Weeks of rumors have finally come to fruition; the original Guns n’ Roses, or at least 3/5ths of it, will be formally reuniting and playing both weekends of Coachella 2016 in Indio, California.
Guitarist Slash and bassist Duff both posted images of Coachella on their Facebook pages last night, and just minutes ago a formal press release went out confirming that they will be joining Axl W. Rose for shows on Saturday, April 16 and Saturday, April 23. Tickets for Coachella go on sale tomorrow morning at 11am PST via the Coachella website.
This reunion was considered unthinkable just months ago, based on nearly two decades of enmity between Axl and Slash, which included Axl throwing Slash out of a Vegas concert and calling the guitarist a “cancer” in an interview. Axl toured the world with an all-new version of Guns n’ Roses numerous times between 2002 and 2013, starting in arenas, then switching to more intimate ballrooms, and finishing up with a pair of Las Vegas residencies (read my review of Axl’s Vegas show, including a guest appearance from Izzy, right here) before dropping from the public eye entirely for the past year.
There has been no official word on the actual lineup of the band yet, aside from a photo of Axl, Slash and Duff accompanying the press release, but it’s a safe assumption that long-time keyboardist Dizzy will be with them. The biggest unanswered question hangs over the drummer seat; Axl has shown incredible disdain for Steven Adler, who only played on the first Gn’R record, and Slash and Duff both remained tight with his replacement Matt Sorum when they were all in Velvet Revolver.
In typical Axl fashion, the notorious singer apparently bailed on a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live today, which was supposed to serve as the official announcement for the band’s reunion and Coachella dates. Still, Axl often comes through at the 11th hour so it wouldn’t be at all surprising if he pops up somewhere in the next few days to promote the show.
Right now there are still more questions than answers: Will there be a full blown summer tour? Will any of Axl or Slash’s new music be played? Will they and Duff write any new music? Will Steven Adler try to crash the stage if he’s not invited to play? Will Axl even show up? Where’s Izzy? Expect more information to filter through in the coming weeks, but for now just be sure to grab your passes to Coachella ’16 and haul out to Indio for the biggest rock n’ roll reunion since Led Zeppelin.