Fan Recalls How He Snuck Into First Guns N’ Roses Reunion Show
If you were in attendance at Guns N' Roses' first reunion show at the Troubadour on April 1, 2016, you witnessed history. A fan has shared the story of how he managed to sneak into the show without paying for it, and he captured footage as proof.
In early January 2016, Guns N' Roses were confirmed as one of the headliners for both weekends of that year's Coachella music festival in mid-April. Shortly after, they'd announced two performances scheduled for April 8 and 9 at the T-Mobile Arena Stage in Las Vegas, Nev. These were the first shows that would see Axl Rose joined by both Slash and Duff McKagan onstage in 23 years, so the demand was incredibly high.
But on April 1, they played a surprise show at the 500 person-capacity Troubadour in Los Angeles. It hadn't officially been announced, but many fans speculated that it was going to take place, including the aforementioned individual, who shared his story on Reddit.
"You pretty much had to know tickets would go on sale before it was announced," he wrote, adding that his friend Tom tipped him off to the performance.
He drove by the venue during the afternoon that day and noticed that the venue's stage crew were wearing all black, and went back to his apartment to see what he could come up with.
"I happen to be living with a Stage 5 hoarder at the time — one of those one-path-through-the-apartment kind of hoarders. One of the things he had was a bunch of sandbags. From my days of doing stage crew in college, I know sandbags are sometimes needed to keep the sound monitors in place," he continued.
The fan dressed in all-black and brought some sandbags with him to the venue. He parked in a lot behind the venue, grabbed the sandbags and headed toward the back door. Sure enough, no one questioned him, and he found himself inside the venue, but needed to hide for a few hours until the show started. So he stayed in the men's bathroom, and managed to record a few clips of the band sound checking — one of which was "Live and Let Die."
"I sat in that stall until 10:15pm. when I got out, I was in — what an environment. The energy was WILD," he recalled. "Now, phones were strictly forbidden. Upon entry, you had to place your phone in this protective case that can only be opened with some special magnet or something. I didn't have that problem, but I held off on video for a few songs as to not risk anything stupid."
He managed to capture some footage of "It's So Easy" and "Welcome to the Jungle" before a security guard tapped him on the shoulder and demanded he delete the videos.
"I had already sent them to my friends, so I obliged," he added, noting that he was thankful he wasn't kicked out as a result. "I enjoyed the rest of Slash and Axl knowing this WILL BE the best concert I ever see. It was a max of like 500 people and i heard tickets were flipping for $3,000 - $4,000."
Following the performance, the fan went out to the parking lot to find his vehicle had been towed, so he got an Uber home. He said he'd never been happier to pay $250 to get his car back because he knows it was the best show he'll ever have gotten to see.
Check out the full Reddit post below.
Guns have been touring continuously since that night, have released two reworked Chinese Democracy-era songs — "Absurd" and "Hard Skool" — and have plans to continue releasing more new music at some point this year.