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Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators - O2 Academy, Newcastle - 15.10.12
Tonight is the final night of Slash's six date UK jaunt, and it is Newcastle's turn to get the guitar hero's rock n roll treatment.
Opening for Slash on this tour has been the legendary Ginger Wildheart, and tonight is a homecoming show for the Geordie frontman. Watching Ginger and his band is like a workout, they are bursting with energy and rarely come up for breath. Covering all bases from The Wildhearts to solo Ginger to Silver Ginger 5, they storm through their 30 minute set which is over way too quickly. Loud, ferocious and thrilling to watch. Ginger right now is at his best, and long may it continue.
Next up was Alter Bridge guitarist and fellow bandmate to Slash's frontman Myles Kennedy, Mark Tremonti, who is over in the UK promoting his first solo outing as Tremonti. A world away from Alter Bridge and Creed, their sound is much darker and heavier and they do the job of working the crowd into a frenzy. Tremonti does a great job at playing centre stage and the band sound great. The addition of Wolfgang Van Halen on bass alongside Eric Friedman on guitar and Garrett Whitlock on drums, they almost blow the roof off, but luckily keep it intact for Slash and co to do their thing.
"Good evening Newcastle…." The lights low, the crowd loud and ready to go. The band emerge to Halo, one of the tracks from the brilliant Apocalyptic Love album released earlier this year, followed by Guns N Roses Nightrain which kicked off two hours of full throttle rock n roll.
Of course we heard material from Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, Snakepit as well as material from Slash's solo album and his recent release with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, keeping the people from Newcastle on their toes and begging for more. The band are on top form, more than that, you would never believe that they have only been playing together a couple of years, even later for new addition Frank Sidoris, they are so tight they sound like they have been a band for many years.
Myles Kennedy breaks the boundaries with his vocal abilities, and gives an amazing performance, particularly with the Guns N Roses classic Civil War which is simply breathtaking. It’s a really great opportunity to see such a legend up close with his guitar. Some may say the 8 minute guitar solos are a bit much but when it is Slash and you can see how much passion goes into his playing it’s a pleasure to behold and makes you feel lucky to be in his presence, especially in the intimate setting of the O2 academy. The tracks from Apocalyptic Love come across fantastic live, in particular No More Heroes, Anastasia and the beautiful Not For Me which was stunning.
Mid set saw Kennedy take a break and pass vocal duties onto bassist Todd Kerns. He took centre stage for Doctor Alibi and there is a definite shift in energy. Fast paced and furious, Kerns delivers a cover of GnRs You’re Crazy and his voice is outstanding. Slash is incredibly lucky to have such talented musicians behind him.
As the night comes to an end, Kennedys band mate Mark Tremonti joins the guys onstage for Alter Bridge's Rise Today. Slash hands over lead guitar to Tremonti and the fans relish in the moment. Of course Paradise City is the finale this evening, the perfect ending to the perfect night. There is something magical about this song and the way the fans react when they hear it, truly an anthem.
The band say goodbye after a rapturous reception, and the people of Newcastle depart from their own rock n roll paradise smiling.