The MOSCOT Gallery, New York, NY
September 12, 2013
Concert Review: Myles Kennedy at Moscot
Whether performing in front of thousands of awestruck fans or a collection of just fifty, one thing is clear: Myles Kennedy is rock music’s finest present day vocalist. Between tours fronting Alter Bridge (whose new album “Fortress” is released in October) and alongside Slash with his band The Conspirators, Kennedy made a local stop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side on Thursday night for a performance of a different kind- solo, acoustic, and exclusive. The MOSCOT Gallery and Music Space was the intimate setting for the unique performance which would raise awareness for the MOSCOT Mobileyes Foundation, geared to help improve lives by providing medical eyecare and eyewear to the City’s underserved population.
Celebrating the launch of the ‘MYLES,’ a sleek new sunglasses pairing with the brand, the singer would grace a handful of guests and VIPs- some of whom drive several hours and even flew into town for this specific experience. Attendees surrounded the diminutive stage on long benches, sipping on complimentary beers and cocktails creatively titled (you guessed it) ‘The Myles,’ pairing Bulldog Gin with lemonade. While Kennedy was purported to perform a 45 minute acoustic set, the singer comfortably sat at center stage for more than an hour, interacting with fans shouting out additions to the setlist from throughout the frontman’s career.
Amid a stormy backdrop out onto a bustling New York City street, Kennedy turned the intimate glasses store into a concert hall. Equipped with an array of four different guitars, the singer (and criminally underrated guitarist mind you) dazzled the small crowd, performing tracks from his entire catalog alongside some particularly poignant cover songs. He opened the show with back to back Alter Bridge tunes “Before Tomorrow Comes” and “Coming Home,” both of which warmed his vocals for a rousing version of “Starlight,” the first song that he collaborated with Slash in writing.
Kennedy then channeled the legendary Robert Johnson, of whom he quipped, “Without him, there wouldn’t be rock and roll. Well there would be- but not as cool.” His bluesy, gritty solo version of “Traveling Riverside Blues” was exceptional, showing off a more raw side of his vocal capability. Meanwhile, the crowd pleaded that Kennedy turn back the clock and perform a song from his first band The Mayfield Four, which he was happy to oblige with a slow and stirring performance of “Eden.”
Kennedy selected an absolutely fitting cover to close the show. He mentioned being inspired by Jeff Buckley’s take on the Leonard Cohen original “Hallelujah.” It would be hard to find a more inspired version than Kennedy’s though, who sung it absolutely beautifully, raising his voice when need be and giving us an armful of goosebumps each time we looked up toward his focused expression. The audience meanwhile greeted the performance’s closure with a standing ovation in appreciation of the special performance that we all collectively witnessed. And to boot, the singer waited around to shake hands and pose for pictures with every single fan that trekked out to Orchard Street on this storm filled evening, which was entirely worth it to marvel at Myles Kennedy’s unparalleled musical ability.
- Jane Van Arsdale