Axl Rose stepped out on stage with AC/DC for Saturday’s Lisbon, Portugal show and hit it out of the park. For the first time since being named Brian Johnson’s replacement, the Guns N’ Roses singer did a great job replacing a frontman in a successful band, which is no easy feat.
Replacing band members is fortunately something that AC/DC have been good at: Brian Johnson replaced Bon Scott after his tragic death in 1980, cementing his place with a stellar debut in the band’s seventh album, Back In Black, the Economic Times reports.
Axl Rose is now a dream collaboration that has come to the fore, with Guns and Roses front man taking over the lead singer role after Johnson’s shock retirement from touring due to a hearing loss risk. The Rose-fronted AC/DC made their debut while quickly impressed critics and earning rave reviews.
Axl Rose remained seated for the performance due to a broken foot, his signature voice was still in great shape. Rose may have missed a few cues, and didn’t know whether to go with his famous Guns N’ Roses howl or adopt a “rasp” similar to Johnson’s while belting out the band’s tunes, but this performance hinted at the new union’s potential to be one of the touring hits of the summer.
Many fans thought it was a “triumph,” highlighting that the Scott-era AC/DC songs were the ones Rose delivered perfectly at the gig. The fans weren’t as breathless as the media, but not far off, MSN reported.
But some fans thought Rose paid too much reverence when performing Johnson-era songs, suggesting that Axl was concerned about not instilling his own personality on those songs due to the manner in which he took the Johnson’s role.
The band previously rescheduled 10 earlier shows on the Rock or Bust tour when doctors advised Johnson to take a leave of absence or risk hearing loss. Axl Rose was announced as his temporary replacement back in April, and Saturday marked his first time in the post.
Prior to the performance, Rose said, “I’m not here in any way out of any disrespect to Brian. I can’t take anything away from his singing at all,” he went on. “He’s a great singer and it’s really challenging to sing it. I’m just trying to do it justice for the fans.”
Rolling Stone Magazine said that Axl Rose performed a number of old songs with the band including 1980’s “Back and Black,” and some newer ones like 2008’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Train.” For a start, Rose arrived only five minutes past the scheduled time. He was reputedly once late to the stage at a Guns N’ Roses gig because he wanted to finish watching a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.