G ‘N’ R Set Missouri Concert Dates, Remember the Riverport Riot?
Guns 'N' Roses announced their World Tour of the Middle East, Europe, and North America yesterday morning. In Missouri, the tour will play Busch Stadium in St. Louis and Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City this September. Ticket presales for the show starts today, February 22, 2023, at 10:00 AM CST and the public on-sale date for tickets is Friday, February 24, 2023, at 10:00 AM CST.
It's not all that surprising that Guns 'N' Roses have worked their way back into playing St. Louis. The band is older. Memories, at least some of them fade. Not to mention St. Louis musician Richard Fortus is on tour with the group these days. Let's not forget money as well, leaving St. Louis off a concert itinerary is leaving cash on the table.
Yet for years after the Riverport Riot on July 2, 1991, Axl Rose was as unwelcome in St. Louis as he was in his hometown of Lafayette, Indiana.
On that night in St. Louis the first 90 minutes of the show, according to reports went well. The show started to go off the rails when Axl told the story of being kicked out of his hometown of Lafayette, Indiana. This is the story he told to the St. Louis crowd:
Lafayette law enforcement officials threatened him with habitual offender status, so he took a bus out of town to St. Louis. In St. Louis, he allegedly smoked a joint by the Arch, hitched a ride with an air conditioning repair man, crashed in a hotel with him, and woke up to the man trying to molest him. This is according to an oral history of the incident from Riverfront Times.
The problems started during the band's performance of "Rocket Queen" when Axl went after a guy with a camera in the audience because security didn't.
Axl scuffled with fans before being brought back on stage where he promptly told the crowd, "Well! Thanks to lame-ass security, I'm going home!"
The band had played 83 minutes before Rose jumped into the crowd. A band representative said the band would return if the crowd settled down, but once the Riverport house lights came on, everyone knew the show was over.
When the lights came on, that was when the crowd really started tearing the venue apart. When fans started to see the band's buses leave the venue they started chanting "bullshit" and it escalated from there.
Once the crowd reached the stage, the Riverport Times oral history accounts, it was pretty much chaos. The band's equipment which they had left was all being ripped up. Full rows of seats were being thrown at the stage, people were climbing the rigging and even set the lawn on fire.
According to the Riverport Times, for the first time in St. Louis County history, a code 1000 was called, summoning all available police officers to the venue. When it was said and done an estimated 400 officers from 30 departments showed up.
At the time the story made MTV news. Axl was charged with four misdemeanor counts of assault and one misdemeanor count of property damage. He was found guilty and fined $50,000. The band also faced numerous civil suits stemming from the riot. This is according to an article in Billboard.
Additionally, Wikipedia says in the liner notes for "Use Your Illusion I" and "Use Your Illusion II" Axl told St. Louis what he thought of the City in two nasty words.
As part of the settlement, Axl was asked to apologize to the City. He did that by calling into then KSHE radio afternoon personality Randy Raley's radio show. According to a Facebook post from Raley, Axl's public apology was "I'm Sorry." And then he hung up.
Raley's reaction to Axl playing St. Louis Busch Stadium this summer on Facebook was the same two words Axl used to describe St. Louis in the "Use Your Illusion" liner notes.
The band wouldn't play St. Louis again for 26 years until the Not in This Lifetime...Tour on July 27, 2017.
Guns 'N' Roses are scheduled to perform in St. Louis on Saturday, September 9, 2023. And in Kansas City on Saturday, September 23, 2023. Ticket prices have not been disclosed as of this writing. More information on the tour and the shows can be found here.
Here's hoping everyone's a little more mature this time around.