Guns N' Roses storm off O2 stage


Guns N' Roses front man Axl Rose stormed off stage last night after plastic cups of liquid were thrown at his band during a performance in Dublin.

Rose had earlier frustrated the capacity crowd at the O2 by turning up late.

A statement from MCD today said he was supposed to be on stage at 9.45pm, but ended up going on stage at 10.26pm despite "every effort being made by the promoters" to ensure the band took to the stage on time.

Rose stopped the band during the intro to the second song Welcome to the Jungle  when a plastic cup containing what MCD described as an "unknown substance" was thrown on stage.

"Here's the deal, one more bottle, we go home," he told the crowd. "We want to stay. If you don't want to have fun just let us know. We'll be on our way."

Rose made good his promise after another cup was thrown as guitarist Richard Fortus was about to start a solo. The singer took his band off stage to a cacophony of boos and cat-whistles at the end of the fourth song Mr Brownstone.

Guns N' Roses had been on stage for 22 minutes.

The crowd were told they were experiencing "technical difficulties" before MCD promoter Denis Desmond came on stage and asked the crowd for patience.

"We're trying hard to get Axl to come back on stage," he said. "I'm trying hard to get Axl to come back on stage. I'd ask you please to refrain from throwing items at him. I promise a great show, but you have to calm. I'm sorry about that."

After a short interval, the lights came on and thousands of fans left the arena.

The band appeared back on stage at 11.20pm to complete their set. Rose said to the crowd: "Let's try this again". He did not say another word to the crowd other than to thank them at the end of the show.

The band played until 12.52am, by which stage more fans had left.

The statement issued by MCD made no mention of refunds for those fans who left the concert early in the mistaken belief that it was over. It pointed out Rose had a long history of turning up late on stage, particularly in 1992 when he was two hours late for an appearance at Slane Castle. However, the promoter said it was not an excuse to throw things on stage at him.

MCD said it prevented Rose from leaving the venue and he agreed to go back onstage following backstage discussions.

The promoter and the O2 have apologised to fans.

Last night's concert is the latest in a long line of issues involving Rose, who has a reputation as one of rock music's most unpredictable stars with a penchant for turning up late and storming off stage.

The European leg of the band's Chinese Democracy tour is turning into a disaster. The power was cut on the band's performance at Reading after they went on stage an hour late. Their set was also cut short at Leeds, where they were 35 minutes late.

Rose is the only surviving original member of the original band.