Welcome to the Jungle: Guns N' Roses plays for 65,000 sweaty fans in Tel Aviv
American hard rock band Guns N’ Roses drew out a crowd of over 60,000 sweaty people to Tel Aviv’s Park Ha Yarkon on Saturday night in an epic three-hour performance, rounding out the fifth leg of the band’s “Not in This Lifetime...” tour -- aptly named for the answer Axl Rose gave when asked in 2012 if the original band would ever reunite.
Five years later, lead vocalist Axl Rose screamed, “Welcome to the Jungle!” into a microphone on a hot summer night in Tel Aviv -- over one year into an eight-leg world tour with the reunited band.
Lead guitarist Slash dripped with sweat over his guitar while Rose danced across the stage throwing microphone stands as he performed thirty-years worth of hits like “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City” with his iconic screechy vocals.
It’s the first time in 23 years that members from the original lineup, Rose, Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, were back together following the infamous break up that shook rock fans.
The group embarked on their world tour in April which has spanned across several continents, with 119 shows performed or scheduled so far.
Their first album “Appetite for Destruction” was released almost exactly thirty years ago today, but the band still managed to give a high-energy and spirited performances.
“They’re just pure rock and rollers,” said one concertgoer to i24NEWS. “No gimmicks, no frills. It was refreshing.”
She described the crowd as “chilled” and despite the massive crowd and sweltering Tel Aviv heat, there was a “relaxed atmosphere” at the outdoor arena.
However, in true "rock and roll" fashion, a woman reported to be in her twenties was seriously hurt during the night after trying to climb on the stage, according to Israeli media reports, adding that she appeared to be intoxicated.
After an attempt to climb up the side she fell and hit her head knocking her unconscious. Medics at the scene took her to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, where she was placed on a respirator, but said that her injuries were not life-threatening.
Meanwhile, security measures were intensified and some roads blocked off ahead of the show, coming just a day after a shooting attack that killed two Israeli police officers at the ultra-sensitive holy site the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The band, who landed in Israel Friday morning, canceled a planned visit to the ancient city.
They initially postponed the tour but ultimately decided to cancel due to the security situation which saw the Old City shut down.
In 1993, the original band put on a show in Tel Aviv as part of its Use Your Illusion tour. Axl Rose last performed in Israel in 2012 with different bandmates.
The American rockers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 14, 2012 and have sold more than 100 million albums making them one of the world's best-selling bands of all time.
In his first interview since the Guns N’ Roses’ reunion, Slash, real name Saul Hudson, discussed the band’s experience of getting back together. “Everyone’s playing great,” he said, “and playing nice – yeah. Everybody’s getting along. We were all pretty positive that that would never happen so it’s still sort of blowing our minds," he told Boston Radio Station WZLX.
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