Axl Rose thanks crowd for ‘not throwing shit’ at opening night of Guns N’ Roses’ UK and Ireland tour

The band played a three hour set at The O2 in Dublin last night

Guns N’ Roses kicked off their UK and Ireland tour at The O2 in Dublin last night (May 17) with a near three-hour set that did not conclude until just after 1:15am.

Pyrotechnics, six costume changes, a cover of the Pink Panther theme tune and the band’s now traditional late arrival on stage marked the 21-song set that got underway at 10:25pm – nearly an hour and a half after the band’s expected stage time.

Returning to the venue of their now infamous 2010 gig, at which the band were bottled off stage after three songs, Axl Rose ended set-closer ‘Paradise City’ by thanking the Irish crowd for “not throwing shit” at him. The frontman told the crowd:

Thanks for coming out, thanks for putting up with my lame ass and thanks for not throwing shit.

Earlier the singer had acknowledged the leg injury he suffered at a party in Russia last weekend telling his Irish fans: “As you may have heard I had a little accident. I’m learning what I can and can’t do. I hope you don’t mind me moving less than usual,” before quipping “although I’m probably moving a whole lot more than I was the last time I was here.”

Despite his comments, Rose showed little sign of the injury on-stage, moving freely as the band dipped into a set that included their greatest hits, a number of cover versions and songs from their 2008 album ‘Chinese Democracy’.

Arriving on stage to Massive Attack‘s Splitting The Atom and a cascade of pyrotechnics, the band opened with ‘Chinese Democracy’ before launching into ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ and ‘It’s So Easy’.

Over the near three-hour set Rose frequently retreated to a tent to the right of the stage – reported to contain an oxygen tank – as his bandmates took turns to take centre stage with solo instrumental cover versions which included The Who‘s ‘Baba O’Riley’ and the Pink Panther theme tune.

Rose himself played a brief cover of Pink Floyd‘s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ before ‘November Rain’. The band’s set was largely as predicted by NME yesterday, although it did include ‘Civil War’ from 1991’s ‘Use Your Illusion 2’.

Earlier the Dublin crowd had been warmed up by Thin Lizzy, who took to the stage for a homecoming of sorts and a set of familiar hits including ‘Jailbreak’, ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ and ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’.

Guns N’ Roses played:

‘Chinese Democracy’
‘Welcome to the Jungle’
‘It’s So Easy’
‘Mr Brownstone’
‘Rocket Queen’
‘Live And Let Die’
‘This I Love’
‘Street Of Dreams’
‘You Could Be Mine’
‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’
‘Another Brick In The Wall’/’November Rain’
‘Don’t Cry’
‘Whole Lotta Rosie’
‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’
‘Civil War’
‘Paradise City’

Thin Lizzy will continue to provide support for Guns N’ Roses UK tour, which gets underway at Nottingham Capital FM Arena tomorrow night (May 19).

Guns N’ Roses will then play:

Liverpool Echo Arena (May 20)
Newcastle Metro Radio Arena (23)
Glasgow SECC (25)
Birmingham LG Arena (26)
Manchester Evening News Arena (29)
London O2 Arena (31, June 1)