Disaster was in the air at tonight's Guns N' Roses gig at The O2 when front man Axl Rose walked off stage after only 20 minutes. Fans were left bitterly disappointed after waiting for over an hour for the band to appear on stage in the first instance.
Trouble was brewing as fans began to get agitated whilst waiting for Guns N' Roses to come on stage, only making an appearance at 10.25pm - well over an hour after the support act, Danko Jones, had finished playing. Some angry fans booed and threw a few beer/water bottles on stage in protest at the delay.
After a mediocre start, Axl Rose stopped the band after breaking into Welcome to the Jungle - just as the crowd were beginning to be won over - after another bottle was thrown up on stage. At this he announced "one more bottle and we're going home, we're here to have fun and we hope you are too, but one more and we are gone" (have a gander at the video from the gig in Best of the Web)
The gig continued for another 3 songs and as Rose was introducing the band, another missile was thrown. At this, Rose took the band, bid his goodnight and stormed off the stage at about 10.50pm.
Just after 11pm, a member of the O2 staff arrived on stage telling the crowd that there were some "technical difficulties" and they were trying to get GnR back on stage. A short while after, another staff member arrived on stage to plead with the now depleting crowd to stop throwing bottles as they were still trying to get Axl Rose to return to the stage. 11.10pm, the main lights came on and the majority of the crowd left The O2.
The night was not over yet however, with GnR returning to the stage at about 11.25pm and continued playing a set to a small but pretty irate crowd.
No official statement has been issued as of yet, nor any news about refunds - if any - but stay tuned for further updates.
Promoters MCD have since issued the following statement:
"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 glass's 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."
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