Music Reviews — 23 May 2012
Slash with Myles Kennedy and Brand New Sin: A LocalBozo.com Concert Review

Slash f. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators and Brand New Sin
Irving Plaza, New York, NY
May 22nd, 2012

On the very day the band’s second album would be released to the world, Slash made his triumphant return to New York City for the album release party for “Apocalyptic Love.” Backed by frontman Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, the nearly two hour set served as a trip down memory lane for perhaps the most iconic guitar player of our generation. Weaving familiar songs from Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, and Slash’s Snakepit, in between several choice cuts from the new album, the show proved to be a true rock and roll blend of both style and substance led by a pair of talented musicians at the top of their game.

Concert Review: Brand New Sin at Irving Plaza

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Joining the band for a select number of dates on the tour, Syracuse’s Brand New Sin got the evening off to a roaring start. Their Corrosion of Conformity like blend of southern blues rocked the house for their 25 minute set and the New York City faithful received them more warmly than most opening acts. The four piece capably engaged the anxious crowd with songs from their 2011 release “United State,” the band’s first on the Goomba Music label, with riff heavy jams like “Bed of Nails” and “The Lord Came Down.” Frontman and recent LocalBozo.com interview subject Kris Wiechmann, stood defiantly pounding each chord beside guitarist Tommy Matkowski with their dueling ax melodies converging into one, song after song. Despite a shortened set, drummer Kevin Dean’s pounding sticks during closer “Goddess of War” seemed to awaken a relatively stoic Manhattan crowd, who showered the band with an appreciative applause as they headed offstage.

Concert Review: Slash and Myles Kennedy at Irving Plaza

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The clock struck 10:15 as Slash, Myles Kennedy, and company casually strolled out, taking center stage, barely basking in the roar of adulation before launching into “Mean Bone,” an up tempo Snakepit tune. There’s an immense difference in watching band after band play live and headlining shows around the New York area and seeing full-fledged rock stars perform, which is an aura that this band encapsulates from their look to their extraordinary sound. Everything is wound perfectly tight from Slash’s lightning fast hands to his relaxed way of making the ability to look cool just so elementary. The band exploded from the get go with Velvet Revolver’s “Dirty Little Thing,” a fist pumping version of Guns N’ Roses “Nightrain,” and the band’s own “One Last Thrill,” performed live here for the very first time.

While Slash’s first album featured an array of vocalists from Kid Rock to Fergie, his work with Kennedy was so inspiring that they joined forces with The Conspirators to create the second album together. Watching the singer perform live, his sheer talent alone makes you question why it took so long for bands like Alter Bridge and Slash to pick up on him in the first place. His talents and incredible vocal range are uncanny, highlighted by “Back From Cali” and a rousing rendition of “Rocket Queen,” where Slash jumped in with a pulverizing solo, putting his own improvised stamp on the celebrated rock anthem. Outfitted in his signature black top hat and a white sleeveless shirt over a pair of black skinny jeans, the legendary guitarist hasn’t lost a single step over the years, bringing the crowd to a near frenzy with “Sweet Child O’Mine,” “Slither,” and the band’s latest single, the catchy “You’re a Lie,” which surprisingly is already resonating with fans.

Capturing Tuesday night’s show and doing it justice in words is no easy task, in part because there’s just too many facets deserving mention. From Kennedy (a highly underrated guitar player) grabbing a six string during the instrumental “Watch This,” to the outstanding encore pairing of “By the Sword” and “Paradise City” equipped with a full on confetti explosion, much of the show played out like a seasoned band, performing a selection of some of the greatest rock hits of the last twenty-five years. Sauntering around the stage shirtless, Kennedy would alternate between egging on some of the more rabid fans and shying away from the spotlight to give the prodigious guitarist his due up front. Slash would address the fans several times throughout the evening, but his words were no more poignant than toward the end of the show, proclaiming “there’s no better place to be the day your record comes out than New York.” While his sentiments are certainly true, there’s nothing better for fans than seeing a band performing live that has figured out a way to cultivate their immense talents to put it all together flawlessly. Despite a spotty track record with egocentric lead singers, Slash has now found himself a partner with talents that can rival his own. And they make beautiful music together.

- Jane Van Arsdale

Slash f. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators – Live at Irving Plaza

New York, NY

May 22nd, 2012

1. Mean Bone
2. Dirty little Thing
3. Nightrain
4. One Last Thrill
5. Back From Cali
6. Ghost
7. Standing in the Sun
8. Rocket Queen
9. Doctor Alibi
10. Speed Parade
11. Apocalyptic Love
12. Watch This
13. Starlight
14. Just Like Anything
15. Halo
16. You’re a Lie

17. Sweet Child O’ Mine
18. Slither
19. By the Sword
20. Paradise City

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