By Felicity Clarke, Contributing Senior Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – The legendary U.S. rock band Guns N’ Roses will play five shows in Brazil next month as part of the current leg of their Chinese Democracy world tour. Starting in Brasilia on March 7th, the band will go on to play in Belo Horizonte on March 10th, São Paulo on March 13th, Rio de Janeiro on March 14th and ending in Porto Alegre on March 16th.
These rock giants have sold over 100 million albums in their tumultuous 25 year history. Amid the Rock ‘n’ Roll stories of tantrums, drug use, and fights is a back catalog of work starting their 1987 major label debut Appetite for Destruction; which is regularly featured on lists of the greatest rock album of all time and includes their biggest hits “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City.” Later albums include 1988’s GN’R Lies and 1991´s Use Your Illusion.
The dates next month will be the first time the band has played in Brazil since their well-received appearance at Rock in Rio 3 in 2001, where they played with guitarist Buckethead replacing the popular original guitarist Slash. They were due to play Rock in Rio 4 the following year, however were forced to cancel due to Buckethead leaving the band.
The line up will be different yet again at the shows in March with vocalist, and only remaining original band member, Axl Rose fronting a band comprising of guitarists Ron “Bumblefoot”, Thal, DJ Ashba, Richard Fortus, bassist Tommy Stinson, drummer Frank Ferrer, and keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman.
The shows in Brazil are part of the official tour of the band’s latest album, Chinese Democracy, released in 2008. The album has been shrouded in controversy and drama, having reportedly taken fourteen years to complete from start to release, with leaked tracks and altercations, and with the Chinese government over perceived criticisms of the regime in the title track.
The album has had a mixed reception with some critics hailing it as a pop-metal masterpiece and others slamming it as a bloated, self-indulgent work of nonsense.
The critical reception matters little to fans, who will this year get the chance to experience the music live at Guns N’ Roses infamously raucous live shows and hard rock riffs. The Chinese Democracy performances in Brazil are part of a tour that´s had legs in 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2007. The latest leg is the first since the release of the album and kicked off in Taiwan on December 11, 2009. The band plays shows in South Korea, Japan and thirteen dates in Canada before the performances in Brazil in March.
Following their previous Rock in Rio performance, the Carioca Guns N’ Roses contingent will be expecting a rocking return when they play in the Praça da Apoteose (part of the Sambódrome complex) on March 14th. Tickets for the show range from R$90 to R$350 and are available from Citibank Hall, Avenida Ayrton Senna, 3000, Barra da Tijuca or through official vendors Tickets For Fun.