Slash feat Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators - Olympia Theatre, Dublin 04.03.2013
It has been 3 years since Slash has visited Dublin, and upon announcement of his return, tickets to his 2 shows at the Olympia Theatre were snapped up in minutes. He makes his return of course with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators to play the last shows on the current European tour promoting the album Apocalyptic Love.
Kicking things off this evening are The Treatment. Since touring with KISS and Motley Crue in the States last year, these boys have certainly grown as a band and now deliver a performance full of confidence and swagger. A set made up of mainly new material with a few older tracks thrown in, they continue to show great promise and give us a taster of what is to come.
As always, Slash's hugely energetic show spans material right across his career. Both solo albums, Velvet Revolver, Snakepit and of course Guns N’ Roses all feature in heavy doses, something for everyone. The opening trio of Halo, Been There Lately and Nightrain start things off perfectly and set the bar high, there is no holding back tonight. An evening of pure rock n roll faces the Olympia, as Slash launches himself into the air from the drum riser, you know he means business.
Fan favourite Back From Cali brings immense enthusiasm from the crowd as they sing every word incredibly loud, and Shots Fired taken from the recent release sounds fantastic live. Todd Kerns steps up to deliver his rendition of Doctor Alibi and Guns classic You’re Crazy, both with such force and energy the crowd are worked into a frenzy. Kerns is hard rock personified and his vocals on You’re Crazy are out of this world.
The double necked guitar makes an appearance for Civil War, which again gets the crowd singing, along with the masterpiece that is Anastasia, it proves the newer material fits alongside the old as pure classics. Myles Kennedy shows once again this evening why he is one of the most accomplished singers in modern rock. He gives a stunning performance of Starlight and the sublime Not For Me follows.
An astounding 15 minute solo from Slash in the middle of Rocket Queen cements the fact he is a genius on the guitar, so skilled and in tune, the passion in his playing is mesmerising. Sweet Child of Mine of course blows the roof off the place, and Slither close the show with the guitar hero adding that they couldn’t have asked for a better place to finish.
The band are welcomed back to the stage to mighty roars for a crazy encore of Welcome To The Jungle and Paradise City. As the confetti rains down on the intimate theatre it is clear tonight has been special. Slash, Myles, Todd, Brent and Frank are solid. The chemistry they display as a band is remarkable and their performance is truly alive and kicking. For two hours they lure you in to a rock n roll euphoria and leave you begging for more. A fantastic ending to a hugely successful tour, let’s hope its not too long before they return!
(top photo courtesy of Hels Bels Photograhy)
Classic Album Review: Guns N’ Roses - Appetite For Destruction
Appetite For Destruction is the biggest selling debut album of all time. Guns N roses unleashed it onto the world in 1987 and would dominate the music scene for the next six years before imploding in a quiet fashion that was in stark contrast to everything they’d done before. A lot has happened since the original line up played their last show together in 1993, and irrespective of what your views are on individual members of the band, collectively they were a perfect storm. The anger and hunger of five young men is captured perfectly on one album.
There can’t be that many people who don’t know tracks such as ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, ‘Paradise City’ or ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ from this album, whether they have an interest in rock and roll or not. It is the latter of these songs that opens the album, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better album opener. Axl’s screeching vocals welcome us to an album that has changed so many lives. Duff McKagan’s bass keeps the rhythm with Steven Adler’s drumming, whilst Slash and Izzy Stradlin assault your ears with guitar playing unlike anything you’ve heard before or will again.
It’s So Easy’ follows, with Duff’s bass introducing a song that is a lament on how easy groupies make things when you’re in a band. Axl’s vocals are lower and more relaxed for the majority of this song; in fact, he uses several different voices on this album, each fitting its respective song perfectly. The album continues with ‘Nightrain’, ‘Out Ta Get Me’, ‘Mr. Brownstone’, and ‘Paradise City’ which all captivate your senses with tales of excess and a rock and roll lifestyle that few bands lived as well as Guns ‘N’ Roses. To do each song on this album justice would require the sort of space reserved for a novel, there are so many layers and intricacies to each cut, and they all contribute to the best hard rock album ever released.
The first six songs on the album all have a similar theme, relating to drugs, alcohol, and general recklessness, whereas the closing six pertain more to women, sex and love, although not one of them strays from the rock and roll formula that Guns’ manipulate so well. ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ deviates the most, and in the hands of any other band would be a soft ballad, but with the combination of Axl’s aggressive vocals and Slash’s heavy yet slow solo, the song retains so much fiery passion that it’s impossible to imagine the band crooning along to something like ‘Every Rose Has It’s Thorn’ or ‘Home Sweet Home’.
The closing track ‘Rocket Queen’ features what I honestly believe to be the best final third of a song in existence. Axl’s vocals are incredibly powerful, ending the album on the perfect note. The whole song captures everything that makes the album great in one six-minute wonder. Starting out with heavy bravado, before transitioning into an instrumental, heavy groove, and finishing up with a heartfelt lament, it encapsulates all the musical elements present on this album, one of the greatest of all time.
Songs To Spotify: Nightrain, My Michelle, Rocket Queen
Adler - Back From The Dead
Back From The Dead is an apt title for ex Guns N Roses drummer Steven Adler's new album. After parting ways with Guns N Roses back in 1990, he never quite found his feet, but now he’s back with a new band and is ready to show us what he is really made of.
The opening few seconds of the title track sets the bar firmly on an 80s rock feel, which is not really surprising, but with a bluesy, gritty ruff and the emotion of the lyrics, it starts things off perfectly. The One That You Hated was the first single to be released a few months ago and was the perfect taster for what was to come, but there are so many other great tracks to rival it. Own Worst Enemy, Dead Wrong and Another Version of the Truth are suitably punchy tracks, and Diamonds is a super catchy track and has a chorus that will pull you in and have you singing along instantly.
Guitar legends John 5 and Slash also make a very special guest appearance which only adds to the quality of the record. John 5's fretwork on Good To Be Bad is instantly recognisable, and Slash makes an incredible impression on the nicely subtle ballad Just Don’t Ask.
Adler has done a great job and surrounded himself with some fantastic musicians. Jeff Pilson of Dokken (who also produced the album), Lonny Paul who played with Adler in his former band Adler’s Appetite, and Jacob Bunton whose songwriting is incredibly good, and whose vocals are perfect for the feel of the record.
The mixture of that classic rock sound with a more modern twist makes Back From The Dead, one of the most exciting albums of the year. Pleasantly surprising, it is a very strong record and one Adler and co should be very proud of making!
Adler names new album and sets release date
Adler, the new band from former Guns N Roses drummer Steven Adler have released details of their debut album, set for release on November 26. Titled Back From The Dead, the album features the band of of Adler on drums, frontman Jacob Bunton, guitarist Lonny Paul and bassist Johnny Martin. It also features special guest appearances from Adlers former bandmate Slash, as well as John 5 who is currently part of Rob Zombie's band.
Adler has spoke out about how proud he is of the record and how he cannot wait for people to hear it.. "This is the record I’ve been wanting to make for over 20 years and now I’ve finally found the band with the perfect chemistry to make it happen!"
The CD’s first single, The One That You Hated, is out now on iTunesand the accompanying video can be seen below.
Song of the day!
Guns N’ Roses - Welcome To The Jungle
Today is the 25th anniversary of this legendary album!
Slash with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators- Hammersmith Apollo, 06.06.2012
Fresh from the release of Apocalyptic Love, Slash was back in London with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators in tow for a special show at the Hammersmith Apollo. Such a legendary venue, it was the perfect place for the guitar legend to debut some of his new material.
Opening the evening with new track One Last Thrill, the guys get the evening off to a flying start. It is pretty clear the crowd know most of the words, and when Myles asks who has the new album the cheers are deafening. The band treat us to six songs from Apocalyptic Love tonight, all of which receive a roaring reception. After delivering such a brilliant record, it is great to finally hear some of the material live. Particularly brilliant is Halo, a song which Myles admits can be a struggle live, but he does a perfect job this evening. However, the surprise of the evening is the performance of Anastasia, its first live outing ever. Cited as many fans favourite from the album, it is truly a masterpiece. Epic sounding, and highlighting just what a legend Slash is on guitar.
There is something for everyone tonight. As well as the new stuff, the band cover all bases. We hear some tracks from Slash's previous album, including Back From Cali and Starlight, the songs which started his relationship with Kennedy, and Dr. Alibi, originally sung by Lemmy but tonight conquered by bassist Todd Kerns who steps up and nails it. Also included tonight are a couple of Snakepit tracks and of course the Guns N’ Roses staples, Rocket Queen, Nightrain etc.
The band are on top form, and sound tighter than ever, and rather than Slash being singled out whilst the others fade into the background, they are presented more as a band, the way it should be. What started out as just a live project quickly grew into a full time band, and it is great to see. In Kennedy, Slash has the perfect frontman. The voice, the look and the ability to work the crowd. And in The Conspirators he has a fantastic set of musicians all doing a killer job.
The night rounds off with a cracking version of Velvet Revolver classic Slither, always a crowd pleaser, before the band return for an encore of Zeppelin's Communication Breakdown which sees Myles in fine voice, and of course they close with Paradise city, a real anthem, and looking round at the thousands of beaming faces, i’d say the people of Hammersmith just witnessed one of the best gigs they’ll see all year.
Guns N’ Roses - Manchester Arena, 29.05.2012
Let me start by saying this, if you buy tickets to a Guns N’ Roses show in 2012 you have to know what you are expecting. I don’t believe that anyone that is a fan doesn’t know about a certain Mr Axl Rose and his notorious lateness. Believe me, I am not condoning it, as I do think it is unfair to a lot of fans who miss out on the gigs because he can’t make a stage on time, but it has been happening for years. Recent news stories or reviews of the band’s latest UK tour seem to have concentrated on this fact and nothing else, like it is something new when it really really isn’t. Well, we went along to the show, fully expectant of a late night, and truthfully it was full of surprises…
At around 23.05 the lights of the Manchester Arena went down, the placed drowned in darkness as the sounds of Massive Attack rung through. The lights come up and the band storms the stage to the sounds of Chinese Democracy. The crowd, or what’s left of them get into a frenzy as a trio of Welcome to the Jungle, It’s So Easy and Mr Brownstone follow. It is great to see and hear these songs sung live by the voice that makes them so distinctive, and he sounds in good nick too, still hitting the notes and reaching the screams.
The highlight of the evening for me is getting to hear Estranged live. Always one of my favourite Guns N’ Roses songs it was definitely something brilliant. Along with Don’t Cry and November Rain which were particularly great. Dizzy Reed also delivered a blinding piano solo, playing Baba O’Reilly by The Who, cueing mass sing-along. I honestly can’t help but feel a little bored in some parts of the show however. One too many ‘jams’ and guitar solos for my liking. The decision to let Tommy Stinson and Bumblefoot perform their own tracks was a good idea, something a little different, and I think a good move at showing fans how they are fully fledged members of the band etc, but everything in between was just time filling as Axl took one of his many costume changes.
He may not look the same and he may be getting on a little, but that doesn’t stop Axl Rose from running around that stage like he is still in his heyday, which was refreshing to see, especially as he has a leg injury after falling on stage a few nights previous. The other guys do a great job also; they play well and know how to get the crowd going.
As the night draws to a close, it is hard not to notice the distinct lack of people left in the arena, but the ones that are left aren’t phased at all as they lap up every last second of the band. Closing with a cover of ACDC’s Whole Lotta Rosie, Patience which was lovely to hear and of course Paradise City, confetti cannons and steamers galore, the band proved tonight that they do have the ability to put on a great show, even into the wee small hours (it was after 2am when the lights came up) and a lot of very pleased fans left the arena with the sounds of GnR still ringing in their ears.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Here’s what happened…
In recent days Axl Rose and Rod Stewart, two of the biggest stars entering the Hall of Fame this year, pulled out of the show, making complete reunion performances by The Faces and Guns N’ Roses impossible. Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante opted not to come, and the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch stayed home as he continues to recover from cancer. So really, it was looking like this was maybe not all the organisers would have hoped, but the reality was very different!
"I don’t know that it matters who’s here tonight, because it’s about the music that these bands played," Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan said during his induction speech. “The fans are the ones who made it possible for us to get together tonight with all the adversity and everything that was going on,” said Slash. He particularly thanked his wife, saying, “When all this drama was going on, I was like fuck it, but she said ‘Go and do it with the guys,’ and I said ‘You’re right.’” Drummer Matt Sorum took the high road, saying, “I want to thank the other bandmates that aren’t here tonight and tell them that I love and respect them and I’m honored to have been on stage playing music with them.”
Minutes after making that point, he walked over across to the stage to play an explosive three-song set of Guns N’ Roses songs with Slash, Duff, guitarist Gilby Clarke, Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy and Steven Adler.
There were boos from the crowd and chants of ‘Fuck Axl’, but it seems the minute the guys took to the stage the absense of Mr Rose and Izzy Stradlin were forgotten. They played Mr Brownstone, Sweet Child of Mine and Paradise City.
The Faces also soldiered on without their lead singer, recruiting Simply Red's Mick Hucknall to fill his slot. The Beastie Boys had no intention of performing without Adam Yauch, so The Roots were joined by Kid Rock and Travie McCoy to deliver their own tribute to the trio.
Chris Rock stepped up to induct the Red Hot Chili Peppers and provided much amusement. "A lot of people are upset that Axl didn’t come tonight," he said. "But let’s face it. Even if he was coming tonight, he wouldn’t be here by now." The band also did a 3 song set of By The Way, The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie and Give It Away.
So a pretty great night all round then? All the worry and speculation for nothing, as in the end, it is the music that wins over all.