GUNS N' ROSES Cancel Philadelphia, Angry Fans Riot

December 7, 2002

GUNS N' ROSES fans at Philadelphia's First Union Center began rioting after being told that the group were a no-show Friday night (Dec. 6).

About 14,000 people in the center were informed over the public address system at approximately 11:15 p.m. that a band member had fallen ill and the concert had been postponed.

The show by Axl Rose and his group was scheduled to begin at 9 p.m.

The opening acts for the evening, CKY and MIX MASTER MIKE, performed as scheduled, with the latter ending his appearance at around 9:15-9:30, according to eyewitness reports.

GUNS N' ROSES played in New York City's Madison Square Garden Thursday night. Tickets for that show sold out in 15 minutes with the other cities doing close to capacity business, according to the band's official web site.

The group are set to perform another Philadelphia date at First Union Center on Sunday, Dec. 8. It is not presently clear if that performance will go ahead as scheduled.

The following first-hand account of the Philadelphia GN'R no-show was sent to BLABBERMOUTH.NET by Inter Sandman Chapter Head Zach Smith:

"I went to the GUNS N' ROSES show tonight at the First Union Center in Philly, it was sold out and everything. Well, I got there at around 8:30 and MIX MASTER MIKE was still on stage. He kept saying how GUNS N' ROSES would be on in a minute, yet never left the stage for another 30-45 minutes. Everyone started kidding around saying that Axl wouldn't show up again. Well, MIX MASTER MIKE ended at around 9:15-9:30. At 10, no sign of the show starting. Word was spreading that Axl hadn't arrived yet. Then we found out that the First Union Center had put a stop on all beer sales — kind of odd for them to do so before the main act went on. So it got to be 10:30, and still no band - people were starting to see what was coming. In between every song that was being played, the booing got louder and louder, and chants of 'asshole' began that were really loud. At that point, you knew GUNS N' ROSES wouldn't be playing. Finally, when people saw the soundboard guys cover up their equipment, all hell broke loose. People started ripping binoculars off the seats and throwing them down on the floor, people were chucking their drinks and food at security around the stage as they took the equipment away, people rushed the stage, a fight broke out, folding chairs were turned into launching pads. An announcement FINALLY came on at around 11:15 saying that the show had been cancelled due to 'health reasons' and that tickets were valid whenever the show would be rescheduled. That really set people off, and chairs started flying at the soundboard and up on stage. It was not a pretty site. However, a good amount of people did leave and outside seemed to be quite calm in comparison to what was happening inside. There was a large police presence outside, but thankfully they were not instigating anything with angry fans. Who knows what happened, but I can tell you while I'm shocked, I'm certainly not surprised. I also think Philadelphia fans handled the situation quite well considering the circumstances and the past history with riots."

Find more on
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).