Christmas came early for Guns n’ Roses fans earlier on in December when they announced plans for an incredible tour that would keep them busy for much of 2020. Now, Christmas has come early twice for fans living in the UK. Even though the news of the tour only arrived last week, they’ve already added an extra date in London. We guess the demand for tickets was even higher than they expected.
Technically speaking, the new tour isn’t really a ‘new tour’ at all. It’s an extension of the record-setting ‘Not In This Lifetime Tour’ that kicked off shortly after the reformation of the band’s most iconic lineup in 2016, and has been entertaining fans ever since. The original plans for the latest leg of the tour, which runs through May and June, didn’t include more than one night in any European country. That’s still the case for every country on the list apart from one. British fans will get to see them play at the huge Tottenham Hotspur stadium on May 29th, after which the band will dust themselves down, get a good night’s sleep, and do it all again in the same venue the following day. Technically speaking, there are three opportunities for UK-based fans to see the band on this leg of the tour, because they’re also playing at Marlay Park in Dublin, Ireland, on June 27th.
Although the fact that the band is headed back out on the road again has been greeted with a great deal of excitement by fans, it does beg the question of what happened to the new recording that both Slash and Duff McKagan have been talking about since the early months of 2019. Slash said in a February 2019 interview that the band was ‘trying to work out’ the best dates for recording new material, and McKagan has previously implied that all that needed adding to the new songs was some ‘finishing touches’ before they’d be able to book a studio and lay down a record. The tour only occupies two months of their time next year, but with rehearsals and planning thrown in, that could extend to three. In terms of probability, if there really is any new Guns n’ Roses music coming, we probably won’t get to hear it until the second half of 2020.
The wait would probably be frustrating for the fans of most bands, but Guns n’ Roses fans are used to being patient. The years-long wait for Chinese Democracy is almost legendary within the music industry, and even the twelve-year-long wait since that album was released isn’t the longest gap between albums. Crucially, if the rock legends were to come up with a new album, it would be the first time that Axl Rose, Slash, and McKagan have worked together on a record since 1991. That alone would be worth waiting for, and so the attitude among the band’s faithful is mostly that they should be given all the time they need to get it right.
By this point, it’s almost a cliche to point out the incredible enduring appeal and legacy of the band. Despite spending so many years inactive, they still draw huge money and attention wherever they go. They’ve managed to keep themselves in the spotlight during times when they haven’t been playing through lucrative tie-ins and endorsements. Their music was one of the biggest lures of the ‘Guitar Hero’ video games, and they also have their own online slots, which has been popular an internet-based casinos. They’re not alone in that endeavour – bands like KISS and Megadeth also have their own online slots, but the general trend of online slots featuring metal bands was started by Guns n’ Roses. In every way imaginable, they’re pioneers of their genre.
As excited as English fans of the band will be about the extra chance to see them perform in London – and we suspect many people will be getting tickets to both nights – Scottish fans are likely to be a little disappointed. There were rumours that the tour was coming before it was officially announced, and those rumours had also suggested that there might be at least one night in Scotland, probably in Edinburgh or Glasgow. The speculation turned out to be unfounded, and so fans from north of the English border will have to endure the four-hour-plus journey to get to London to see their heroes unless they’d prefer to wait a month longer and cross the sea to Ireland.
There is one further possibility that’s been thrown up by the current arrangement of the dates. There’s an abrupt stop in Holland on June 21st, and then nothing further planned until the Irish date on June 27th. That theoretically leaves the band with enough space and time to appear at the world-famous Glastonbury Festival, which will run on the 26th, 27th, and 28th of June this year. As they’re playing Ireland on the 27th, they’ll be in the right place at the right time. For all the incredible achievements in the career of Guns n’ Roses, they’ve never played Glastonbury, and it’s likely to be on their wish list. They may never get a better opportunity than this, and it could even be the case that an appearance has already been agreed on, and we’re now just waiting on an announcement. If they were to appear, it would be the perfect antidote to Taylor Swift, who has been confirmed as headlining one of the three nights at the Somerset-based festival.
Anything that involves Guns n’ Roses is always big news, and given the demand for tickets for their tour, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them add even more dates before we get to next May. If that happens, we’ll be sure to break the news to you right here. If we’re right, and they really do turn out to be a surprise headline act at Glastonbury Festival, don’t forget where you read the news first! In the meantime, let’s hope we also hear news about a new album sooner rather than later. 2020 is shaping up to be a great year for rock!