SLASH (LIVE) – O2 Academy, Leeds (Uk) – July 25, 2011

When a true Rock icon announces a few intimate shows in a club setting, you know demand for tickets will be high, so it came as no surprise that Slash’s run of four dates, including his very first performance in his birth town of Stoke, sold out in no time. Those lucky enough to get their paws on an elusive ticket were in for a real treat.


Slash’s first full solo album released last year included a plethora of guest singers, from Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop, to Lemmy and Chris Cornell, and even Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas and Pussy Cat Doll Nicole Scherzinger joined the party to reveal their Rock Chick alter egos to stunning effect.


While producing one of the best albums of the year, this also lead to a problem of delivering the songs on stage.  With so many different styles to cover it was going to be a challenge to bring in someone who could handle it all.  In Myles Kennedy, Slash found the perfect foil.  The Alterbridge frontman’s star is certainly in its ascendancy at the moment, and being courted by Jimmy Page as a possible frontman for a reconvened Led Zeppelin was a ringing endorsement if there ever was one.


With the band completed by bassist Todd Kerns, Bobby Schneck on rythmn guitar, and Brent Fitz on drums, Slash and Kennedy promised a show covering the whole of Slash’s illustrious career, and they certainly delivered on that promise.


Kicking off with “Ghost” and straight into Slash’s Snakepit’s “Mean Bone”, the night wa set off at a frantic pace.  Over the ensuing hour and a half, Slash delivered the pick of his latest album by slamming home “Nothing To Say” and “By The Sword”, along with playing choice cuts from his days with Gun’s ‘n’ Roses (“Mr Brownstone”, “Night Train”) and Velvet Revolver (“Slither”, “Fall To Pieces”). 

While there’s much speculation as to the identity of the new singer in Velvet Revolver, it’s pretty clear to many that the solution is right under Slash’s nose.  Myles Kennedy was superb throughout the night, tackling a variety of material with ease and fitting the Velvet Revolver songs as if they were written for him.


Slash showed why he is regarded as one of the finest six string slingers of his generation with a performance of class and energy.  He manages to avoid the pitfall of many guitarists by building real songs around his playing, rather than throwing a song on top of a solo as if it were an afterthought.  There were moments of sublime brilliance, including “Civil War”, a true epic if ever there ever was one, where Slash delivered a spine tingling solo while giving his wah wah pedal some serious abuse.


There were many highlights during this pulsating show, but arguably the biggest cheer greeted the Gun’s ‘n’ Roses classics “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and a rollicking “Paradise City”, which sounded so fresh and fuelled with energy.


Slash has assembled a potent band that really kicked big time live. They gel together so well that it looks and feels like a real band rather than a backing band for Slash the solo artist.  With any luck they will form the basis of the band for Slash’s next studio album, and if they perform as well as they did tonight, then fans will be in for a real Hard Rocking feast.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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