October 28, 2015 Slash w/ Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators Rock The Arizona Desert 10-20-15
It seems as if legendary guitarist Slash has not taken a break in quite sometime. From his days in Guns N’ Roses, to his Slash’s Snakepit project, to his time with Velvet Revolver, and most recently teaming up with Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, Slash shows no signs of slowing down. Releasing the album World On Fire with his band Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators over a year ago, Slash continues to awe fans with his guitar swagger. Of course everyone knows of the many accolades the guitarist has attained, including Time magazine’s “10 Best Electric Guitar Players,” Rolling Stone has him at No. 65 on their list of “100 Greatest Guitar Players of All Time,” and his 2012 induction to the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame, to name a few. On top of all that, Slash, in a recent interview, said he and Axl Rose are friends again. Does this hint at a Guns N’ Roses reunion? While the idea makes many salivate, the odds are extremely slim, and any rumors swirling are merely created by fans with high hopes.
Nonetheless, Slash and his bandmates continues to set everything on fire with their Fall World On Fire Tour which kicked off September 18th and concluded October 24th. Building a solid relationship with Myles & The Conspirators, dating back to 2010, which grew in 2012 as a full-time partnership, fans should not be confused that this effort is billed as “Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators.” Make no mistake, these bandmates are not just a backing band for Slash, they unify as a high-powered showcase of a fully realized band performing their own music. With that in mind, the tour was a wonderful success, and on October 20th they rolled into Chandler, Arizona to play Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino.
This Tuesday night, in the desert of Arizona, kicked off with the Power-Rock styling of the British trio RavenEye. Formed by multi-award winning Guitarist/Vocalist Oli Brown, along with Drummer Kev Hickman and Bassist Aaron Spiers, they have the makings to be the next big Blues/Rock superstars. These UK phenoms released their debut EP, Breaking Out, this year and saw the title track “Breaking Out” getting over 100,000 plays in less than one month on Soundcloud, proving they are a force to be reckoned with.
Ready to get the night going, Brown attacked that stage with his bone-crushing guitar sound as his vocal growls and moans sent chills down spectators spines. Title track “Breaking Out” is an in-your-face mammoth of a song that shows a hint of Chris Cornell and Soundgarden undertone. The opening riff seemed to swill along before escalating to high speed, high powering sound transforming this band into a whirlwind. It is all a maxim that repeated in their closing song “You Got It,” which spotlighted a pounding yet haunting bass sound that rumbled throughout the venue, shaking the rafters. Those who enjoy their Hard Rock with a bit of daunting Blues sound, then look no further, RavenEye is worth their weight in gold. They head over to Europe for select dates with Deep Purple in November, but hopes are they return stateside again very soon.
Following a brief intermission, the antsy crowd were overwhelmed with excitement as they awaited Slash, Myles Kennedy, and the Conspirators to take the stage. Wasting no time, as soon as the lights went down, the band blasted right into “You’re a Lie,” off Apocalyptic Love followed by Guns N’ Roses favorite, “Nighttrain.” On their feet the entire time, the audience roared in appreciation from the first note, and this band responded to the positive vibes. Looking like they thoroughly enjoyed hitting every note to what seemed to be a packed, sold out house in the Ovations Showroom at Gila River’s Wild Horse Pass, the close knit quarters made this seem more of an intimate show amongst family friends. Watching them perform on stage, it became clear that this band has spent so much time together as they played like a well-oiled machine. With the stylings of Todd (Dammit) Kerns, Brent Fitz and Frank Sidoris provided a strong, solid Rock foundation together with the vocals of Kennedy and that trademark Slash guitar sound; their performance escalated Rock-n-Roll to new heights.
Slash, as always, seemed to be in his element with his trademark top hat, sun glasses, and a humbling presence which is mirrored by his fluent guitar playing more than ever before. With his recognizable bluesy riffs over Hard Rock licks, his sound has a way of giving goosebumps up and down one’s arms. After so many years of performing, it seemed he still lives for those moments on the stage every night as they moved along, working together a diversified set that featured songs across Slash’s musical catalog including “Avalon,” Kennedy showing off some of his best vocal work on “Back to Cali,” and Guns N’ Roses’ “You Could Be Mine.” From his first solo album, to 2010’s Apocalyptic Love, and of course World on Fire, he also peppered in some Velvet Revolver. Then there was Kerns showcasing his impressive voice on 2010’s “Doctor Alibi” and the Guns N’ Ross signature tune, “Welcome to the Jungle.”
Moving into more new material, it was evident the music Slash has created with Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators sounds nothing like that of past musical efforts. Of course, Slash’s sound is unique enough that fans will recognize it instantly, but this is something fresh as they captivated with “The Dissident,” “Bent to Fly,” “World on Fire,” and “Anastasia.” Rounding down the set on a high note, Kennedy covered the vocal parts of both Rose and Scott Weiland flawlessly as they played Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and Velvet Revolver’s “Slither” to close the main set. Kennedy always pulls it off as himself without ever imitating either of the two, more standing alone as himself against the original efforts, and it was never more clear as he shined bright. Having all screaming for more, they treated the audience to one last offering, sealing the deal with “Paradise City.”
Slash with Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators appeared to be having as much fun as the fans were having. In a set full of standout moments, perhaps the most notable is that, for a moment, it seemed Slash may have finally found a band that allows him to follow his musical expression, without the risk of impending doom. While the USA tour may be over for 2015 and Slash heading over to Europe for shows, do not be surprised if he and the gang return quickly in 2016 for more exhilarating performances.