Nothing prior to 2012ish was really bad. It just happened that in his prime, Axl was one of the greatest front men of all time - so when he returned out of his prime in '01 it was extremely obvious that he wasn't up for it.
I just stick around here for the leaks that come twice a decade and the salami jokes. I'm not fanatical like the rest of you, so my dates might be wrong, but something happened around maybe 2012 where Axl just deteriorated into a mess.
Since 2001, people joked about him being fat or old, and I was confused because I'd watch videos and he'd look not fat and maybe even a bit young for his age. Yes, he had strange hair and weird fashion choices. He'd either get white guy corn rows, or he'd un-ironically cosplay as Ricky from the Trailer Park Boys with baggy Adidas pants and Giant Tiger anime dragon shirts. But having white trash fashion sense doesn't make someone fat.
In 2012, Axl gave up. He let the darkness consume him as he must have consumed everything in his path. He gained weight. A lot of it. His hair looked awful, dry, Macho Man Randy Savage dry. Most of all, he didn't even flinch at the idea that a year or two had gone by and he still hadn't kicked Monster Energy Drinks presents DJ Ashba out of the band. We all go through trials and tribulations, but it was more than that with Axl. It was like he let himself go. He was fed up. Both literally and figuratively. Every tour was worse than the last. Every crowd was smaller than the last. Axl was worse at every show. He mailed it in. He had the audacity to document his state in 3-dimensional form on Blu-Ray. They expected people to want to put in the effort to get up from their couch and put on some stupid glasses just to see Axl waddle his way through a Mickey Mouse influenced rendition of Mr. Brownstone.
From that point on, Axl has been terrible. It's clear the guy doesn't care. His performances suck. His condition sucks. Most of all, the fans are idiots. I can't believe they drew the kind of crowds they did with the product they put out on stage. It shows that Guns N' Roses concerts are no longer about Guns N' Roses concerts. It's about having that one night where the babysitter doesn't cancel so you can go stand around with a bunch of sweaty fifty year olds and for one night only, relive heavy metal parking lot.
Worst of all, Axl has the audacity to show up on time now. So he doesn't even punish these stupid people by making them have to show up to their job at Target on 2 hours of sleep.