Nearly 20 years ago, just off the banks of the Missouri River in the St. Louis suburb of Maryland Heights, Missouri, Guns N’ Roses played a concert on Tuesday, July 2. The year was 1991. The venue was Riverport Amphitheater (now Verizon Wireless Amphitheater), which had opened just two and a half weeks prior.
In the summer of 1991, Guns N’ Roses was far and away the hottest thing in rock and roll. Two albums had been released, Appetite For Destruction (1987) and G N’ R Lies (1988), selling more than a combined eleven million by the time of the St. Louis show.
Use Your Illusion I and II would not be released until September 17 of 1991, a little over 2 months following the St. Louis show, a show also referred to as “The Riverport Riot.”
The Guns N’ Roses crew was apparently quite sensitive about concert-goers photographing (still and video) their live set. In the following infamous video footage (taken by Robert John), watch as frontman Axl Rose jumps into the crowd to stop a camera. After being helped back to the stage, he departs and a riot ensues.
GN’R’s “Use Your Illusion Tour,” which ran from May 24, 1991 through July 17, 1993, continued on. Over one year later, Rose answered to charges of assault and criminal damage related to the riot. He was fined and put on probation. See the “MTV News” report in the second video below.
The GN’R crew immortalized the incident in the liner notes of its album, Use Your Illusion, with the message: “F*ck You, St. Louis!”