Live Review: Slash with Myles Kennedy at The House of Blues, Sunset Strip
Wed, 06 Oct 2010 08:23:24
In the middle of a superb headlining set at The Sunset Strip House of Blues last night, Slash began ripping his own rock 'n' roll take on The Godfather Theme. Slash supercharged the classic instrumental with his electrifiying virtuosity, and jaws consequentially hit the floor across the packed venue. Even though he updated Don Corleone's jam, Slash is more like the Jimmy Conway of rock music. Just like Robert De Niro's Goodfellas mastermind, he's cunning, crafty and clever with his instrument. He didn't need to say much last night; the axe did all the talking.
Slash started the show with smooth picking across his fretboard on "Ghost"—a standout from his eponymous solo debut. He lightly lit up the notes, tapping with style, as he churned out one of the best intros that he's penned since "Sweet Child o' Mine." Alter Bridge mainman Myles Kennedy proved the perfect vocal counterpart to Slash's divine shredding. His voice carried the song with an impenetrable prowess. He's Tommy DeVito to Slash's Jimmy Conway, killing with every single note he sings.
Slash fueled "Nightrain" with a dazzling outro solo that reached full-on thrash speed, while Kennedy infused the song with a ballsy low end to fill out the falsetto. Velvet Revolver cut, "Sucker Train Blues," blasted from a paranoid bass roll into frenetic soloing from Slash as Kennedy's bluesy interpretation of the chorus engaged everyone in attendance. Slash shredded like his life depended on it, and his display remained utterly unforgettable in every way. He's certainly put on some legendary shows alongside Axl Rose and Scott Weiland, but he and Kennedy tapped into something truly magical last night. It's that feeling where every element is locked in and roaring in unison. That was felt especially duing a heavy and heartfelt "Back to Cali," one of their original cuts from Slash.
Guns N' Roses epic, "Civil War," exploded with Slash's precise playing leading the charge, as Kennedy's battlecry resounded way past The Sunset Strip. Slash then pristinely pulled off the beginning of "Voodoo Chile," channeling Jimi Hendrix with each rock of the wah-pedal. "Beggars and Hangers-On" kicked off with ominous feedback swells and a Western-style groove. Kennedy held the mic stand over his head, as Slash sauntered center stage, nailing each note as he walked, like some kind of assassin with a guitar pick.
"Rocket Queen" brandished an immortal vibrancy courtesy of Kennedy and Slash's interlocking. Watching the two of them is just as classic as Jimmy Page and Robert Plant or Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. They're the ultimate modern rock duo, and last night continued to solidify that stature. "Dirty Little Thing" gave way to "Starlight," where both Kennedy and Slash flexed their respective sonic muscles, venturing into territory rock 'n' roll has never gone.
Slash really blew minds with an instrumental cover of Led Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Loving You" that eventually bled into The Godfather theme. Matching Jimmy Conway, when Slash did speak it really mattered. Before "We're All Gonna Die," he announced, "So, here we are back in L.A. It's funny we started here and we ended here. I want you to sing the chorus of this song, 'We're All Gonna Die.' It's basically saying, 'Chill out, man, we're all gonna fucking die be cool.' It's positive."
That punked-out release was as positive as rock music gets. However, Slash and Co. weren't done there. They tore through a raucous rendition of "My Michelle" which Slash hadn't played in Los Angeles since, "fucking 1990-something." It was every bit as awe-inspiring now as it was then.
"By the Sword" and "Paradise City" made for the ultimate encore, as Slash triumphantly fired off one last solo. Thankfully, there's a second show tonight, because seeing Slash once just isn't enough. Jimmy the Gent would be proud. Somebody needs to get Martin Scorsese on the Slash story stat…
Have you seen Slash with Myles Kennedy?