» 80,000 fans revel in mud, sweat and beers to see Guns N’ Roses » Axl Rose still reigns as show­man de­spite down­pours at come­back show » Mu­sic-lovers fly in from across the world for gig 25yrs on at iconic venue

Irish Sunday Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - BY SHARON MCGOWAN Show­biz Re­porter in Slane news@irish­mir­

NOT even the heavy rain could dampen the spir­its of Guns N’ Roses fans at yes­ter­day’s epic gig in Slane.

While one of their great­est hits is Novem­ber Rain, rev­ellers were drenched by May show­ers as they braved the wet and mucky con­di­tions.

More than 80,000 peo­ple flocked to the sold-out con­cert with crowds al­ready gath­er­ing more than seven hours be­fore the band were sched­uled to take to the stage.

Fans of the band trav­elled from as far away as Ger­many and the US to see their idols play on the grounds of the iconic Meath cas­tle as part of their Not In This Life­time tour. Celebri­ties among the crowd in­cluded Daithi O Se, Kian Egan and Kathryn Thomas as well as Conor Mcgre­gor’s coach John Ka­vanagh. The hit­mak­ers ar­rived on stage at 7.30pm, kick­ing off their three­hour con­cert with It’s So Easy, shortly fol­lowed by their fa­mous sin­gle Wel­come To The Jun­gle. Along with newer ma­te­rial and cov­ers of songs by other acts, the band also wowed crowds with their smash hits Sweet Child O’ Mine, Civil War, Par­adise City and Novem­ber Rain. The show fin­ished up shortly be­fore the 10.45pm cur­few, with the group play­ing Bob Dy­lan’s Knock­ing On Heaven’s Door and their song Nigh­train.

They were sup­ported by Otherkin, the Mark Lane­gan Band and Royal Blood.

This isn’t the first time Axl Rose and his band mates have per­formed in Slane – the Wel­come To The Jun­gle rock­ers first rocked the venue back in 1992.

Fans of the group re­vealed their ex­cite­ment ahead of the show.

Kil­dare man John Lys­ter said he was de­lighted when he found out Guns N’ Roses would be play­ing Slane af­ter be­ing at their last gig here 25 years ago.

He added: “I’m very happy to be here, we

came down from Rathangan. I was here in 1992 as well, I used to be a mas­sive fan back then and even though I haven’t lis­tened to them much lately when it came up I said I def­i­nitely had to be here.

“At the last gig it was lovely and sunny – I ac­tu­ally got sun­burnt. I was only 16 back then.”

Rob Walton and Vin­cent Vought were among the pun­ters and re­vealed the show had a special sig­nif­i­cance for them.

Vince said: “It’s been 10 years since we’ve been to a gig to­gether so this is a re­union for us.

“I live in Kin­negad but he’s come over from Read­ing for the show. He’s my best mate. The rain doesn’t put a damp­ener on it at all. Well it does, but only be­cause my wife was right. I should have lis­tened to her when she said it was go­ing to rain.”

Water­ford girl Lau­ren Keane said she was a life-long fan of Guns N’ Roses and couldn’t wait to see them in con­cert for the first time. She said: “I’ve been a mas­sive fan even since I was a lit­tle baby. I’m so ex­cited to see them to­day.

“I can’t wait un­til they per­form Par­adise City. I sang it at a tal­ent show when I was six so it’s al­ways been my favourite song.

“They rain doesn’t bother me. I’ve been to plenty of gigs when it’s been lash­ing but it doesn’t make a dif­fer­ence.”

Bernie O’sul­li­van and Joyce Thomp­son trav­elled from Bal­ly­mena to see the show

Bernie said: “I’m very ex­cited for to­day. I’m a big Slash fan – I’ve seen him live be­fore but never the full band to­gether.”

Joyce added: “It’s quite scary to think of but I saw them 25 years ago in Cas­tle Don­ing­ton. If some­one told me then I’d be here watch­ing them again I’d say no way.”

Slane Cas­tle owner Lord Henry Mountcharles missed the show due to a chest in­fec­tion.

This is the first gig he has missed in the his­tory of Slane con­certs.

Speak­ing through a spokesman, he said: “I am ob­vi­ously ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed that I can’t be there and my wish is for all of the fans to en­joy the day. I will be there in spirit.”

In the wake of the Manch­ester ter­ror­ist at­tack more than 400 gar­dai pa­trolled the event and strict se­cu­rity mea­sures were put in place.

HATS THE STUFF Trio pay special trib­ute to Slash COVER GIRLS Pals brave wet weather in Co Meath SOAK IT ALL UP Drenched at Slane

RE­GAL ROCK Royal Blood

IN­SPI­RA­TION Duff Mck­a­gan at the Phil Lynott statue RIGHT AS RAIN Axl Rose and Slash on stage yes­ter­day

FAN-TAS­TIC Huge crowd at con­cert

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