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Duff McKagan defends Guns N’ Roses playing three and a half hour sets

Guns N’ Roses‘ bassist Duff McKagan has defended the band playing three-and-a-half-hour sets at their live shows.

  • READ MORE: Slash talks Glastonbury, Guns N’ Roses and gory new horror movie ‘The Breach’

According to Setlist.fm, the band has been playing shows that are roughly three and a half to four hours long, with their setlists having about 24 songs on them. During a new interview with Heavy Music on YouTube, McKagan addressed the long set times saying: “Man, Axl [Rose] loves – you know, I think it’s – goddammit, it’s like, what songs do you take out, you know, if you wanted to play shorter?”

He continued: “Don’t get me wrong – my body would love it if we only played two-and-a-half-hours. Most bands, like, play two hours. Two hours and 10 minutes or something, and we’re playing three [hours and] thirty [minutes]. I’d love to play shorter because, just, I’d be in less pain the next day. But, there’s just too many songs, and people stay for the whole thing. Nobody leaves, so it’s like, “Okay, they must be enjoying this.” We’ll whip out ‘Coma’ or ‘Locomotive’.

“We’re whipping out other songs. I really love playing ‘Bad Obsession’, you know? ‘Pretty Tied Up’. It’s so great. . . . We’ll play it all. ‘Reckless [Life]’ and ‘Shadow [of Your Love]’. I’m looking at Axl, and I’m, like, “Yeah, you sure, man? ‘Cause we’ve gotta play again in a couple nights.”

He went on to call frontman Axl Rose’s longevity a “monster” and explained that they have only had to cancel one show and that was due to Rose’s vocal chords being swollen. “He’ll still wanna play the show, and the doctor will be, like, ‘You could ruin your voice forever’,” he said. “We canceled one [show] in Glasgow a couple of years ago. We made it up.”

Earlier this month, the band released ‘The General‘, the B-side of the band’s limited-edition seven-inch vinyl single titled ‘Perhaps’, which was made available for pre-order in August.

Recently, Sky Arts revealed the UK’s favourite guitar riff in a brand new three part documentary series, Greatest Guitar Riffs and Guns N’ Roses topped the list.

The poll of 2000 music fans voted  ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ the top riff of all time. The track, which was released in June 1988, quickly topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the rock band’s only US Number One single. The song also came in at number 88th on Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time list in 2021.

Back in June, the band also headlined Glastonbury. In a three-star review of that show, NME described the set as being “one of their strongest sets in recent years”, but receiving an underwhelming response as it was delivered to the “wrong crowd”.

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