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Guns N’ Roses reunite early in Los Angeles – Florida Georgia Line’s ‘Cruise’ reaches RIAA diamond status

In this April 23, 2014 file photo, Axl Rose (from left), Duff McKagan and DJ Ashba of Guns N’ Roses perform on stage at the 6th Annual Revolver Golden Gods Award Show at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. (AP)
In this April 23, 2014 file photo, Axl Rose (from left), Duff McKagan and DJ Ashba of Guns N’ Roses perform on stage at the 6th Annual Revolver Golden Gods Award Show at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. (AP)

LOS ANGELES, April 2, (Agencies): The long-awaited Guns N’ Roses reunion got off to a surprise early start Friday, with the band playing a show at a small Los Angeles club where the rock legends were first noticed.

Before a lucky 500 fans packed into the Troubadour in West Hollywood, singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash performed for the first time together in public for more than two decades.

Videos posted online showed the 54-year-old Rose — still with flowing blond hair but without his once constant bandana — singing alongside Slash in his trademark top-hat over his black curls.

“You know where you are?” Rose yelled in his soaring voice in the signature line of “Welcome to the Jungle,” according to one segment shot by a fan — a technology that did not exist in the band’s glory days.

Social media posts said that Guns N’ Roses started the show with “It’s So Easy,” an energetic song with a bad-boy attitude that has frequently been the band’s opener.

Years of rumors of a Guns N’ Roses reunion came to fruition earlier this year when the band was announced as headliners for the Coachella festival, which will take place later his month in the California desert.

The band has since announced a full tour at arenas but had suspiciously left off any date in their native Los Angeles.

Retro

Guns N’ Roses early Friday announced the show for the evening. Some fans online initially thought that it could be an April Fools’ Day prank, but the band soon confirmed that tickets would be available — only in person and one each — at a “retro” price of $10.

A long crowd of fans, some wearing Guns N’ Roses T-shirts, quickly converged for a chance to buy tickets near the Troubadour at the designated sale site in the building of defunct Tower Records, now a store of guitar maker Gibson.

The strategy appeared to hinder scalpers, whose inflated prices have long infuriated artists.

Dozens of fans who could not score a ticket waited outside the venue late at night hoping to still hearing the music.

The Troubadour’s calendar had previously listed, cryptically, “Girl Rock (school) — showcase,” as its attraction for Friday, with a sketch of a student playing a guitar.

The Troubadour, with a capacity of 500, is legendary in music history as it helped launch the careers of artists ranging from Elton John to James Taylor. Members of The Eagles met for the first time at its bar.

Hollywood in the 1980s became the epicenter of heavy metal, and Guns N’ Roses landed a contract with Geffen Records after a show at the Troubadour.

The result of that deal, 1987’s “Appetite for Destruction,” remains the best-selling debut album ever, with fans drawn to Rose’s range and raw anger coupled with Slash’s intricate guitar playing.

But Guns N’ Roses, notorious for their antics on the road and the tension between Rose and Slash, last played together in 1993 in Buenos Aires.

Rose later continued Guns N’ Roses with other lineups, all the while receiving lucrative offers to reunite.

The band on Friday also announced details of the North American tour, which will all be in stadiums — a far cry from the intimate Troubadour.

The main leg of the “Not in This Lifetime Tour” will begin on June 23 at Ford Field in Detroit, home to the National Football League’s Detroit Lions, and run until August 22 in San Diego.

Guns N’ Roses have only announced three shows outside the United States — April 19 and 20 in Mexico City and July 16 in Toronto.

In the band’s heyday, Guns N’ Roses played to raucous welcomes around much of the world including Europe and Japan.

Also:

LONDON: From the busy, brassy “All You Need is Love” to the softer “Yesterday”, a new show takes audiences back in time to when The Beatles recorded their famous hits at London’s Abbey Road Studios.

“The Sessions – A Live Restaging of The Beatles at Abbey Road Studios” features renditions of songs the Fab Four recorded in Studio 2, with songs from their debut album “Please Please Me” to 1969’s “Abbey Road” performed as they were recorded.

Surrounded by transparent screens with projected recording details, actors portraying Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison belt out the tunes alongside musicians, to replicate the vocals sung, instruments played and arrangements used at the time.

Organisers are billing the show, inspired by the memoir of former Abbey Road Studios sound engineer Geoff Emerick, as a musical documentary and “the closest an audience can get to experiencing The Beatles live and at the height of their glory”.

“It’s pretty true — the songs are being performed with … with the things we would have overdubbed onto the records,” Emerick, who serves as the show’s creative consultant, told Reuters. “We have got like double track vocals, we’ve got all sorts of guitar effects and so forth.”

The show is dedicated to music producer George Martin, who died last month at the age of 90 and an actor portraying the “fifth Beatle” narrates the performance.

Martin worked on many of the group’s best known hits like “I Want Hold Your Hand”, “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Eleanor Rigby”.

“It seems as though it was only like eight weeks ago but when I’ve been hearing some of these songs performed I sort of tear up a bit because … it brings back a lot of memories of the past,” Emerick said.

“We never dreamt in a million years that these songs would carry on forever.”

“The Sessions” premiered at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Friday after a charity preview in The Beatles’ home city Liverpool earlier this week. The show goes on tour around the UK and in certain European countries.

NEW YORK: Florida Georgia Line’s hit song “Cruise” has been certified diamond and is the first country song to achieve that feat.

The Recording Industry Association of America said Friday the song has matched the success of others such as Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie.”

The RIAA awards diamond plaques to singles and albums that reach 10 times platinum status. That once was the equivalent of selling 10 million songs or albums but has changed since the RIAA began incorporating streaming from YouTube, Spotify and other digital music services.

“Cruise” has a popular remix featuring Nelly. Nielsen Music says it has sold 7.48 million tracks. The band’s record label, Big Machine Records, says the song has been streamed more than 155 million times.

Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Imagine Dragons also have diamond songs.


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