Sturgill Simpson got to mark off a big bucket list item over the last week or so when he was asked to open for Guns N’ Roses during their current Not In This Lifetime arena tour at stops in Denver on August 2nd, Little Rock on August 5th, and Miami on August 8th. With his new stripped down band that only consists of drums, bass, keys, and Sturgill on guitar, Simpson brought the pain according to reviews, and had to fight through some serious physical ailments to make it happen.
After a recent trip to Japan to play a festival in Niigata, Sturgill contracted a good ol’ fashioned case of “bubble guts” according to the Grammy-award winning performer, and had to fight through it as best he could for the high-profile shows. But the crowd was no wiser as Sturgill reportedly turned in rousing sets of music, including playing his own lead licks for the opening sets.
And apparently Sturgill wasn’t the only one suffering from on-stage maladies. His keyboard player Bobby Emmett sprung a leak when he broke some keys on the very first song of the Little Rock set and then cut his hand on them. But the show must go on, and the result was a bloody mess.
“My buddy Bobby goes hard in the paint and plays the organ like a caveman genius, ” Sturgill Simpson said on Instagram. “The other night we were opening for Gn’R and while I was busy shitting my pants on stage mid-solo he broke some keys and cut his hand on them during the first song. These photos are the post show aftermath. Also I should add that he was talking to the Hammond company about an artist endorsement until they saw him surfing on his organ during our SNL performance and backed out like a bunch of pussies. It’s cool Hammond..we’ll just keep fixing this one.”
If you’re worried that Sturgill Simpson is going to get a big head about him now that he’s gotten the taste of the arena life, take note that he’s now off to Ireland to play five intimate club shows with John Prine. Sturgill will then be headed to Texas for dates in Houston, Dallas, and Austin, ahead of a high-profile appearance at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.