By Wal Reid
Date / Venue: Tuesday February 17th, Claudelands Arena, Hamilton
Touted as one of this year's gig not to be missed, Slash with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators rolled into Hamilton last night for their World On Fire Tour, one of two concerts they are performing in New Zealand, tonight with successful ‘Tron' based rockers Devilskin.
There was no mistaking where the gig was, as hordes of black tee cladded fans clambered outside Hamilton'sClaudelands Arena, add to the mix a black hearse decked out in Rock FM signage and I can only imagine passer-by reactions from the ensuing metal-fest.
Just arriving in time before the show started (what about that Auckland traffic aye?), You're A Lie the lead single from Slash's 2012 album, Apocalyptic Love kicked off the night as the sizeable crowd now started reaching for the stage. The Kennedy-Slash show was in full swing as they worked the stage engaging fans before heading into Night Train, the crowd by this stage going nuts. It was like guessing when the Guns N' Roses songs were coming out, as I'm sure most in the crowd were thinking.
Slash is a guitar god no doubting that, sporting his recognisable top hat and tattooed torso he limbered around the stage playing his guitar fervently, blues licks and pentatonic scales it was fretboard masturbation à la Slash-styles.
The crowd didn't have to wait long for the next GNR song as the familiar drum intro to You Could Be Minerung out across the arena, Myles Kennedy isn't much of a talker as far as frontmen go, but the crowd didn't seem to mind as the sometimes Alter Bridge vocalist ripped into Dr Alibi a song that features Motorhead'sLemmy Kilmister on bass from Slash's debut 2010 record.
Myles Kennedy possesses one powerhouse of set lungs, he also has tinnitus but his vocal range showcases why he's one of the best voices around, hitting those high notes his uncanny knack to sync with the band really brings the songs alive, personally I prefer his rich timbre over Axl.
World on Fire and Battleground; two of the memorable tracks off their latest album, rounded off the close of the set but not before treating the crowd with Velvet Revolver's classic Slither and Slash warming up the most recognised guitar riff in history with the GNR classic Sweet Child O' Mine and the iconic anthem Paradise City. Quite the fairy tale ending for most who came looking to get their nostalgia fix and money's worth from one of Rock's best performing icons.
It was no holds barred rock n roll the way it should be, unpretentious and in your face. The band must be applauded for their performance, real heart and soul stuff, no frills which left punters spent as if they had endured a half marathon. Note to self must remember to bring ear plugs next time.
Slash performs at the TSB Arena in Wellington tonight