Guns N' Roses Concert Passes Without Problems
- Salt Lake City Tribune, 7.14.91
A beefed up security force was on hand as the heavy-metal rock band Guns N' Roses took to the stage at the Salt Palace Saturday evening, but the concert passed without violence.
Outside Acord Arena, security guards searched through purses and checked concertgoers as they entered the building. Inside, a heavy stream of security guards and ushers patrolled aisles and watched the band.
Usually, there are about 40 ushers for concerts. But there were more than 75 on hand for the rock concert. An increased force of Salt Lake police officers also patrolled outside the Salt Palace.
Security was increased after a riot broke out at a recent Guns N' Roses concert in St. Louis. More than 60 people were injured after lead singer Axl Rose leaped into the audience when a fan began taking pictures.
Security guards passed out handbills warning concertgoers against taking cameras, lighters and alcohol into the arena. Handbills also advised fans to stay in their seats and not to stand in aisles.
Guns N' Roses Goes Off Unexplosively
- Lori Buttars, Salt Lake City Tribune, 7.15.91
Saying he wanted to leave "before I put anyone else to sleep," singer W. Axl Rose put a rather odd and uneventful end to the ballyhooed Guns N' Roses concert Saturday night at the Salt Palace.
Fans cursed and booed as security personnel worked quickly to move the disappointed concertgoers out of the arena after the performance by the ill-reputed rock 'n' roll band.
After a two-hour show, the abrupt close came as a relief to anxious Salt Lake authorities who had kept a close watch on Guns N' Roses after a riot broke out during the group's performance two weeks ago in Missouri.
An enthusiastic crowd of nearly 12,000 filled the Salt Palace arena to see what had been billed as one of the summer's biggest concert acts. An increased security staff of over 200 patrolled the aisles of the arena doing everything from extinguishing cigarettes to making sure fans who tried to edge closer to the stage returned to their assigned seats.
The cautious setting, which included a cattle guard and fencing set up coincidentally in preparation for the Days of '47 Rodeo, and the raucous enthusiasm of the fans made for an interesting combination.
Expectations for the concert ran high because the band, whose members are as notorious for playing great rock 'n' roll as they are for their antics, had not performed in Salt Lake City since they opened for Iron Maiden three years ago.
Local groupies were out in full force Saturday night. Young women clad in form-fitting black attire clamored for the coveted backstage passes that the group's managers handed out during the break between Skid Row's opening act and Guns N' Roses' performance.
"They said we weren't dressed right," said one 25-year-old woman whose request to meet the band was declined. "I guess they wanted somebody sleazier."
At the center of all the attention was the heat-seeking Mr. Rose, whose stage manner, despite his reputation as a rabbel-rouser, proved to be tame. He screamed only a few expletives in his between-song chatter, and was mild in comparison to Skid Row's lead singer Sebastian Bach.
Mr. Bach may have been trying to push the limits of freedom of speech since he was cited for lewdness over comments he made during his last appearance in Utah.
Mr. Rose's traditionally questionable stage antics were also held in check. He made his social and political statements through a number of costume changes that included a coat made in the form of an American flag, a Scottish kilt and baseball catcher's chest protector.