October 9, 2018
It’s hard to believe that Slash is 53-years-old. The heyday of Guns N’ Roses seems like it was just yesterday. It was over 30 years ago. Let that sink in.
The musician who was born Saul Hudson has had an amazing career that isn’t defined by GNR. During his GNR years he had a side project called Slash’s Snakepit. He was a co-founder of the supergroup Velvet Revolver. And, he had forged an enviable solo career, releasing four solo CDs all of which received both critical and popular acclaim. In 2016, he joined the reformed Guns N’ Roses on its sold-out Not In This Lifetime world tour. Slash, and the various groups he has been a member of, has sold well over 100 million albums. He is a Grammy Award recipient and he has been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
On a sleepy Tuesday evening in early October, Slash and Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators touched down on Long Island. A multi-generational audience packed Huntington, NY’s Paramount and was treated to a powerful set of driving rock and roll. Touring behind the group’s latest release Living The Dream (Snakepit, Roadrunner Records), the band was firing on all cylinders. Slash played like a man possessed. Kennedy was in fine voice. Bassist Todd Kerns took over the lead vocals on two tunes (“We’re All Gonna Die” and the punky Slash/Lemmy collaboration “Doctor Alibi”) not only giving Kennedy an opportunity to rest his pipes but to allow Kerns and the other band members (rhythm guitarist Frank Sidoris, who during the show was presented with a cake to celebrate his birthday, and drummer Brent Fitz) to show off their abilities, musical diversity and chops. The evening was a master class in how to deliver a high octane evening of soaring riffs, powerful lead guitar runs chunky bass and driving drums breaks and the superb Kennedy’s soaring vocals.
Other highlights of the performance, which featured many quite a few songs from Living The Dream, included: the opener “Avalon,” the raw and energetic version of “Serve You Right,” “Driving Rain,” “Ghost,” “The Great Pretender,” the Velvet Revolver song “Fall To Pieces,” a tour de force version of The GNR staple “Rocket Queen” and the main set closer World On Fire.”
Fans who came expecting to hear a set featuring many Guns N’ Roses tunes, left slightly disappointed. Slash left almost all those songs behind with Axl and company on the Not In This Lifetime tour. “Rocket Queen” was the only trip that far back in time and the only nod to GNR. The majority of the audience could not have cared less. They were excited and spent the evening bopping and cheering the guitar god/hero and the rest of the band.
The evening came to a close with the encores: “Call Of The Wild” and “Anastasia.” Slash, Kennedy and the band proved that this is a band to be reckoned with. GNR, though still a viable touring machine hasn’t released new music in ages. Slash continues to record and release new and vital music. And the fans…the fans, if those in attendance at the Paramount are any indication, are ready willing and able to be thrilled by it.
Photo Credit: Christine Connallon