Despite playing Sweet Child of Mine and Welcome to the Jungle countless times over the years, their latest renditions carried a heightened sense of anticipation.
Playing the tribute gig “was a fun and weird feeling at the same time,” Pradhan tells The National.
“We didn’t post it on any of our social media channels because we just felt it would confuse people. What will we say? Here is this band playing Guns N' Roses songs before they come to Abu Dhabi to play their original songs while supporting Guns N' Roses. That would be too much.”
He may be right, but the post – no matter how convoluted – would have represented a delightful full circle moment for the acclaimed Indian rock band.
Formed in 2009 in the north Indian state of Sikkim, bordering Nepal and part of the Himalayan mountain range, Girish and The Chronicles is the go-to group used by Indian promoters to support international rock acts.
“We played with Hoobastank and Queensryche when they came here a few years back,” Pradhan says.
“They are all good experiences but most of the bands we supported didn’t play the same style of music that we do. With Guns N’ Roses, it is a great fit.”
Indeed, the band have a sound inspired by the 1980s hard rock scene, of which Guns N’ Roses were one of the leading purveyors.
There are the aggressive yet melodic riffs, epic guitar solos and Pradhan’s expressive vocals which veer from snarl to white hot scream.
The approach may be a throwback but the musicianship is top notch – a result of the quartet playing together for nearly two decades.
This included a year-long stint in Hong Kong in 2012 where they were the in-house band for a club.
“We had a great time but even with that we started feeling restless and we knew that we didn’t want to play like this forever,” Pradhan says.
“So we decided to go back and really focus on starting the Indian chapter of our band.”
Hungry for success and hundreds of performance hours under their belt, the group built a strong following with three albums.
The latest release Back on Earth is actually a re-recorded version of their 2014 debut album.
“I felt it never got the recognition it deserved because back in the day, there was no Spotify or similar streaming platforms to show our music,” Pradhan says.
“We re-recorded the guitars, drum and bass and altered some of the songs according to how we play it now live.
“We kept most of the original vocal recordings as we feel like it's a time stamp of that period.”
Despite the updated touches, Pradhan can’t escape the sense of nostalgia when hearing the re-recorded songs like Angels and Loaded.
With the group now regularly performing in Europe, including Sweden’s Summerside Festival on June 24, Back on Earth represents a time when many Indian rock bands made their mark from constant local touring and practice.
“We didn’t really have any idea of what the music business is,” he recalls.
“We just knew that we wanted to be in a rock band and live that lifestyle and we were going to do it in any way we could. This meant playing any gig we can, even if it’s mostly covers at times.
“It is from that we were getting known as a band with this 1980s rock revival sound.”
While era stalwarts Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue and Def Leppard continue to sell out tours across the world, that success has yet to yield a successful young band playing that brand of rock’n’roll.
“But I do think it will happen, but maybe not in the way that you think,” Pradhan says.
“I think it will be totally unexpected and we have seen how that can happen with the popularity of the television show Stranger Things and how it made people love that era of music.
“I feel that things are changing and we will see this music coming back. And really, what’s not to love about it? It’s really joyful and it’s the sound of rock’n’roll at the prime of its youth.”
Girish and The Chronicles will play ahead of Guns N' Roses on Thursday at Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi. Tickets are sold out and doors open at 6.30pm. More information is available on www.etihadarena.ae