The coronavirus outbreak has led to a number of events being cancelled or postponed, as governments around the world scramble to contain the pandemic and protect their citizens. Sporting events have been the hardest hit, with virtually all sports, both indoor and outdoor, coming to a standstill. Outdoor concerts and music events have also been hit hard by the virus, and fans of rock music will have been especially disappointed to hear that the legendary band Guns N’ Roses were forced to postpone their upcoming tour to South and Central America.
GNR were originally scheduled to tour in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina later this month. However, all of these dates have now been provisionally postponed to November, with the band headlining the Lollapalooza festivals in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The festivals had also been scheduled for the end of March, but have now been pushed back to November. Fans will be able to use their tickets for the original tour for the rescheduled dates.
GNR actually performed in Mexico as recently as 14th March, at the Vive Latino festival in Mexico City. It was a surprise that the event was not cancelled or postponed due to the virus outbreak, especially when similar festivals like Coachella and South by Southwest had been shut. Nevertheless, several artists did not perform due to health concerns, including the likes of Mogwai.
Fans of GNR, however, were not disappointed, with the band delivering a 22-song headline performance, also featuring the rarely-heard ‘So Fine’ – a song that the band had not performed live since 1993.
‘Not In This Lifetime’, the tour which began four years ago, recently became the third-highest-grossing tour in the history of the Billboard Boxscore. The tour has featured the classic lineup of Slash, Duff McKagan and Axl Rose, along with Richard Fortus, Frank Ferrer, Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese.
Guns N’ Roses are rumoured to be heading to the studio soon as well, to work on a new album, which would be their first under the GUNS name since 2008’s ‘Chinese Democracy’. It would also be the first to have Rose, Slash and McKagan since 1993, and so fans are waiting with bated breath for any news about this new studio album.
In the meantime, with the coronavirus threat not looking like ebbing anytime soon, fans will have to be resigned to waiting before they can see their favourite music stars live again. Another alternative for fans, while they wait, is to go online and play games, with Guns N’ Roses actually having a casino online slots game themed on themselves. The video slots game plays songs from GNR’s discography, while fans can try to win prizes based on lining up images of the band members or other symbols related to GNR. It offers a novel way to pass the time and still stay connected with the band for the fans.
In such an environment, some musicians are actually taking to social media to play online concerts for their fans. One of the most notable instances of this came a couple of days ago, when Chris Martin, the lead singer of the band ‘Coldplay’, put on a 30-minute impromptu live performance for his followers on Instagram. Martin took requests for songs from fans who tuned into the live broadcast, and this could be an interesting template for other musicians to follow. Indeed, towards the end of the session, Martin asked his friend, musician John Legend, to take this initiative forward and perform a live session of his own. It remains to be seen if Legend will do so, but at the very least, it offers fans some solace in these difficult times.