Skip to content

Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Chinese Democracy’ Tour By the Numbers


Guns N’ Roses’ first tour supporting Chinese Democracy technically started in 2001. The album didn’t actually come out until 2008, however, and Axl Rose and his latest lineup — which of course features no other original members — didn’t make their way to American arenas until October 2011. The bloated, three-hour show isn’t without its flaws, but it’s also thoroughly entertaining. There’s plenty of pyro. Axl still has a slouchy guitarist with a limp cigarette dangling from his lips (DJ Ashba). Rose energetically sprints across the stage and nails all the high notes. But a full third of the set is comprised of songs by artists other than Guns N’ Roses. And Rose does do a lot of mysterious vanishing. Here’s how last night’s show at New Jersey’s Izod Center breaks down:

Time opening band Asking Alexandria shouted, “Guns N’ Roses up next!”: 9:55 p.m.

Time Guns N’ Roses took the stage: 11:00 p.m.

Time until first explosion of pyro: 2 minutes

Time Guns N’ Roses took their final (of four!) bows: 1:52 a.m.

First time Axl Rose trotted into the curtained-off area at the rear of the stage: 11:05 p.m.

Number of such trips offstage: 29

Longest amount of time Axl was onstage without interruption: 11 minutes (from 12:41 a.m. to 12:52 a.m., during which time Rose riffed on Elton John on a grand piano, then played “November Rain”)

Number of guitarists who split up Slash’s epic “November Rain” solo: 3

Number of songs on set list: 31

Number of the Who songs on set list: 2 (“My Generation” sung by bassist Tommy Stinson, “Baba O’Riley” performed by pianist Dizzy Reed)

Number of Chinese Democracy songs on set list: Too many. Oh, but a real number? 7

Number of Appetite for Destruction songs on set list: 7

Number of GN’R Lies songs on set list: 1 (“Patience”)

Number of guys spotted in the crowd dressed up like Slash: 1 brave soul

Number of guys spotted in crowd who looked exactly like Kid Rock: 1. Eerie.

Number of times Axl spoke to the crowd: 9, including the gem, “It’s nice to be back here. I had my doubts too if I’d make it.”

Number of bizarre backing videos featuring women in bikinis: 1, during “Rocket Queen,” and it was weird.

Number of Axl Rose wardrobe changes: Many. All involving different permutations of hat/bandanna/sunglasses/leather jacket, with the exception of one brief appearance in a longer topcoat.

Estimated fullness of arena by the time the show ended: 45 percent

Number of times Rose threw his mic stand: 5

Time the venue stopped selling beer: Too early.

See Also:
Inside Axl Rose’s First TV Interview in Over a Decade