The live band Slash never wanted to follow: “I would hate to do this again”

Whenever Guns N’ Roses played live during their prime, their shows were legendary, earning them the title of ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Band.’ Their performances were raw and intense, reminiscent of the rock and roll energy of Van Halen in the late 1970s. Despite their powerful stage presence, Slash always felt uneasy about going up against Metallica.

Guns N’ Roses and Metallica represented different sides of the hard rock spectrum. While Guns N’ Roses emerged from the same clubs as bands like Ratt and Poison, their sound was more influenced by The Rolling Stones than by glam rock. In contrast, Metallica’s music was rooted in the heavy, rebellious sounds of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, far removed from the glam scene.

Even as Metallica faced criticism for “going pop” with The Black Album, their decision to tour with Guns N’ Roses was a strategic move. With glam rock becoming clichéd, a tour featuring two authentic rock bands was an irresistible proposition.

Before their rise to stadium fame, Slash recalled the anxiety of opening for Metallica. In his book, he described how the club played Metallica non-stop before and after their set, making it clear that any band not sounding like Metallica struggled to win over the audience. He admitted, “I would hate to have to do this again tomorrow.”

When the two bands toured together, Guns N’ Roses wisely chose to headline, letting Metallica open. Given Metallica’s ability to dominate the stage, anyone performing after them risked being overshadowed.

Not even Axl Rose could escape the challenge, often showing up late or missing performances due to vocal issues. Understandably, following Metallica’s near-perfect metal performance was daunting, leaving other bands with little chance to match their intensity.

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