Not a lot is being revealed about the upcoming Guns Nâ€™ Roses residency at the Hard Rock Hotel, but it will have lots of surprises, lead guitarist DJ Ashba said.
When asked what will be different from the bandâ€™s first Hard Rock residency, he said mischievously, â€œjust live sex shows.â€
And this is why we love rock stars.
Joking aside, this is what we do know: Things are going to be blown up.
â€œLast time, we had those crazy aerial artists and strippers everywhere,â€ Ashba said. â€œThereâ€™s been a lot of talk about doing some really cool stuff and pushing the limit even further, which will be a lot of fun.â€
Their nine-show residency opens right before Memorial Day weekend, and the band is still working on developing the show.
â€œA show like what weâ€™re going to bring to the Hard Rock isnâ€™t done overnight,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s going to take still even more planning right up to probably show time.Â Thereâ€™s a lot that goes into a show like this.â€
Guns Nâ€™ Roses typically puts on three-hour shows, running through much of their hit-heavy catalog.
â€œThatâ€™s typically just a normal show for us,â€ he said. â€œBut I have no idea. Itâ€™s kind of up in the air right now. We want to come in and give the fans a really kick-ass rock â€˜nâ€™ roll experience and thatâ€™s our only goal.â€
The first GNâ€™R residency, â€œAppetite for Democracy,â€ opened at The Joint at theÂ Hard Rock HotelÂ in 2012. Like the previous Hard Rock residency, the entire property has been transformed into a sort of Guns Nâ€™ Roses campus. Front line staff are wearing GNâ€™R shirts. TheÂ Center Bar, elevators, windows, the resortâ€™s exterior, and so on, are wrapped in the bandâ€™s residency artwork. Drinks and dishes at the resortâ€™s bars and restaurants are named after the bandâ€™s popular songs.
â€œI think they even have the little poker chips,â€ Ashba said.
Chas Smith, vice president of entertainment at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, said the campus atmosphere is all-encompassing.
â€œWe found that having every team member involved, versus just the entertainment department, really helps get the word out there,â€ Smith said.
For Ashba, who lives in Las Vegas, the residency at the GNâ€™R campus is like a month-long slumber party.
â€œItâ€™s almost like band camp,â€ he said. â€œYou get a chance to really get close to your fan base. You run into them in the hallways â€¦Â and itâ€™s just cool.
â€œOur fan base is just the most dedicated, really cool fan base you can ever dream of having. Itâ€™s a lot of fun partying with them and hanging out. Their appreciation for what we do is cool. Itâ€™s overwhelming.â€
More than that, the residency will give the band some much-needed time together to weed through about three albums worth of already recorded, but not-yet-releasedÂ music for a new album, Ashba said.
â€œThis is going to be a great opportunity for this band, to finally be in one place for a solid month,â€ he said.
But even a rock star needs a break. As a Las Vegas resident, Ashba said many visitors are missing out on much of what Vegas has to offer.
â€œI think thereâ€™s a whole Vegas that people never get a chance to experience and thatâ€™s the local scene,â€ Ashba said. â€œVegas is so cool off the Strip. Thereâ€™s so many cool little places, little bars off the Strip. Vampâ€™d is a cool one. A lot ofÂ gun ranges, which is fun, because I love shooting guns. Just tons of stuff to do. Vegas is one of those places that never closes.
â€œIf you have a bad time in Vegas, then itâ€™s not everyone around you. Itâ€™s you. Pretty much youâ€™re just an aâ€“hole (laughs). Itâ€™s hard not to have a good time, though.â€
When Axl Rose and crew are on stage, they will offer a show that would be next to impossible to do on the road.
â€œYouâ€™ve got to tear down and move on to the next city, so (the residency) definitely allows us to do a much cooler show,â€ Ashba said. â€œItâ€™s an experience of a lifetime. Itâ€™s going to be different from any other Guns Nâ€™ Roses show youâ€™ve ever experienced.â€
Guns Nâ€™ Roses:Â An Evening of Destruction. No Trickery!Â will rip through much of the bandâ€™s lengthy catalog and greatest hits on select nights May 21 â€“ June 7 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Showtimes vary. Tickets start at $75.