Before Axl Rose's current incarnation of Guns N' Roses heads to Europe for a string of festival appearances, the band will perform a pair of concerts at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, according to concert promoter Live Nation.
Tickets for both shows — set for May 15 and 17 — will set fans back $63 and go on sale April 21 at 10 a.m. Doors open for both nights at 7:30 p.m. There's no word yet on who might be opening for Guns N' Roses, or whether there will be an opener at all.
Velvet Revolver kitman Matt Sorum, who was also a member of Guns N' Roses, wrote in his online blog that he'd had a recent run-in with Rose while in New York, where the drummer performed with Camp Freddy, an all-star cover band featuring ex-Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro; Alice in Chains' Jerry Cantrell; Revolver's Scott Weiland and Duff McKagan; Moby; Gina Gershon; Shooter Jennings; and former Fuel frontman Brett Scallions also played with the band that evening (see "Velvet Revolver Bassist Promises 'Stinky' Pharrell Collabo").
Sorum said he spotted Axl at a party. "I hadn't seen him in at least six years," he wrote. "I walked over and said 'Hello.' We shook hands and it was pleasant. Later that evening, I ended up in a loft somewhere in the East Village where Axl was again. We spoke for quite some time, and it was nice to clear some things up. I told him how great of a frontman he was while I was in the band and no hard feelings from me at all" (see "Axl Files Suit Against Slash, Lashes Out At Ex-Bandmates"). "It was an all-around good vibe, I think."
Guns N' Roses are set to perform the first of 17 European festivals on May 27, when they take the stage during Rock in Rio in Lisbon, Portugal. The last of GN'R's overseas gigs will take place on July 8 in Oslo, Norway, at Spektrum.
In February, several songs said to be from the Chinese Democracy sessions leaked online (see "Are Guns N' Roses Finally Coming Back? The Signs Are There ..."). There's still no word on when Rose's decade-in-the-making LP will see release.
The two New York concerts will be Guns N' Roses first American shows in more than three years. Back in 2002, the band played a number of dates before pulling the plug on what was to be a global trek (see "It's Extra Official: Promoter Says GN'R Tour Totally Off").