May 26, 2015 Slash w/ Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators tear up NYC 5-7-15
Anyone growing up in the 1980s listening to Hard Rock had their world turned upside when Guns N’ Roses burst onto the scene in the latter part of the decade with the legendary 1987 album, Appetite for Destruction. Although their classic lineup has since broken up, former lead guitarist Slash teamed up with bandmates Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin in 2002 as Velvet Revolver along with Stone Temple Pilot’s Scott Weiland, releasing two top-selling records in 2004 and 2007. After Weiland departed in 2008 to rejoin Stone Temple Pilots, Slash decided to dive into a new solo project, where he produced a self-titled album in 2008 with help from Ozzy Ozzborne, Dave Grohl, Iggy Pop, Chris Cornell, Fergie, Myles Kennedy, Adam Levine, M Shadows, and Lemmy Kilmister. Initially tapping into the solo world under the name Slash’s Snakepit in 1995 with the album It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere, Slash is no stranger to the territory and has seemed to blossom in the spotlight through the years. Joining forces with Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy in 2012, Slash formed a new band entitled Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, releasing their debut, Apocalyptic Love, to a overwhelming positive reception. Still going strong, the band of Slash on lead guitar, Kennedy on vocals/guitar, Brent Fitz on drums, and Todd Kerns on bass released their third album, World on Fire, on September 10, 2014 and have been touring in support of the material into 2015 with the addition guitarist Frank Sidoris. The World on Fire Tour 2015 kicked off at Wellington Central in New Zealand on February 18th, and the band came firing on all cylinders when they stopped at New York City’s Terminal 5 on Thursday May 7th. Selling out the venue, it would be the first visit to the Big Apple by Slash and his cohorts since the Apocalyptic Love Tour in 2013, thus provoking much excitement among fans.
The night kicked off with the youngest group ever to be signed onto Sony Music Entertainment, the Brooklyn Thrash Metal band Unlocking the Truth. Formed in 2007 after meeting at a birthday party, guitarist/vocalist Malcolm Brickhouse and drummer/vocalist Jarad Dawkins could not find a bassist, so they taught their pre-school friend, Alec Atkins, to play from scratch. They gained fame on YouTube before signing up with Sony, and became the youngest band to play both the Vans Warped Tour and Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2014. This night in May, these young kids mesmerized the crowd as Dawkins kicked off the opening beats. Brickhouse showed off his intense playing skills as his fingers glided over the guitar with ease, making a strong impression on the crowd. On the other side of the stage, Atkins played just as intensely, putting himself into low stances with his left leg jutting out, bringing his bass close to the ground. The amount of talent from these tweens was unreal. The boys gave the crowd an outstanding show, song after song. After the first two songs, Brickhouse grabbed the mic and said, “It’s been awhile since we’ve played. It feels good to be back at it again!” He then thanked Slash and Kennedy for letting them play as they launched into their third song, getting the crowd revved up for the night’s headliners. Smiling, Brickhouse’s fingers flew across the frets as the crowd threw up their hands in approval. Check them out when they play New York’s Irving Plaza on May 30 and SummerStage in Red Hook Park in Brooklyn on June 7th, before heading down to Tennessee for the Bonnaroo Music Festival from June 11th-14th.
As the lights went down and carnival music began to play, the Terminal 5 crowd erupted in cheers and excitement, waiting to see Slash, Kennedy, and their Conspirators. The flood lights started to flash around and then landed upon the iconic backdrop that featured a smiley face with a huge, toothy grin, tight curly black hair and top hat. Slash and Kennedy walked out together as Kerns, Fitz, and Sidoris blasted into “You’re A Lie.” Kennedy jumped up onto a platform so that he can see the crowd, with Slash right next to him, throwing down chords and rapidly changing the foot pedals as he went. The crowd was screaming in excitement for the frizzy haired guitarist to get closer, so Slash gave them what they wanted, hopping to the edge of the stage and throwing his guitar up onto his knee, holding it straight up for everyone to see. As fans watched in awe, Slash showed them how he earned his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as the band went into the beginning of the Guns N’ Roses track, “Nightrain,” with Kerns revving up the crowd by fist-pumping through that oh-so familiar guitar intro.
The band continued with the fun, fast-paced “Avalon,” “Ghost” and “Back From Cali,” the song that began the collaboration between Slash and Kennedy. They then jumped back into their current album, performing “Wicked Stone” and “Too Far Gone.” This followed by “Double Talkin Jive” and You Could be Mine,” two songs with intense, pounding drum intros by Fitz that got the crowd roaring. Kennedy exited the stage floor for the next couple songs but not before introducing Kerns, who then launched into “Doctor Alibi,” originally sung by Lemmy Kilmister on the debut Slash record, and continuing with one of the most iconic songs of the G N’R track repertoire, “Welcome to the Jungle,” a song that seriously got the crowd jumping. As fans watched from relative safety from the two balconies, mosh pits broke out with people throwing beer, water, hats, and bodies up near the front and a hectic, dizzying circle pit near the back of the GA. Kennedy returned to the stage and introduced the next song, possibly the most important track on World On Fire, “Beneath the Savage Sun.” The song and video is used by Slash in his partnership with the International Fund of Animal Welfare (IFAW) to raise money against the cruel, extremely sadistic practice of elephant poaching. Though the show was going well into the night, time meant nothing as the band slid into “Rocket Queen.” As Sidoris and Kerns stood back, Slash had the floor to himself as he gave a fifteen minute guitar lesson showing off his unmatched skill set. The venue watched in amazed silence as he flipped through different riffs and chord sets, regardless of the sweat pouring off of him.
“Bent to Fly” and “World on Fire” came next, just before Slash was handed a double-neck, hunter green guitar to begin the song “Anastasia.” He then traded in the double-neck for a golden Gibson, jumped up onto the podium in the middle of the stage and delved into the most famous guitar intro of all time, the Guns N’ Roses chart topper “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” The band wrapped up the set with Velvet Revolver’s “Slither” before briefly leaving the stage to take a small break. When they returned, Slash acknowledged that he had gone past curfew but added that they had a special guest performing before they closed it down, The Voice’s Kimberly Nichole. Nichole grabbed the mic and screamed, “I’m singing with fucking Slash! This is crazy!” She added that they were playing a song from her second favorite guitar player (besides Slash, of course), Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe.” With Slash and Nichole in the forefront, Sidoris, Fitz, and Kerns took a step back to give the vocalists some room. With no time to spare before the venue closed down for the night, they immediately went into Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City” that ended with a shower of confetti, finishing the show with a papery climax.
From the opening chord to ending hi-hat trick, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators was an absolute must see for people who want to enjoy what real Rock-n-Roll is all about. Flowing with an amazing talent, these Strong Men of Rock perform tirelessly. On the road now for a while touring, going everywhere from New Zealand to Australia, Slash and his band’s stop in New York City was a night of pure Rock ecstasy. Look for them as they make their way through Texas for the remainder of May and then to Europe for a few shows before closing out the tour in Donington Park, England for the Download Festival from June 12th-14th.