Words and Pictures: Robert Cavuoto
Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators are currently touring in support of their fourth CD, Living the Dream which was released on September 21st, via Snakepit/Roadrunner Records. The North American headlining tour started in Los Angeles on September 13th and will take the band to 20 cities before ending on October 16 in Los Angeles.
The band consists of Slash on guitar, Myles Kennedy on lead vocals, Todd Kerns on bass/vocals, Brent Fitz on drums, and Frank Sidoris on guitar; together they are a force not to be reckoned with!
They opened Monday’s glorious two-hour set with “Avalon” at the Wellmont Theater in New Jersey then quickly jumped into “Halo.” This was the perfect one-two punch the band needed to set the tone for the night and get this sold-out crowd fired up.
The perfect combination of songs were assembled tonight, including some thrilling songs like; “By the Sword,” “Doctor Alibi,” “Savage Sun,” “Back from Cali,” “Anastasia,” and “Ghost.” Interspersed throughout the night, the band included four new songs from Living the Dream, “The Call of the Wild,” “My Antidote,” “Mind Your Manners,” “Driving Rain.” Even though the CD has only been out a few weeks, fans in attendance knew all the words and were singing along with Myles. As you with expect with this band, the new songs are extremely melodic and offer some fierce leads.
By mid-set the band was in full gear, sweaty, and feeding off the energy that the crowd was throwing out. It was great to hear the melodically haunting “Starlight” as it was not included in their 2015 set list at Terminal 5 in NYC. Three-quarters of the way in, Slash exploded with “Rocket Queen” and its 10 minute extended solo. Slash previously mentioned during interviews he would not be tapping into any Guns N’ Roses tracks, as his solo catalog was large enough; so this was a welcome surprise. All night the crowd was transfixed on his fretwork as it was awe-inspiring to witness all his masterful and complex guitar techniques in person. He is a visionary player that can sculpt sound and bend minds in equal measure. Anyone who came to the show got just what they expected – an unstoppable wall of guitars!
Myles sang with passion as if his life hung on every word. He is an entertaining front-man who exudes charisma and rock star attitude. Slash was dressed in leather pants, a sleeveless black Circle Jerks shirt, and his iconic top hat. It’s one thing to look the part but another to deliver and Slash provided enough blues inspired licks to show all the guitar enthusiasts present who’s boss. During the performance, he manhandled his guitar making it scream in a haze of monstrous solos. One can’t say enough great things about the guitar-attack that he put on the crowd.
Powerful drummer Brent Fitz, brilliant bassist Todd Kerns, and steadfast guitarist Frank Sidorisheld performed like they were driving a runaway train giving Slash plenty of space to fill the gaps for his soulful leads; allowing him to soar. The band was in lockstep and instinctively knew each other’s mannerism which brought the songs to life. This was clearly evident as many songs were more powerful live than the studio versions.
Slash’s wailing guitars, Myles’s high tenor voice, and the band’s thunderous rhythms made this a great night of music for everyone that was in attendance. By the end of the night, the Wellmont Theater was barely standing as Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators gave it one Hell of a beating.