The Story Of The Most Chaotic Rock Tour In History
Axl Rose for Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses / Youtube
Metallica and Guns N’ Roses, two bands at the peak of their popularity in the summer of 1992, were expected to play to sold-out stadiums across the continent.
The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada, held 55,000 people on August 8, 1992. All the biggest names in hard rock – Metallica and Guns N’ Roses, would be performing on the same bill at Canada’s largest indoor stadium. It was, as perceived by many, a dream that they never thought of seeing.
It appeared like the show’s opening went off without a hitch. Faith No More, who opened, played their entire concert with incredible vigor. After that, Metallica took the stage and, despite performing in a massive stadium, sounded fantastic throughout their entire hour-plus set. Then, when the opening notes of “Fade to Black” began to play, the pyrotechnics crash in, and then there’s the sound of a guitar that’s been sounding badly. James Hetfield lost all his control, leaving him injured and burnt from different parts of his body. But the show must and should go on, as per Metallica.
But, that’s not the worst thing to happen inside the performance. Arriving 2 hours and 15 minutes later, is Guns N’ Roses, and would only play 9 songs before they would return backstage. The band didn’t seem to be on the same page, and Axl Rose looked distracted while he was cursing on the microphone.
“We had just stopped the tour because I had throat problems,” Axl Rose recalled the event. “Came back, and I realized I’m going to hurt myself. So, I told Slash, two more songs, if we can’t get it fixed, I gotta go. Then we did more than two more songs, and finally I was just kinda like, I don’t know what to do.”
Axl left the performance first, followed by his confused band who didn’t know what happened. Few minutes later, a large flash on the stadium’s screen were the words: “The show has been cancelled, please check the media for news.” It marked an uproar to thousands of fans, causing massive hysteria that lasted until 1 AM. Several were wounded, at least 6 people were thrown to jail, and hundreds of concertgoers threw, destroyed, and looted stuff.
For the most part, Metallica went home with a large sum of money for their performance, while GNR paid most of their paycheck for damages, parties, and fines for being late.