Ahead of their much-anticipated performance at Coachella, the re-formed members of Guns N’ Roses might well have received an omen of sorts from the heavy metal gods on high. According to celebrity gossip receptacle TMZ, a customized tour bus headed to pick up the band broke down on a highway in Fontana, California, on Saturday. After sitting on the road for around three hours, the vehicle received some repairs and proceeded on its trip to retrieve its celebrity manifest.
It’s not the first time Guns N’ Roses has met with some degree of misfortune since getting their collective act back together. In early April, lead singer Axl Rose – whose public feud with former members kept a reunion at bay for many years – announced that he had broken his foot. The band’s tour was still slated to go forward, though, and Rose made an appearance with a partial lineup with the band while seated in a “throne” borrowed from Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters. As reported by Billboard, Rose did not miss a beat and performed almost flawlessly at his first outing with his old band mates Duff McKagan and Slash, despite his limited range of movement.
Early on, talk of a Guns N’ Roses reunion was met with a mix of enthusiasm and skepticism, the latter of which stems from the band’s tumultuous offstage relationship. When their first new shows were announced, the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley paper The Desert Sun suggested that Coachella producer Goldenvoice might do well to have a backup act in the works for the event’s headline slot, just in case the iconic rock band suffered a meltdown before their big moment.
But despite a few hiccups here and there, Guns N’ Roses appears to be enjoying their second honeymoon immensely and they are still expected to take the stage at Coachella on Saturday night before a throng of fans. The Desert Sun has noted that the start time for their event is 10:30 p.m. PT and they are slated to perform until 12:50 a.m. The band has a history of starting gigs extremely late – sometimes up to three hours late, in fact – and if they are too far off schedule at Coachella, they could run into a timing issue with the festival’s curfew.
Even an abbreviated set for the band would be a windfall for longtime Guns N’ Roses fans, who have been pining for a reunion of Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff for over two decades now. Fellow musicians are also getting amped for the Coachella appearance, including LCD Soundsystem, who covered the Use Your Illusion era Guns hit “November Rain” during their performance on Friday night, according to LA Weekly. The veteran rockers from New York also performed David Bowie’s song “Heroes” before wrapping up their set. Although their Coachella show garnered critical buzz well into the day following their show, LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy has indicated that the performance will be the band’s last show.
As for Guns N’ Roses, Coachella 2016 is a new beginning of sorts, as the band will embark upon a North American tour after wrapping up at the outdoor music festival. Core members Axl, Slash, and Duff will hit the road for over 20 shows including dates in Mexico City, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and New York. Despite their collective penchant for drama and friction, the rockers have a good deal of incentive to stick it through to the end. Reports indicate that Guns N’ Roses will earn at least $3 million for their post-Coachella tour dates, so maybe those egos won’t bruise as easily this time around.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]