show held in April at the Troubadour in Hollywood. He ended up borrowing Dave Grohl‘s wheelchair to continue shows with both Guns N’ Roses and then AC/DC. Their August show in Houston was briefly halted when Rose’s piano malfunctioned during “November Rain.” He made a funny quip about its off-key performance, saying: “I don’t mind ghosts and gremlins, but they should probably learn the f—ing song.”

Rose’s feel-good story continues as Guns N’ Roses return to the concert stage in 2017, playing January and February shows in Japan and Australia.

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