A gym backstage, please

Guns N' Roses' (from left) bassist Duff McKagan, singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash will be performing tomorrow at Changi Exhibition Centre.
Guns N' Roses' (from left) bassist Duff McKagan, singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash will be performing tomorrow at Changi Exhibition Centre.PHOTO: LAMC

Hard rock band Guns N' Roses want to work out before concerts and expect them to be punctual at gigs now

American band Guns N' Roses, who will play their first show in Singapore at Changi Exhibition Centre tomorrow, no longer do hard-partying, it seems.

Among their requests while on tour - a full gym backstage so they can work out before their performances, said show promoter LAMC at a press event yesterday.

And while the band were notorious in the 1980s and 1990s for turning up late at shows, the gigs in the current tour have been relatively punctual.

The band's long-time production manager, Mr Dale "Opie" Skjerseth, who has worked with the band since the 1990s, says they are aware that their livelihood depends on the concerts going smoothly.

"What's changed is that we grow older, it's more of a business, we all mature and we feel better.


  • WHERE: Changi Exhibition Centre, 9 Aviation Park Road

    WHEN: Tomorrow, from 5pm

    ADMISSION: Concert tickets from $199 and shuttle passes at $15 are available from Sistic INFO: Call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg

"As we grow older, we want to be on time, we want to get it done, we know time is a factor for everyone."

The band are scheduled to go on at 8pm and play a two-hour 45-minute show after opening acts Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown and Wolfmother.

Guns N' Roses' crew and entourage arrived in Singapore on Wednesday evening in a private plane that sports their iconic logo.

A fan of theirs, believed to be a worker at Changi Airport, took photographs of their Boeing 767 plane parked there and uploaded them on his Facebook page.

The Straits Times understands that the band's core members - singer Axl Rose, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan - are staying at Marina Bay Sands.

Rose, one of rock's most prominent frontmen, is believed to be putting up in the hotel's exclusive presidential suite, which includes a baby grand piano, according to its website.

On social media, local fans have uploaded selfies taken with McKagan at Marina Bay Sands.

The concert here is part of a successful global tour which reunites Rose, Slash and McKagan, key members from their classic 1980s and early 1990s line-up.

Mr Skjerseth says the three are getting along well: "The guys are playing well together and they're enjoying their time together."

According to LAMC, the concert is one of the biggest rock shows held in Singapore, with close to 50,000 tickets sold. The only other concert to take place at the outdoor venue was a gig by American metal icons Metallica, which drew 40,000 in a 2013 show also organised by LAMC.

Mr Ross Knudson, co-owner of the company, would reveal only that the concert costs more than $1 million to stage.

The band, crew and entourage number 75 and 100 more workers have been hired to set up the stage and keep the show running smoothly.

Construction for the massive stage started on Feb 15, 10 days before the concert, and it is similar to those at the rest of the band's gigs during the tour.

"Our show is the same for every fan around the world," says Mr Skjerseth.

All carpark spaces, except for handicapped parking spaces, have been taken up and heavy traffic is expected at the venue on show day tomorrow.

There will be drop-off and pick-up points for taxis and other transport, but concertgoers are advised to buy tickets for shuttle buses, which will ferry them from Singapore Expo to Changi Exhibition Centre.

After the concert, the buses will go to five drop-off points - Singapore Expo, Bedok, Tampines, City Hall and Bugis.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2017, with the headline 'A gym backstage, please'. Print Edition | Subscribe