Religious fans knocking on promoter’s door after Guns N’ Roses extends show
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Religious fans knocking on promoter’s door after Guns N’ Roses extends show

Band's request to add hour to concert means it will start before end of Shabbat; a few ticket-holders ask for refunds to the sold-out gig

Axl Rose (L), lead singer of the rock band Guns N' Roses, performs with Slash at Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark, on June 27, 2017. (AFP/Mads Joakim Rimer Rasmussen)
Axl Rose (L), lead singer of the rock band Guns N' Roses, performs with Slash at Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark, on June 27, 2017. (AFP/Mads Joakim Rimer Rasmussen)

Axl Rose and the rest of the Guns N’ Roses crew will be welcoming fans to the jungle an hour earlier than originally planned, after the band’s management requested an hour’s extension to the concert since it is their last stop on their European tour.

Because Yarkon Park has strict noise regulations that do not allow concerts to go on beyond 11:30 p.m., the extension brought the start time earlier, to 8 p.m. instead of 9 p.m.

But what might sound like good news for fans of the hair metal band is more like pouring cold November rain on Shabbat-observant ticket-holders, who will now miss a large chunk of the concert because of the late end of the Jewish day of rest at 8:38 p.m.

According to the concert promoters, six people requested and received refunds due to the time change.

The hard rock band, which formed in 1985, has sold 61,900 tickets, which will make it one of the largest concerts at the Yarkon Park in recent years, if not the largest.

Pop diva Britney Spears had 55,000 fans at her show last week at the same venue. The last time Guns N’ Roses played Yarkon Park, in 2012, there were 10,000 fans in the audience. Radiohead will also play Yarkon Park on July 19.

Promoters have warned fans of the sold-out show to beware of fake tickets sold over Facebook or international sites. Only Ticketmaster tickets will be honored at the gate.

The concert requires an enormous amount of logistics, with a special air delivery of 100 tons of equipment, including 48 speakers and over 400 lights. The sound requirements of the 1,000 square meter stage are so intricate it requires a separate sound console for each side of the stage.

From Guns N' Roses reunion tour, which kicked off this fall, and will head to Israel in the summer (Courtesy Guns N' Roses)
From Guns N’ Roses reunion tour, which kicked off this fall, and will head to Israel in the summer (Courtesy Guns N’ Roses)

Guns N’ Roses has more than 70 people in its entourage who will occupy 40 rooms and suites at the iconic Dan Hotel on Tel Aviv’s promenade. Axl Rose’s Royal Suite goes for a cool $3,800 per night and includes such important amenities as two landlines and a fax machine, according to the hotel spokesman.

Rose’s requests for this visit, an exercise bike and a piano in the room, are less involved than his last visit. In 2012, Rose requested a private gym to be built in his suite, nine rooms with scented soaps, the best masseuse and chiropractor in Israel and a bouquet of six red roses and six white roses for every room, according to Israeli media reports.

During the band’s last visit in 2012, lead guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal gave a solo rendition of Israel’s national anthem “Hatikva” (The Hope) to the shaky accompaniment of the crowd.

The Tel Aviv show is the final concert of the European leg of the band’s “Not in This Lifetime” tour, a reunion for vocalist Axl Rose, guitarist Slash and bassist Duff McKagan, who haven’t played together for the last 23 years.

At the end of July the band will start a US tour for the remainder of the summer, with some stops in South America in September.

The band, which was founded in 1985, with its first studio album, 1987’s “Appetite for Destruction,” featuring the number-one single “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” was known for a new brand of hard rock and for hedonism reminiscent of the early Rolling Stones.

Its May 1993 concert in Tel Aviv was part of a major, two-year world tour following its 1991 twin albums, “Use Your Illusion I” and “Use Your Illusion II,” which sold a combined 35 million copies worldwide.

It was that tour which led to tremendous tensions in the band, following significant drug and alcohol abuse by members. The band was last together in Israel during the 1993 tour. In 2012, the only original band members who came were Rose and keyboardist Dizzy Reed, who had been a member of the lineup since 1990.

Gates open at 5 pm. Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, from Nashville, Tennessee, will open for the band at 6:45 pm.

Jessica Steinberg contributed to this report

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