|With several shows already canceled, the remainder of Guns 'N Roses' first tour since 1993 is thought to be in jeopardy. The first recent show to be scotched came Friday in Philadelphia, where fans became unruly when the Axl Rose-led band failed to perform.
Police were called to the First Union Center, officials said. Witnesses at the venue reported angry fans yelling and cursing, some throwing bottles and chairs, and ripping up plants, but an arena spokesperson denied the accounts. Several fights were reported. Police reported no major injuries at the event, which drew an estimated 14,000 fans.
The arena spokesperson said officials were called shortly after 11 p.m. Friday and were told one member of Guns 'N Roses was ill, and that the band would not be able to perform. It was not known which member was sick. Members of the audience, while unhappy, left "in an orderly fashion," the spokesperson said, adding that police were called only as a precaution.
Following Friday's cancellation, the group also scotched a show last night (Nov. 8) at Philly's Spectrum arena, and tonight's show at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. Other shows that have been officially canceled are a Dec. 21 stop in Albuquerque, N.M., Dec. 22 in Phoenix, Dec. 30 in Sacramento, Calif., and a New Year's Eve show in San Jose. Refunds are being offered at point of purchase.
The band's next scheduled gig comes Wednesday at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, S.C., where a venue spokesperson was not optimistic when contacted about the show there.
"We have not been told officially the tour has been canceled or our date," the spokesperson told Billboard.com. "We do know local hotels have been canceled. Beyond that we don't know anything. We're going forward as if the show is going to play." The spokesperson said that while some kind of confirmation is expected later today, "we haven't gotten any further definite notification one way or another."
A representative for the band's management referred all inquiries regarding the tour to the band's label, Interscope Records. At deadline, West Coast-based representatives for the label and tour promoter Clear Channel were unavailable for comment.
The Chinese Democracy tour, named for the band's expected but as-yet-unreleased first album in nearly a decade, is expected to resume in January. So far, only a Jan. 3 date at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, Calif., has been confirmed.
The planned 34-date tour was due to kick off Nov. 7 in Vancouver, where police were forced to use pepper spray to disperse thousands of irate fans rampaging outside GM Place after the show was canceled because lead singer Axl Rose was stuck in Los Angeles. The tour officially got underway the following night in Tacoma, Wash.
-- Jonathan Cohen & Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y., and AP