Carrie Underwood Gives Nod to Axl Rose Before Opening for GN’R
Carrie Underwood is the opener for select Guns N’ Roses shows during their current North American tour leg. While rehearsing for the tour kickoff this past Saturday (Aug. 6) in Moncton, Canada, the country superstar gave a nod to Axl Rose — did you catch it?
After Underwood invited Rose onstage to sing during her headlining Stagecoach performance in April of 2022, the two vocalists seemingly developed a liking for performing together. Guns N’ Roses, in turn, invited Underwood onstage for a few songs during two of their London concerts a few months later, and then Rose made a surprise appearance during her 2023 concert in Los Angeles.
Now, the country singer is one of the opening acts along their North American tour leg, along with Dirty Honey, Alice In Chains, The Warning and The Pretenders. The tour kicked off Aug. 6 in Moncton, Canada, and during Underwood’s rehearsal for the show, she wore a special T-shirt, which was seemingly a nod to Rose.
“Will sing for Guns N’ Roses tickets!” Underwood wrote on her Instagram story, which featured a picture of her performing in a shirt that says “Eat the worm!” and has an illustrated yellow and white worm in a sombrero.
“Eat the worm” is a phrase that references a worm that is found in some bottles of Mezcal. According to Find Me a Brewery, it’s not even really a worm, it’s the larvae of a moth called gusano de maguey (also known as a “Mezcal worm”). Thus, someone who “ate the worm” either drank a lot of Mezcal or… actually ate the larvae [via Urban Dictionary].
So what’s special about Underwood wearing this T-shirt? It’s likely that only Guns N’ Roses superfans would have caught the reference, but Rose was photographed wearing a shirt with the exact same design on it in the late ’80s or early ’90s — so it doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that Underwood would wear the same shirt over three decades later while she’s preparing to open for the band.
See a side-by-side of Underwood and Rose wearing the shirt below.
“Got a lot of surprises tonight!” Underwood wrote in a post prior to her performance. “Thought we’d have some fun with the set list. Gonna play some songs/mash-ups/covers I’ve never done before and thought they’d be good for my fellow Gunners!”
During her set, the singer performed Joan Jett‘s “Bad Reputation,” Pat Benatar‘s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” i-Ten’s “Alone” (Heart‘s version), The Rolling Stones‘ “Wild Horses,” Led Zeppelin‘s “Rock and Roll” and Motörhead‘s “Ace of Spades,” in addition to her own songs [via Setlist.fm]. Later in the evening, she was invited to perform “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City” with Guns.
“Just a country girl living out some rockstar dreams… I want to say a HUGE thanks to Guns N’ Roses for having us out on tour, as well as their amazing fans!” she wrote after the show. “I was super nervous playing for another band’s crowd (of a completely different genre, no less) but you all made us feel so welcome!”
See all of her posts below.