Guns N’ Roses famously made a comeback in the spring of 2016, when they took the stage at Coachella. It was the first time in quite a while that the whole group had played together, and fans soon discovered that it was no a one-off performance. The band has kept right on playing through an international tour that’s still underway today. But a comeback is one thing; major public attention is another. And roughly 18 months after its famous comeback, Guns N’ Roses officially seems to be everywhere.
We’ll begin by recognizing that the band’s actual tour has been so energetic that it’s beginning to set records – or at least it set one in mid-September. After an opening from ZZ Top (which is probably pretty cool all on its own for rock fans), GNR took the stage at the Alamodome and played its longest show ever, working through a three and-a-half hour set. That’s just ludicrous for rockers of this age, but it’s a clear indication of why rock fans all over the world have been so excited by this tour and its seemingly unrelenting energy. Sure, the performances aren’t quite what they used to be, but man, are these guys giving their fans what they want.
Tour aside, the band just seems to be popping up all over the place. Maybe the most surprising example came from the online video game developer NetEnt, which has made a habit of using licensed band material to craft creative slot machine games. Sure enough, 2016 brought about a Guns N’ Roses game that included all kinds of special features and bonus rounds based on the group. Players are also accompanied by four of GNR’s finest moments, which is to say performances of hit songs like “Welcome To The Jungle” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” It’s sort of a full-fledged GNR arcade experience, just in time for the band’s real life revival.
The band also seems to be generating some new fans, or at least bringing some out of the woodwork. Of all possible musicians, pop star Justin Bieber recently made some waves by showing off Guns N’ Roses fandom that doesn’t particularly match his typical style. While it’s true that a lot of pop stars with real talent (and rest assured, Bieber has talent) have a deep respect and appreciation for classic groups and artists, the connection between Bieber and GNR seems pretty unlikely. Then again, he has worn shirts for classic rock artists before. Or maybe it just speaks to GNR’s renewed presence as a major rock band, not just from a past era but of today.
The comeback has even reached the point at which people are debating Guns N’ Roses’ music again, which is always a good sign that a band is capturing public attention. Just recently Paste Magazine, which covers a lot of music and modern pop culture, put up an article on the 15 best GNR songs, seemingly picking up a debate that people were having many years ago.
All things considered it’s been a pretty incredible year and-a-half for a band that a lot of people had probably stopped thinking about. If you’re not a fan or don’t know the band, do yourself a favor and give them a chance. Somehow or other, they’ve become arguably 2017’s most relevant rock group.
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