While the Michael Jordan "flu game" is the stuff of legend in Chicago, there might also be some room for reflective admiration in the Windy City this week for Axl Rose who managed to gut his way through a three-hour set with Guns N' Roses while likely suffering through the effects of food poisoning.
Rose revealed his malady a day after GN'R played Chicago's vaunted baseball shrine and noticeably wasn't completely on his A-game. While the Chicago Sun-Times pointed out that the show was full of "gusto," they also mentioned Rose struggling "during the night to tether himself to a comfortable vocal range" and "straining to hit notes in his top register," while still crediting the musician for "giving it his all in the marathon set."
As it turns out, Rose had what he believes to be food poisoning, with the full effects hitting him during the show, but he rallied through the lengthy set anyway. In a series of tweets, Rose stated, "A note to Chicago…I got to the show feeling great, but started getting sick pretty early on. It progressed to where I was throwing up & was light headed. Wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d fallen off the front of the stage."
He went on to add, "I’d b fine then not, fine again then not all night. Was pretty crazy but the crowd was great n’ I was in a great headspace n’ we had fun. Luckily the COVID test was negative. Def messed with my vocals in places. Just glad we got thru it n’ it didn’t mess with the show too bad. I’m a lot better now. Seems most likely to be food poisoning. Looking forward to Milwaukee! – Axl."
The Thursday (Sept. 16) performance was part of the band's "We're F'N Back!" tour that kicked off in early August. The 25-song set was filled with a mix of classics, covers and even the new song "Absurd." Though the new track "Hard School" was reportedly soundchecked prior to the performance, it did not make its live debut during the show which would make sense to hold off given Rose's health during the night.
As Rose stated, the band is off to Milwaukee's American Family Insurance Amphitheater tonight (Sept. 18) for their appearance at Summerfest. Their current U.S. run spills over into early October. See the remaining dates here.