Fans travelling to the Guns N’Roses concert at Slane Castle on May 27th have been advised to come especially early.
It is advice that was once wasted on the band’s notoriously tardy singer Axl Rose, who was still in his hotel room in Dublin when he was supposed to have been on stage the last time the band played the Co Meath venue in 1992.
His late arrival on stage at the then O2 in 2010 so riled the crowd that the concert ended up being cut short.
A much more sober and punctual Guns N’Roses can be expected to turn up on time for next Saturday week’s concert and, accordingly, fans are asked to be at the venue by 5pm with the prospect of the band being on stage as early as 7pm.
Guns N’Roses have a mammoth 25 song set to get through and a spell with AC/DC as lead singer appears to have cured Rose of his much famed tardiness.
The concert sold out all 80,000 tickets in less than a day.
Lord Henry Mountcharles confessed to feeling a degree of anxiety the last time Guns N'Roses played Slane given their notorious reputation and the self-confessed "typhoon of chaos" which surrounded the band's Use Your Illusions tour.
At Slane in 1992, a restive crowd started making human pyramids and threw beer on stage as they wiled away the long hours while they waited for the band.
“At one stage I had to admit that I was concerned that there might almost be a riot,” he said. “My oldest son and I went to Slash and told him that the band had to go on stage.
“We discovered that Axl Rose wasn’t even on site. He was still in his hotel suite in Dublin. Their manager was backstage fishing. Axl got into a chopper and I got him down here as fast as we could...Credit where credit is due. When they went on stage, they really turned it on, but there was a lot of stuff going on in the background.”
The Slane concert is the first date of the Guns N’Roses European tour entitled Not In Our Lifetime, a reference to the band’s reunion once being remote prospect given the previous emnity between Rose and guitarist Slash. The pair did not speak for nearly 20 years after Slash quit the band in 1996.
The opening act on the bill, Otherkin, a garage rock act from Dublin, have been afforded the biggest stage of their lives to date. It will be a special moment for lead singer and guitarist Luke Reilly a native of Slane.
He describes the prospect of playing on the same bill as Guns N’Roses in his home village as a “surreal” prospect. He admits his chosen genre, guitar music, is having an “existential crisis at the moment.
“Its not on the charts. It is not the cultural force that it used to be, but we’re out there,” he said. “We’re trying to get people turned on to our music. I think guitar music is on an upswing at the moment in terms of its popularity. We’re hoping to ride that wave.”