Recapping The GNR Comeback

Recapping The GNR Comeback

One of the most unexpected and thrilling stories in the music world in 2016 was the resurgence of Guns N’ Roses. Though they never fully stopped playing and had a residency show going in Vegas for a while, GNR looked like they might be fizzling out they way every classic band eventually does. Thankfully, at the end of 2015 word started to trickle down about a full reunion.

The first hint was a mysterious theater trailer that started popping up at the end of the year. At that point there had already been murmurs that Axl Rose and Slash had buried the hatchet and become friends again, and the trailer—which played before showings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Hateful Eight—seemed to be hinting at some sort of increased activity for the group. However, it didn’t reveal any specifics. It was a vague but exciting teaser for fans to hang onto until they got more word of what was up with the band.

Then, in an even more subtle indicator that GNR was ramping things up, a digital slot reel based on the history of the band was released early in 2016 according to a site offering a rundown of online gaming options. To the unfamiliar that might sound a little strange but many other bands including Jimi Hendrix and Motörhead have lent their music and likenesses to similar games. The idea is that casino gaming sites use these slot arcades to attract fans of the bands and also continue to provide an extended life on the web for these aging artists. The game is packed with sights and music from Guns N’ Roses as a sort of tribute and modern extension of the group’s brand.

Of course, all of this was a setup for the real news that soon followed. There had been rumors that the band would be reuniting for Coachella and were eyeing a potential full-scale stadium tour, and those rumors were confirmed in the months leading up to the festival. It wasn’t just a partial group playing on stage, or one supplemented by guests from other bands. This was the full band with Axl Rose and Slash on stage together again, not just for one night but back with the intention of actually playing together. And sure enough, by March it was confirmed that the group was planning a North American tour (The Not In This Lifetime Tour), with 21 cities on the list and international dates to follow.

The tour went well and seemed to reignite interest in Guns N’ Roses across the nation—or at least to bring fans out to stadiums in a way that we hadn’t seen in years. Eventually it was announced that the tour would be extending with some additional 2017 dates in North America, and Axl Rose even indicated that he wants to make some new music with Slash if the guitarist is up to it.

All in all it was about as sudden and successful a reunion as you’re going to see for a classic rock band, and we can safely say, that Guns N’ Roses are officially back.

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