Terminal 5, Manhattan
September 14, 2010
Music Review: Slash
While Jigga Jay-Z and Eminem were playing the second of two sold out shows at nearby Yankee Stadium, LocalBozo.com was at the “other” big area concert that night. A sold out Terminal 5 on Manhattan’s west side played host to a true rock Icon’s only area headlining appearance. Former Guns N Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash and his formed band of rock misfits took the stage for a thrashing two hour performance that coupled nostalgia with songs from his new self-titled album, and left us hoping that Slash himself can save us from the lackluster music coma that we’ve remained in for more than a decade. For all of his technical precision and amazing solos, while the name on the marquee said Slash, it was singer Myles Kennedy that stole the show.
Earlier this year, Slash recruited some big names to contribute guest vocals on his new album. Unorthodox names like Maroon 5′s Adam Levine, Fergie, and Cypress Hill joined the ranks of Kid Rock, Chris Cornell, Iggy Pop, and Ozzy Osbourne to name a few. The acclaim of the album varies from track to track, but each artist’s interpretation remains interesting- with some better than others. Two of the standout tracks (Back to Cali & Starlight) were actually the last two recorded and Slash recruited Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy for the job. With a break from his own band in sight, Kennedy then joined Slash as his official touring vocalist as the band set out on an 18 city North American jaunt, setting the stage for the band’s only stop in New York City.
Terminal 5 was sold out as of the Friday prior to the show, and it was jam-packed like I have never seen it. The entire GA floor area forced concertgoers to the far right of the stage, and the upper levels were no different, with virtually no sightlines to be found. Arriving right before Slash’s set time, may have been a serious error in judgment on our part. Nevertheless we jammed our way through a mass of people and found ourselves to the right center of the stage, albeit 80 feet back. At 9:30pm on the dot, the lights dimmed, and the crowd roared as the guitarist took the stage with his signature black top hat, iconic curly hair and sunglasses, and a black t-shirt turned tank top. Kennedy followed suit, playing to the crowd’s adoration in sunglasses and a gray blazer over a white v neck t shirt and chain wallet. With only a simple backdrop of the crimson album cover art, the anticipation and cheers reached a near frenzy and the band launched into opener “Ghost,” the Ian Astbury led track off of the new album.
What Kennedy lacks in stage presence, he makes up for in utter talent. The dude’s got some serious pipes. After all, when Robert Plant passed on a potential Led Zeppelin reunion tour, rumor has it that Kennedy was the lead replacement candidate. Perhaps one of the most impressive live singing performances in recent memory, Kennedy channeled in all of the best features of Slash’s former partners W. Axl Rose and Scott Weiland. Slash meanwhile did what he does best and aside from tearing through the guitar parts of some of his most popular cuts, he also shredded through a roughly 9 minute guitar solo, backed minimally by his band, showing that the old guy still has it. His fingers moved so effortlessly up and down the frets while his body gyrated around with the guitar like the instrument was physically leading him around the stage in a dance. And his hands moved with such lightning quickness, you were left wondering “Hey, why didn’t I ever pick up a guitar?” Most important of all however- Slash is still just plain cool.
In putting together the sets for the tour, Slash clearly knows how to appease his audience. Surrounding six tracks from the new album were a whopping six incredible Guns N Roses covers (five from Appetite for Destruction), three Velvet Revolver covers (all from 2004’s Contraband), two surprisingly good Slash’s Snakepit tunes, and throwing his singer a bone, an awesome Alter Bridge cover. But again, Slash’s terrific performance only served as fuel to compliment Kennedy’s ridiculous vocals. And even though Kennedy sang the verses of Sweet Child O’ Mine out of order (his face apologetic to fans off-mic) and questioned whether or not he’d be able to hit all of the notes on encore favorite “My Michelle,” the fans gave him a free pass, knowing that what they were seeing was truly special. As Slash did a brief intro into the familiar riff of Paradise City to close the show, you really got the impression that the band really had an affinity for New York City and that Kennedy was honored to share a stage with Slash. But after his performance, Kennedy doesn’t have to be timid about sharing a stage with anyone else. This was Slash’s concert, but Kennedy’s coming out party.
- Jane Van Arsdale
Slash- Live at Terminal 5, New York, NY
September 14, 2010
(Courtesy of Setlist.fm)
2. Mean Bone (Slash’s Snakepit)
3. Nightrain (Guns N Roses)
4. Sucker Train Blues (Velvet Revolver)
5. Back From Cali
6. Civil War (Guns N Roses)
7. Rocket Queen (Guns N Roses)
8. Do It For the Kids (Velvet Revolver)
9. We’re All Gonna Die
10. Nothing to Say
12. Just Like Anything (Slash’s Snakepit)
13. Guitar Solo/Godfather Theme
14. Sweet Child O’ Mine (Guns N Roses)
15. Rise Today (Alter Bridge)
16. Slither (Velvet Revolver
17. By the Sword
18. My Michelle (Guns N Roses)
19. Paradise City (Guns N Roses)