Leave it to Axl Rose to save the best for last.
On Wednesday night, during the band's fourth and final warm-up show at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, the much-rumored reunion of Axl with erstwhile GN'R guitarist Izzy Stradlin finally came to pass.
Izzy's appearance led many in attendance to believe that former lead guitarist Slash, who was similarly touted by insiders as a possible guest performer before the band's first New York gig on May 12 (see "Guns N' Roses Live: No Reunion Of Classic Lineup, But Great Anyway,"), wouldn't be far behind — but no joy.
Stradlin, who quit the band mid-tour in late 1991 and has since released five albums (solo or with his short-lived group, the Ju Ju Hounds) joined GN'R for three tunes: "Think About You," "Patience" and "Night Train."
The concert, which concluded shortly after 2 a.m., also featured guest vocalist Kid Rock on "Night Train." The four sold-out shows acted as a warm-up for GN'R's European festival appearances this summer. No other North American dates have been scheduled so far.
Rose introduced Stradlin before "Think About You" — although his comments were almost immediately drowned out by screams from the audience as the guitarist strutted onstage. The two hugged before launching into the number, and one eyewitness reported seeing Stradlin's eyes welling with tears during "Patience."
Various online GN'R messageboards have been buzzing with speculation of a full-band reunion since word of Stradlin's arrival reached fans via text message. "There's going to be a reunion for sure," wrote one fan. "There's too much money involved for it not to happen. Izzy will bring the rest of the guys around, you watch."