Axl Rose isn't looking anything like the lithe rock star he was at the height of his fame. When Guns N' Roses played at the Rock in Rio festival in Brazil this week, the 49-year-old sole original member cut a figure that was a far cry from the lean and mean body that made him a hard rock pin-up in the late '80s.
Garbed in a bulging yellow raincoat, Rose obscured his puffy face with sunglasses and a black hat. In response to an inquiry about his apparent weight gain, a rep for Rose said: "You are the first to mention this. If anything, it might be his time off from touring."
After coming onstage two hours late, the tardy Rose voiced his concerns
to the audience about prancing around a rain-soaked stage, thereby
excusing himself from too much physical exertion. "I'm going to try to focus on singing rather than running around like an
idiot. I'm better at being an idiot. We want everybody to be careful." Contrary to his stated goal, Rose struggled to keep time with his
backing band even more than he struggled to move around the stage. Although the singer treated fans to a variety of G 'N R classics, a lot of fans left the concert likely feeling stymied, having waited two hours in the rain just to watch Axl Rose turn in a slovenly performance.
Which is to say: His physique isn't the only thing that is unrecognizable from his early Guns days. As our own Daniel Kreps pointed out after viewing this clip from the Rock in Rio performance, his voice sounds "like our friends belting it out during a game of Guitar Hero 3."
[Photos: Reuters, FilmMagic]