Shortly before Axl Rose took the stage with Guns N’ Roses at Coachella Saturday night, AC/DC confirmed to news outlets that Rose would be taking over as lead singer for the remainder of AC/DC’s world tour according to Rolling Stone.
AC/DC’s Rock or Bust stadium tour was put on hold after lead singer Brian Johnson had to step down from the band due to hearing issues. According to Billboard, Rose will join the band when it resumes the tour in Portugal on May 7.
A statement released by AC/DC regarding the substitution of Axl Rose for Brian Johnson had the band wishing Johnson well and understanding for his decision to step down to preserve his hearing. The rest of the members of AC/DC, however, did not want to let down their devoted fans and felt that Rose was a formidable substitute:
“We are dedicated to fulfilling the remainder of our touring commitments to everyone that has supported us over the years, and are fortunate that Axl Rose has kindly offered his support to help us fulfill this commitment.”
Axl Rose joining the tour as the new frontman shouldn’t come as a surprise to AC/DC fans. Despite Rose recently reuniting with his Guns N Roses bandmates for a tour of their own, rumors of Axl rehearsing with AC/DC have been circulating for weeks. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Rose was photographed leaving the band’s rehearsal studio in Atlanta in March, and many fellow metal musicians seemed to think the use of Axl was a good fit for the band. At the time, however, AC/DC’s reps refused to confirm Rose’s involvement stating there was “nothing official to announce” in regard to Axl being Brian’s replacement.
While AC/DC fans can rejoice that they will once again be able to bear witness to Angus Young’s head bouncing guitar licks, Axl’s fans may be a little gun shy. Rose’s commitment to AC/DC ends right before the Guns N Roses’ tour begins, a tour that has been decades in the making and some have to be wondering if the stress of doing both will put too much pressure on the reclusive Axl.
A longstanding feud between Axl and Slash not only prevented the two from working together for years, but it also prevented Rose from attending Guns N Roses’ induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. While things seem to be going well between Axl and Slash on the onset, Rose has a history of mental health issues including bipolar disorder and a tendency to withdrawal from the public eye at times. And so far, Rose’s fronting of AC/DC is receiving a mixed response from fans meaning Axl might be feeling a lot of pressure.
@acdc As long as it’s just for the rest of the tour as a replacement then I don’t mind, if it’s permanent then I don’t know about that..
— m/Brennanm/ (@MrClassicRocker) April 17, 2016
I noticed that Axl Rose is trending. Thought he died, but no, it’s just saying that he’s the new lead singer of AC/DC. I think that’s worse.
— Nutella and Chris (@HeyItsChris412) April 17, 2016
@acdc So glad the show goes on. This will be a one off to remember. Better than a cancel and refund. I’ve read too much negativity re: this
— Mark Wallsworth (@mhw6160) April 17, 2016
To top it off, Axl Rose is also dealing with a physical health issue. Last week, Rose broke his foot and underwent surgery to repair it. Axl spent his first concert reunited with Slash in a cast and chair as doctors ordered him to keep his weight off the foot to allow it to heal. While Rose is hopeful to only be in the cast for four weeks, doctors still say Axl will have to slowly allow his foot to withstand pressure.
Regardless, singing with AC/DC seems to be a dream come true for Rose. Axl has been known to frequently include tributes to the band in his sets by performing one or more of their songs and noted that AC/DC’s music was a huge influence on Guns N Roses.
[Axl Rose cover image at Coachella via Kevin Winter/Getty Images.]