Live Review: SLASH & Friends (LAYN Rocks) — Avalon, Hollywood
Mon, 23 Nov 2009 10:20:10
The power of the riff compelled SLASH and pretty much everyone else at LAYN Rocks last night.
The legendary Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist certainly knows how to give a crowd a good time and, alongside some friends, that's exactly what he did for almost two hours.
Those "friends" happened to be some of the most legendary men to ever pick up a microphone or a guitar. Sunday's AMA lineup far paled in comparison to LAYN Rocks—and the event was for a very good cause, helping homeless kids across Los Angeles.
Host George Lopez put it best, " With all due respect to the AMAs, this is the fuckin' place to be on Sunday night!"
SLASH brought together the best and brightest rock n' roll stars of the past four decades for the most riff-tastic benefit show ever. There's nothing quite like watching him and Dave Navarro rip through Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song," volleying the classic riff back and forth with a new vibrancy. SLASH infused the solo with gritty gutter blues, and the entire crowd was mesmerized by the six-string God. During Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak," Tom Morello tore through a scratchy lead that gave the song a hip hop fire and a spacey tone. Morello, Navarro and SLASH complimented each other perfectly with each and every solo and riff brandishing its player's own signature.
Wolfmother's "Mother" had a deadly Black Sabbath-style stomp. Vocalist Andrew Stockdale gave a fiery performance worthy of the legends he shared the stage with, and SLASH laid down a furious lead mid-song. During Zeppelin's "Tangerine," SLASH donned a double neck and instantly transported the crowd back to the '70s. However, the standout with Stockdale was he and SLASH's original cut, "By the Sword," from SLASH's forthcoming solo album. Smoky, ominous and psychedelic, the opening riff proved to be one of SLASH's best. It's melancholy yet strangely energetic, and Stockdale's howl felt divinely otherworldly—a new classic.
Linkin Park and Dead By Sunrise mainman Chester Bennington gave "Good Times, Bad Times" a serious gusto that even Robert Plant couldn't conjure. Chester's got a classic old school rock n' roll edge and a modern sensitivity that makes him a true star. He's got one foot planted in tradition, but he's also the most forward thinking singer on the scene. He proved that during "Slither" and a raucous "Paradise City" complete with Stephen Adler behind the kit and Duff McKagan on bass. Chester definitely stood proudly even alongside Perry Farrell who did phenomenal renditions of "Mountain Song," "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Jane Says."
It all came back to the riff when Ozzy Osbourne hit the stage though. "I Don't Know," "Iron Man," "Crazy Train" and "Paranoid" exploded with SLASH and Navarro lighting their fret boards up to finish the evening.
As Ozzy requested, the crowd went "fucking crazy," but it was all for a good cause—and the riffs are still resounding…
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