Words and Photos by Marco Denzer
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators brought their “Living The Dream” tour to Pier 17 in Manhattan last night, and to say the show was great is an understatement of gargantuan proportions. The venue’s privileged rooftop stage, with panoramic views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges in the backdrop and towering New York City skyline in front, was the perfect setting to close out the week in rocking fashion with SMKC delivering an absolutely phenomenal performance.
The band promptly kicked things off at 7:55 with “Avalon”, from their new album Living The Dream, which scored ten top 10 placements on global charts, and immediately infused the crowd with a bolus of high-energy rock n roll straight to the vein. An extremely well-calculated and executed opener in preparation for the nearly two hours of heart pounding, guitar-shredding show that would follow.
With such a vast and chart smashing discography to his name, Slash and company treated the audience to a very well balanced setlist that included titles like “Rocket Queen” (extended guitar version), “Fall to Pieces”, and “Starlight” ,in addition to a few songs from the new album. They effectively spanned his body of work from his days with Guns n Roses, Velvet Revolver, Slash until now.
The Conspirators, Brent Fitz (drums / backup vocals), Todd Kerns (bass / backup vocals), and Frank Sidoris (guitar / backup vocals) are an extremely tight unit. They’re no nonsense… straight up rockers with serious chops and energy to spare; they move and jump all around the stage adding tons of flair to the show. Todd does an incredible job singing second harmony to Myles’ lead vocals, and if that weren’t enough, Brent also sings along with them, adding a third voice to the harmony in some of the songs. This is without a doubt fabulous musicianship, but the crowd came to see Slash in charge of the guitar work and Myles Kennedy on lead vocals.
There’s something clearly exceptional about Myles’ voice and the contribution he makes to his collaboration with Slash. On stage Myles is the consummate front man, lively, animated, and extremely cordial with the fans. He does far more than simply singing, he delivers vocals ranging from the soft and subtle to the all out belting in order to match the loudness of the music, and he does it effortlessly with poise and grace at every turn.
However, the real jewel in this rock n roll crown of a show is Slash. Sure most of us are familiar with his music and guitar licks, many of us may even have the image of the Gibson Les Paul swinging guitarist with long curly black hair and dark shades who always sports a top hat seared into our subconscious, but it’s an entirely different thing to see and hear him live in action. Slash is a man of few words on stage; he’s not there to waste time or pump the crowd up with jaded bullshit lines. Slash says all there is to say and much more with his guitar playing.
It’s a rockers delight and simply amazing to see him deliver song after song with such passion and finesse. Seeing him play his various Les Pauls, bending and pulling strings, overdriving amps, tweaking the sounds to his absolute liking is truly a sight to behold. The show offers a glimpse into how the rock n roll bad boy with incredible guitar skills evolved into a total badass musician. Slash still plays the guitar like nobody’s business… that hasn’t changed a bit, but there’s an undeniable maturity, a mystical sense of joy, a soul stirring energy about his performance that is honest to the core and captivating. He works through the melodies and phrasings of each one of the songs with incredible precision, styling, and grace. It’s like watching a world-class Olympic athlete at the top of his game… it is awe-inspiring.
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators will continue their “Living The Dream” tour through October 14th, 2018 with scheduled stops in Huntington, Philadelphia, Boston, and Sacramento.
Standing in the Sun
Back From Cali
You’re a Lie
Fall to Pieces
Beneath the Savage Sun
Serve You Right
Mind Your Manners
Lost Inside the Girl
By the Sword
World on Fire
The Call of the Wild
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