For many who experienced the “Riverport Riot” at the 1991 Guns n Roses concert, it was a once in a lifetime experience, and unlikely that the band would ever return to St. Louis. But it looks like the “Not in this Lifetime” tour is, in fact, coming to St. Louis.
There’s been no official announcement yet, but since Monday, eight Live Nation billboards throughout St. Louis have been hinting at an upcoming show. One of them has the word “Patience” on it. It’s a reference to a Guns n Roses song. But to fans driving past, patience has a different meaning. The band hasn't performed in St. Louis since July 2nd, 1991: a day few concertgoers will ever forget.
The so-called "Riverport Riot" began when an angry Axl Rose jumped into the crowd to stop a photographer from taking pictures. Guns n Roses cut the concert short, and fans got angry.
Riverport was a brand new venue, opened by Contemporary Productions President Steve Schankman one month earlier. He recalls, "The first thing that happens, they start throwing their cups at the stage, and the next thing, since it was such a new venue, the seats weren't actually 100% secure…seats were going up on stage, parts of chairs, finally security went behind the stage, closed the doors down and let the public take over. It was a full-scale riot, 61 injuries.”
After Guns n Roses cancelled a St. Louis show last April, fans are now skeptical. But if Axl and his band do return? "I'd love to see him again,” says Attorney Art Margulis, "Unlike his stage persona, he was a pleasure to deal with."
Margulis represented Rose, who was charged with assault and property damage, on top of facing civil lawsuits after the riot. Margulis says, “When we went to court, the courtroom was mobbed. Axl was in a salmon-colored suit. The judge I think was a little overwhelmed himself, so it was quite an event."
Schankman hopes that if Guns n Roses does return, the riot at Riverport will be water under the bridge. He says, "Can you imagine? A camera. Everybody takes pictures at concerts now, everybody."
Live Nation offered no comment on an upcoming St. Louis show. According to DDI Media, the billboard ads are slated to run through Christmas.