"I was there, and some of what people have said is true. NO cameras were allowed period, but lax security allowed many to get in. Hell, I slipped a 35mm in! Albeit, I'm in a wheelchair so I had a little advantage. ;-) The guy he dove in after was bothering him ALL night. Walking back and forth in front of the stage yelling, "AXL! AXL!" Security did nothing, even when Axl went offstage and told them directly to do something about it.
Notice at the 15:45 mark that a guy hands him something (business card?), and Axl's response... THAT IS THE SAME GUY! The one who took "the" pic, was walking around yelling at him, AND taking multiple pictures. Not just '1'. After an hour and a half, Axl was fed up with his BS along with many other 'violations' he saw happening in the crowd. When he saw that guy taking another pic, unmolested by security, he snapped.
He has admitted that he could have handled the situation better, but also pointed out that Riverport, "the venue", allowed cameras in, allowed Biker's wearing knives and chains on their belts in, sold beer waaaay past the point of when it was supposed to stop, AND were selling them 8 at a time to '1' person! All of these things I've mentioned were laid out in the bands "rider" (requirements / agreements laid out by any and all bands of what they expect from the venue in order for them to play, and the crowd, to be in a safe environment) and the venue broke all those "agreements", making them the responsible party for what went down.
Hence the reason Axl was given such a small fine and no jail time for the debacle. All he did was leave the stage.. he didn't turn people into lunatics and start a riot. St Louisans did that all on their own, I'm sad to say. I have a DVD of this concert and it includes 40 minutes of the riot. At one point you can actually see Axl and Duff standing backstage because the band wanted to go back on! Security and Riverport told them "No" and within 5-10 minutes, the place erupted. They jumped on their buses and got outta Dodge.
The reason they didn't play KC the next night is because nearly 1 million dollars of their gear was destroyed by a bunch of drunken idiots. I WATCHED people jump on stage and grab Marshall amps, then walk off with them. A friend of mine jumped up there and grabbed a floor monitor, 15" speaker with a horn? He ran to the back of the seats and set it down (heavy fucker!) then ran over to us and pointed saying, "Look what I got!" As we stood there looking, thinking... "Cool!", some jerk runs by, jumps in the air screaming and plants both feet right through the 15 inch speaker. So much for that! Axl's Grand Piano? Smashed to bits. Giant projection screens on either side of the stage, which you can see at times, were shredded. Some camera gear damaged (same stuff used to shoot this concert, IT WAS THEIRS!), guitars stolen, drum kit stolen or smashed, the list goes on. It took them about a week to get their shit together again, and then it wasn't the same as what they started out with so their future concerts didn't sound or look as good.
HOPEFULLY, this explains things a little bit better.
Story written by MaxVelo for GNRFrance.net
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