GM Place, Vancouver, Canada
November 7th 2002

This was supposedly the setlist that was scheduled for Vancouver, as reported in the Vancouver Province.

set: Welcome To The Jungle, It's So Easy, Mr. Brownstone, Live And Let Die, Rhiad, Think About You, You Could Be Mine, Sweet Child O' Mine, Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Out Ta Get Me, Oh My God, Madagascar, Buckethead Solo, November Rain, Rocket Queen, Chinese Democracy, The Blues, Patience, Silkworms, My Michelle, Nightrain, Robin Finck Solo, Paradise City

Fans Riot After Guns N' Roses Tour Kickoff Canceled: Kurt Loder Reports
- Kurt Loder,

VANCOUVER, British Columbia Thursday was supposed to be a very big night for Guns N' Roses fans: the long-awaited launch of the group's first North American tour in nine years.

Unfortunately, it never happened. The concert was suddenly canceled, before the doors even opened, and a riot ensued.

The show was canceled because frontman Axl Rose was literally up in the air, still en route from Los Angeles to Vancouver. According to Guns' management, his flight's departure from L.A. had been delayed by mechanical troubles. He had been scheduled to take the stage with Guns N' Roses at 9:30 (following sets by two opening acts: the Philadelphia band CKY [see "Guns N' Roses Handpick Some Jackasses As Tour Openers" ] and Beastie Boys DJ Mix Master Mike). When the managers of General Motors Place arena learned, at around 8:00, that Rose hadn't even arrived in town yet, they called off the show.

Following the announcement of the cancellation, groups of ticked-off kids converged at the gates of GM Place. Fueled, in some cases, by strong drink and marijuana, they hoisted the long metal security barriers outside and rammed them through the glass entry doors. They threw bottles and rocks. They were angry about paying $80 U.S. for tickets and then getting blown off, and they yelled things like, "F--- Axl, I wanna see Buckethead!" (Buckethead being one of the band's three guitarists, the mysterious guy with the mask.)

After about 20 minutes of all this, a phalanx of cops waded in with attack dogs, and things got really ugly. Those fans who escaped the police onslaught with nothing more than a faceful of pepper spray might be said to have been the lucky ones. Wielding their riot batons with seeming abandon, the cops walloped legs, arms, heads, whatever available extremity presented itself. They ganged up to pummel people even after they'd fallen to the ground. One young man was smashed in the face and had his teeth knocked out he stumbled away in a daze, holding them in his hands, with blood pouring from his mouth.

Even as the crowd began to disperse, police continued to chase and hit and kick individual stragglers. As one young woman who claimed to have had no involvement in the rioting told a local TV news crew, "I thought, 'Oh my God, they hate every single one of us.'"

A police spokeswoman on the scene was also interviewed. She said the crowd was out of control, and described the police response as "a proper use of force."

Meanwhile, inside the venue, the members of Guns N' Roses were unaware of what was going on outside. They were simply bummed about the show's cancellation. Bassist Tommy Stinson, loitering by a backstage buffet table, said, "Axl is gonna be pissed."

The Guns camp says the aborted Vancouver show may be re-scheduled. Whether or not that'll help dispel the grim vibe surrounding this incident remains to be seen. The Canadian date was supposed to mark the triumphant resurrection of a great rock band. It wasn't supposed to go like this.

This is the second time that Guns inspired havoc north of the border. In 1992, the group's Montreal date with Metallica ended with a riot after both acts cut their sets short. Metallica frontman James Hetfield was engulfed in flames in a pyro mishap ending that group's set, and Axl later stormed off stage, cutting the Guns set short and sending angry fans teeming into the streets.

Things will hopefully go a bit more smoothly on Friday night, when GN'R tries take two on their tour opener, this time in Tacoma, Washington. We will have a full report this weekend.

Axl Rose misses concert, fans riot
- Reuters

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The start of rock band Guns N' Roses' first North American tour since 1993 turned into a disaster as angry fans rioted when lead singer Axl Rose failed to show up for the concert.

Dozens of people threw rocks at police and security guards and smashed windows at the General Motors Place arena in downtown Vancouver late Thursday, when promoters canceled the show at the last minute.

"Axl is going to pay," one man could be heard yelling at a television camera as a group of fans in the background were seen ramming a bicycle rack into the arena's doors, breaking the glass.

Concert promoters said Rose was unable to get to Vancouver because of airplane problems in California.

Vancouver was supposed to be the first stop in the band's tour to promote their soon-to-be released "Chinese Democracy" album. The band is scheduled to play Friday night in Tacoma, Washington.

Guns N' Roses Cancel Vancouver

Guns N' Roses fans didn't take the news too well when they found out the band canceled the first show of their tour November 7. A throng of people outside the GM Place in Vancouver, Canada, expressed their anger in true street mob fashion - by rioting.

A report from Canadian Press said within 15 minutes of the cancellation announcement, the crowd - estimated at 9,000 - began rioting. Ticket sales windows at GM Place were smashed and when police were called in to quell the mob, rocks were thrown at them.

Web site reports "Vancouver police used riot sticks, pepper spray and police dogs to disperse the angry crowd."

According to Canadian Press, a spokesperson for the band said poor weather conditions at Los Angeles airport made it impossible for Axl Rose's plane to fly.

However, reports differ. Some rumors say that Rose was actually in Canada but held up in customs and decided to nix the whole thing. MTV reports that Rose was mid-flight when the cancellation was issued. His plane had been late due to mechanical problems.

This is hardly the first time Guns N' Roses have cancelled tour plans. The band has twice nixed a European tour in the past year or so and has a long history of not showing up at gigs for various reasons. Canadian fans have reason to be especially upset as the last time GNR were scheduled to play (1993) they, ahem, canceled.

Despite the unfortunate tour start, or lack thereof, Guns N' Roses will continue on with their planned schedule and play Tacoma, Wash., November 8. It's not yet clear if the Vancouver show will be rescheduled.

GN'R Cancel Show, Fans Riot
- Chris Nelson,

Crowd members break doors, throw rocks at police in Vancouver

Guns n' Roses cancelled the Vancouver, B.C., opening date of their North American tour Thursday night, sparking an hour-long riot at GM Place arena.

After workers at the venue posted signs announcing the cancellation at 7:37 p.m., a crowd of thousands chanted "bullshit!" Some rioters then rammed steel barricades through the venue doors and box office windows, as well as threw rocks and fired bottle rockets at police, who responded with pepper spray. Police could not be reached for immediate comment, but News 1130 radio reported that between ten and twenty people were arrested.

According to a band spokeswoman, the cancellation was the result of technical difficulties on singer Axl Rose's plane, and Guns n' Roses' Friday night show in Tacoma, Washington, is expected to go on as scheduled. A representative from promoter Clear Channel Entertainment did not return calls Thursday night. The outing is the band's first American tour in nine years.

Fans, some of whom had traveled from as far away as Toronto and Calgary for the $80 show, largely blamed Axl Rose, the only remaining original member of Guns n' Roses, for the melee. "He tries to put on airs that he's changed, but he's not any different," said Beth Wood, twenty-one, of Toronto.

"He cancelled here before, twelve years ago, I think," said thirty-year-old Lori Hoffman of Vancouver. "I bought tickets both times. I'd be kind of reluctant to [do it again]. It's a waste of time."

Guns N' Roses Riot
- Michael McLaughlin,

The rock show never happened inside GM Place, but frustrated fans made a spectacle of their own outside the stadium last night. A cancelled Guns 'N Roses concert led to a riot. Windows around GM Place are broken, it's box offices are smashed and so are the glass doors at some gates. Vancouver Police Sargeant Jim Graham tells News1130 it happened when thousands of fans rioted to news of the cancellation. He says many people used barriers to smash glass and threw bricks at police. Dozens of officers moved in to disperse the crowd and arrest ten or twenty people. Frustrated fans like William never got a satisfactory explanation as to why the concert was cancelled. One man lost his front teeth when hit by a police baton.

Guns N' Roses fans riot after Axl fails to show for gig

Thousands of GUNS N' ROSES fans rioted in VANCOUVER last night (November 7) after frontman AXL ROSE failed to turn up for the opening gig of the North American leg on their world tour.

According to eyewitness reports, barriers were hurled through box office windows at the GM Place and police were drafted in using pepper spray and clubs to disperse the crowd, who pelted them with rocks in return.

According to reports on Canadian site, trouble began after the doors didn't open at 6.30pm as scheduled, with fans shouting "B.S." in the queue. An announcement was made at 7.40pm, ten minutes after the show was due to begin, saying it would not go ahead, and trouble flared, with windows at the GM Place being smashed and barriers being thrown through them.

Police were called, and, according to, used pepper spray on the crowd. Fireworks were set off in their direction and rocks hurled at them from across the car park. The trouble lasted for around an hour.

A spokesperson for the band said Rose's plane was grounded by poor weather at Los Angeles airport and it was impossible for him to make the gig. The rest of the band had rehearsed at the venue on Wednesday without him. The spokesperson said that tonight's scheduled show at Tacoma, Washington would go ahead as scheduled.

Guns 'N Roses have a history of running late and no-shows. At this year's Carling Weekend Leeds Festival in August, the band went on stage two hours late, demanding to be allowed to finish their set despite the fact festival organisers can be fined for over-running stage curfews with Rose declaring from the stage that there would be a riot if they were not allowed to play their whole show.

Fans riot after Guns N'Roses no-show
- & Global BC

Vancouver police had to break up a riot Thursday night by angry rock fans after the last-minute cancellation of a Guns N' Roses concert. Thousands of rock fans flew into rage at GM Place last night after the no-show by lead singer Axl Rose. They smashed windows and doors, threw down barricades and tossed rocks at police. Dog teams were called in and police used clubs and pepper spray to clear the rioters from the streets. Several arrests were made but no one was seriously hurt. The concert was to have been the first North American show of the band's world tour. A Guns N' Roses spokesman says poor weather made it impossible for the lead singer's plane to fly into Vancouver. The band rehearsed Wednesday at GM Place without Axl Rose. Promoters say ticket refunds will be available next Thursday.

Axl Rose Blames Canada For Cancelled Vancouver Show
- Sorelle Saidman,

In what's sure to be a legal quagmire, it sounds like Axl Rose wants the Vancouver, British Columbia, venue to foot the bill for the riot that ensued when Thursday (Nov. 7)'s scheduled Guns N' Roses tour kickoff show was cancelled.

"We were going to play a show and the plug got pulled on us," said Rose, in a rare interview with KISW Radio in Seattle Friday (Nov. 8) afternoon. "We were fully able to meet our commitments, and we don't really understand what happened. Basically the building manager just decided, and in our opinion prematurely, that the show was just canceled, and he didn't discuss it with anyone. He just announced it over the P.A." Rose added that he is having a legal team look into the situation.

Thousands of fans used metal barriers to smash widows and generally wreak havoc outside the venue when the show was called off, as an estimated 8,000 fans waited in line for the show's advertised 7:30 p.m. start. The hour-long riot brought 120 police officers into the area, resulting in 12 arrests and numerous minor injuries. Damages have been estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A statement issued by Harvey Jones, GM Place manager of operations, on Friday said: "A decision to cancel this show was made when it was recognized that the band could not take the stage at a reasonable time."

Later in a further statement to a local television station, he noted that Los Angeles to Vancouver was a two and a half hour flight and that Rose would still have had to go through customs. "Was he going to walk out of his limo on to the stage? I don't think so," said Jones.

Rose told KISW's Ditch that he was already in the air when the concert was called off by the venue. "It gets complicated," said Rose, "but the manager of the building said that the doors wouldn't open until he had confirmation that we were wheels up, that the plane was in the air, and as soon as he had that confirmation he canceled the show."

Insiders say the word that the date was cancelled came to the band just after 7 p.m. A schedule posted backstage on GNR's production office door listed a 9:45 p.m. start following sets from CKY and Mixmaster Mike.

Rose's chartered plane was subsequently diverted to Seattle. A band spokesperson told press the problem was bad weather while a promoter statement said it was due to mechanical difficulties with the plane.

Rose broke years of press silence in 1999 with a statement about his new band that closed with the South Park movie line, "Power to the people, peace out, and blame Canada."