It’s often said that there can be too much of a good thing, and that certainly applies to concerts. According to Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan, though, there’s a good reason for the band’s decision to play roughly three-and-a-half-hour live sets.

A cursory glance at setlist.fm confirms that Guns N’ Roses’ recent shows have lasted about 180 minutes. In a new interview with YouTube channel Heavy Music (uploaded on Dec. 16), McKagan addresses the divisive tendency: “Man, Axl [Rose] loves – you know, I think it’s – goddammit, it’s like, what songs do you take out, you know, if you wanted to play shorter?”

He continues:

Don’t get me wrong – my body would love it if we only played two-and-a-half-hours. Most bands, like, play two hours. Two hours and 10 minutes or something, and we’re playing three [hours and] thirty [minutes]. I’d love to play shorter because, just, I’d be in less pain the next day. But, there’s just too many songs, and people stay for the whole thing. Nobody leaves, so it’s, like, “Okay, they must be enjoying this.” We’ll whip out “Coma” or “Locomotive.”

We’re whipping out other songs. I really love playing, um, “Bad Obsession,” you know? “Pretty Tied Up.” It’s so great. . . . We’ll play it all. “Reckless [Life]” and “Shadow [of Your Love].” I’m looking at Axl, and I’m, like, “Yeah, you sure, man? ‘Cause we’ve gotta play again in a couple nights.”

But he’s a monster, man, that guy. Axl. Like, his longevity. We’ve had to cancel only one show because of vocals, because he’d get a swelling – no wonder – swelling on one of his sides. He’ll still wanna play the show, and the doctor will be, like, “You could ruin your voice forever.” We canceled one [show] in Glasgow a couple of years ago. We made it up.”

You can watch the full interview below.

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In case you missed it, McKagan recently revealed his favorite songs to play across multiple GN’R eras, and he also told Loudwire Nights host Chuck Armstrong that he already “got pretty close to” playing in his dream supergroup.

Of course, McKagan’s latest solo LP – Lighthouse – arrived on Oct. 20 via BFD. You can grab your copy here.

Earlier this month, Guns N’ Roses released their newest song, “The General,” which – like predecessors “Perhaps,” “Hard Skool” and “Absurd” – was written during the Chinese Democracy sessions. Plus, Loudwire crowned their seminal debut record (Appetite for Destruction) as the best hard rock album of 1987.

So, how do you feel about McKagan’s explanation? In general, do you enjoy extremely lengthy concerts? Let us know!

Duff McKagan Talks About Guns N’ Roses + More With Heavy Music (Dec. 16, 2023)

Every Song Guns N’ Roses Have Played Since They Reunited in 2016

Every song Guns N’ Roses have played since their reunion.

Gallery Credit: Lauryn Schaffner

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