Although rock legends Guns N’ Roses were forced to scrap plans for a major tour this summer, fans of this iconic band are being treated to an exciting new YouTube series in its place. Instead of this summer’s sold-out shows, Guns N’ Roses will be streaming exclusive footage from their previous “Not In This Lifetime… Tour” to whet the appetite. When you consider that this global tour spanned 175 dates worldwide and dates back as far as 2016, it’s easy to see why the band has plenty of “moments” to disclose to its loyal followers.
The first of these live concert YouTube streams was captured on stage from their October 2019 show in Salt Lake City, Utah. This performance was a particular highlight for long-time Guns N’ Roses fans given that the classic line-up was back together playing a string of its biggest hits from its glittering back catalogue, namely “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City”. The last tour was hugely refreshing as it saw the original members back together, with the likes of Slash returning from taking part in charity efforts to lead the way with Axl Rose and co.
The YouTube series is not designed to provide streams of full-length concerts. Instead, it will provide precious highlights from each set, publishing them on YouTube as standalone tracks or song clusters. Of course, this YouTube series will bring fans closer to the band ever than before, but it will never quite be able to replicate the raw energy and electrifying atmosphere of a live Guns N’ Roses gig. Its last world tour raked in a staggering $563 million, which underlines how popular the GNR machine is as a live act.
In fact, the Guns N’ Roses brand is still one of the most recognizable in the rock scene today. Its iconic yellow logo, flanked by two red roses, is synonymous with the likes of Axl Rose and Slash in many aspects of popular culture. The GNR brand lives on in so many ways when the band enjoys downtime. Swedish developers NetEnt created an exclusively branded Guns N’ Roses video slot, featuring cut scenes of the boys in action on stage and snippets of classic tracks while the wheels spin. It’s one of many slot titles to play for free online. Other prime examples of the GNR machine in 21st century pop culture include its soundtrack for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and its inclusion of “Welcome to the Jungle” in the household favourite Guitar Hero game which sees players attempt to replicate the tune and chords in time to score the most points.
The band is writing “killer new stuff” too
The wife of Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan, Susan McKagan, has provided more than a hint to fans that the band are looking to return soon with new material. McKagan was invited onto the Appetite for Distortion podcast to discuss her novel The Velvet Rose, but moved on to mention Guns N’ Roses and the revelation that the band has been “working fastidiously on some killer new stuff”.
McKagan didn’t divulge too much more than this, but she did say that the “bits and bobs” she has heard are “pretty epic”. McKagan said that she wanted these words to “put a spring in [the] step” of Guns N’ Roses fans worldwide. Iconic GNR guitarist Slash first mentioned the prospect of fresh material in January. He admitted to Guitar.com that “stuff is happening”, but he could not provide any “specifics”, alluding to the “nature of the industry”.
It’s been 12 years since the release of the band’s last studio album, Chinese Democracy, which was released after another 15-year gap following The Spaghetti Incident. Unsurprisingly, Chinese Democracy was a platinum-selling album in the US, the UK, Ireland, Australia and beyond. Album number seven would be yet another huge commercial success, of that there is no doubt.