Guns N’ Roses has canceled its May 30 performance at Rock in Rio-Lisbon, ostensibly due to the departure from the band of guitarist Buckethead. Still on the bill for that day are Evanescence, Kings Of Leon, Charlie Brown Jr. and Xutos E Pontapes.
According to the Lisbon festival, a letter from GNR leader Axl Rose reads, “On behalf of Guns N’ roses and myself I apologize to fans who planned to see us at Rock in Rio-Lisbon. The festival and its tradition mean a lot to me personally and I sincerely do not enjoy being robbed by one of our own of the opportunity to be the first artist to play it for the third time.”
Buckethead, meanwhile, starts his first tour as a solo artist tomorrow (March 31) in Milwaukee, opening a series of 15 dates for Particle.
Rock in Rio-Lisbon was to have been GNR’s first performance since its 2002 tour, which started off badly and ended worse. Set up as a 34-date arena trek that was to begin Nov. 7 in Vancouver, the tour staggered out of the gate after the opening date was canceled because Rose, the lone original GNR member, never left Los Angeles.
Several shows did come off, albeit to mixed critical and commercial reception. Nine shows reported to Billboard Boxscores grossed $3.23 million and sold 70,086 tickets out of a possible 118,611. The tour became seriously derailed when a Dec. 6 date at the First Union Center in Philadelphia ended in chaos after the show was canceled at 11 p.m. — the band was apparently unable to make the short jump from its Dec. 5 show at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Following that debacle, a second Philly show at the adjacent First Union Spectrum was jerked, and shortly thereafter promoter Clear Channel Entertainment announced that the entire tour was finished, although 14 more dates had been planned.