Slash feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators
RAC Arena, Perth WA
February 3rd, 2019
“Well I’m a west coast struttin’….”
The bad mother himself, the Les Paul-wielding, top hat wearing, legendary axeman, Slash hit the stage in Perth overnight on the final leg of his Australian tour with his band, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. They may not be as grandeur as Guns ‘N Roses but they sure as hell pack a punch as a band. One of the tightest bands going around, the band have gone from strength to strength on the live stage and with their album releases and now command arena-sized shows in this country. Besides Slash, the group are rounded out by Canadians, Todd Kerns on bass and backing vocals, Brent Fritz on drums, alongside Frank Sidoris on guitar and Alter Bridge frontman, Myles Kennedy on vocals. It’s a stellar lineup, unfortunately hideously underrated by the majority of casual GNR fans, though with Slash now playing arenas in this country, maybe that tide is turning after all? About fucking time!
New Zealand’s Devilskin were the support band this tour, a rock/metal hybrid fronted by the incredible, Jennie Skulander who commands a stage and demands your attention as she saunters across the expanses. The band’s last album, 2016’s Be Like the River, was a big improvement from their debut, We Rise and immediately drew comparisons with other female-led rock/metal hybrids such as Lacuna Coil or In This Moment. Skulander’s sway from almost guttural growls to clean vocals were a definite highlight, the band comfortable on the bigger stage and well worth a look at the impending Download Festival where they were just added as part of the third instalment of bands.
Whilst Devilskin likely added a few more followers to their rapidly growing fanbase with their performance, as Slash and co took to the ample RAC Arena stage it was clear who everyone had come to see tonight. Slash, the 53 year old lead guitarist from the most dangerous rock group of the 80’s and 90s, Guns ‘N Roses. The everywhere man of rock. There probably hasn’t been a year in the past 30 years where Slash hasn’t entered the ear holes or eyes of every rock fan worldwide in some shape or form. From his collaborations with over a hundred artists to his recording with GnR, Slash’s Snakepit, Velvet Revolver and now this band, there can be no doubting he is one of the busiest men in the rock business and whilst his soberness has been his saviour and helped his longevity it was his heyday antics, charismatic solos and of course ‘that’ top hat that brought him fame. Lead track, ‘The Call of the Wild’ kicked off proceedings from the band’s latest album, Living the Dream, the Slash riff allowing the audience to immediately become immersed in Slash’s presence, as Myles Kennedy prowls the stage, though it must be said, the spotlight was always on Slash. The band are called Slash featuring after all, not Myles Kennedy featuring or Todd Kerns featuring, so after sifting through a handful or so tracks including the riff-laden ‘Ghost’ from Slash’s debut solo album and a killer version of ‘Back From Cali’ it was a newer track, ‘Serve You Right’ that allowed Slash his first elongated solo of the night. It was what the fans wanted, and he delivered in so many ways taking the front of stage spotlight and just hammering out an awe-inspiring guitar solo.
Not to be outdone, when the rest of the band need to shine themselves, they do, such as Todd Kerns, who took over vocal duties on ‘We’re All Gonna Die’ and ‘Doctor Alibi’. The towering bassist knows how to rile a crowd up and whilst Myles Kennedy took a breather backstage, Kerns displayed his ample capabilities as a front man in his own right. Of course, the Alter Bridge vocalist, Myles Kennedy was incredible all night. There can be no denying Myles is at the forefront of rock singers worldwide. A wise choice by Slash those many moons ago to select Myles as the singer for this band. His range is sublime, as he showed by rocking a banging track like ‘Wicked Stone’ then wowing the crowd with his more subtle range on the ballad, ‘The One You Loved is Gone’. Speaking of, ‘Wicked Stone’, this was probably the stand out track of the night as Slash’s solo breached the 8 minute mark as he became one with his Les Paul and the crowd stood in unison amazed at the sound emanating throughout the arena. Slash you are king.
The only Guns ‘N Roses cover on the night was the rollicking ‘Nightrain’, the crowd singing in unison, before Slash again erupted for a lengthier solo something that would be emulated in the concluding track, ‘World on Fire’, Slash now fully engulfed in his art, those patent bent knee solo stances almost an art pose. After a brief intermission the band return for the much clichéd ‘rock’ encore playing the beautiful ‘Anastasia’ with a riff, in my opinion, that could possibly rival, ‘Sweet Child O Mine’. A fitting finale, with Myles now on stage rocking his own guitar. This was a stripped down arena rock show. A few dazzling lights but nothing to write home about, no massive video screens or smoke effects. If you want rock ‘n roll, Slash and his band deliver it on point. A straight up, hard edged rock show that delivered in spades but perhaps needed that extra buzz or wow factor to encapsulate the arena standing. But you can’t falter the script, and as stated, Slash is king, so he can do whatever the fuck he wants.
The Call of the Wild
Standing in the Sun
Back From Cali
Bent to Fly
Serve You Right
Read Between the Lines
We’re All Gonna Die
The One You Loved is Gone
Mind Your Manners
By the Sword
You’re a Lie
World On Fire
Review by Jim ‘Plugga’ Birkin
Revisit our interview with Brent Fitz of The Conspirators right here
Slash, Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators