The ’80s rock icons took to the stage as headliners on Saturday (June 24) and delivered a mammoth 24-song setlist comprising fan favourites ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ and ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’.
For some fans watching the set at home, however, the footage was rife with technical issues, in particular relating to the vocals of singer Axl Rose.
Taking to social media to complain about the sound quality throughout the set, which reportedly saw the singer’s vocals dip in and out throughout the set, the issue seemed exclusive to remote viewers, with no audience members at Worthy Farm seeming to experience the same issues.
“The sound Quality for #GunsNRoses at #glastonbury2023 on #BBC is absolutely horrendous, can hardly make out the Vocals or Guitar riff! Sort it out lads!!!” wrote one Twitter user during the set.
Another agreed, adding: “The fact the sound quality is better when recorded on your phone than it was on the telly highlights where the fault of the TV coverage lays and it’s not with @gunsnroses.”
— FarDreamer101 (@Fardreamer101) June 24, 2023
The fact the sound quality is better when recorded on your phone than it was on the telly highlights where the fault of the TV coverage lays and it’s not with @gunsnroses
— Lee Dopson (@LeeDopson) June 28, 2023
What is wrong with the sound quality we can barely hear him sing over the music #GunsNRoses
— suemarie (@suebaggy) June 24, 2023
Trying to watch @gunsnroses from Glastonbury, but what the hell is with the terrible sound quality?
— findis89 (@thecrayolakid89) June 25, 2023
Now, a spokesperson from the agency representing Guns N’ Roses has placed the blame on the BBC and stated that the sound issues were not caused by the band.
“Axl was in top form last night. We have dug deep into the matter, and it appears the broadcast had issues being played on certain TVs like UHDs,” the update read (via Wales Online). “This was an unfortunate issue that the mix played through these TVs sounded so poorly; however, it was not the band’s fault but the BBC’s.”
Elsewhere in the set, Slash and co. introduced some covers from UK bands into their set including a rendition of U.K. Subs’ ‘Down On The Farm’, Wings’ ‘Live And Let Die’ and The Stooges’ ‘T.V. Eye’.
In a three-star review, NME praised the band for delivering one of their strongest sets in recent years at Glastonbury. However, it was highlighted how a large portion of the crowd failed to connect fully with the band, especially after the controversy surrounding their set.
“To any G’N’R fan, the Glasto set undoubtedly marks one of the strongest sets that the rock veterans have given in recent years,” the review read. “Unfortunately, this is somewhat lost on the Glastonbury crowd, as Guns N’ Roses’ sultry, whiskey-chugging, in-your-face brand of rock felt misplaced when delivered at the hippie nucleus of the world.
“For the most part, the majority of the setlist goes unrecognised by the audience, and momentum only really gathers for a handful of songs in their 24-song set.”
Other headliners for the 2023 instalment of the festival included Sheffield rockers Arctic Monkeys, who performed on Friday (June 23) and Elton John, who played the final date of his farewell tour on Sunday (June 25).
See NME‘s most magical moments from Glastonbury 2023 here, with all our news, reviews, interviews, photos and more here. You can also relive all the action as it happened from our Glastonbury’s liveblogs for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.