At the O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., December 8, 2021

MYLES KENNEDY (O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., December 8, 2021)
Photo: Mick Burgess

With the ongoing rapid spread of Omicron and the seemingly daily tightening of restrictions, there was a worry that artists from outside of the UK would postpone their tours until next year or worse to 2023.

It was with some relief therefore, when singer Myles Kennedy casually strolled onto the O2 Academy stage in Newcastle with a wry smile and a wave as part of his 8 date UK tour.

Kennedy of course is no stranger to this venue having played here on several occasions with both his own band, Alter Bridge and as frontman for Guns N’ Roses guitarist, Slash’s solo band but this was his first time as a solo artist with his formidable 3-piece outfit.

Drawing primarily on his two solo records, Year Of The Tiger and current release The Ides Of March Kennedy thrilled an appreciative Newcastle crowd for over an hour and a half.

Kennedy’s solo material exhibits a greater maturity and diversity than his “day jobs” giving him the scope to stretch out into previously unexplored musical territory demonstrating what a truly versatile vocalist that he is.

Opener, “Wake Me When It’s Over,” however rocks just as hard as anything from his repertoire and with a soaring hook it’s as if it’s business as usual.

“Devil On The Wall” with its up-tempo Country Blues vibe and the darker “Haunted By Design” inspired by Mississippi John Hurt bring an intriguing slant to the show while the Zeppelin fuelled bombast of “Get Along” and the twists and turns of “Year Of The Tiger” nail his Rock credentials firmly to the mast.

Dipping back into his past, Kennedy delivered a short acoustic set to include Alter Bridge’s “All Ends Well” and “Mars Hotel” by one of his very first bands, The Mayfield Four and he seemed genuinely surprised that so many people were familiar with this song.

The range and variety of material really gave Kennedy the chance to shine as a singer but it was probably “Love Can Only Heal” that took the plaudits with a heart achingly beautiful vocal that showed a real sense of class.

Kennedy is rightly considered as one of the finest Rock singers of his generation but he plays a mean guitar too with some wicked slide during the Boogie Blues stomp of “In Stride” and a solo of melancholic beauty in the Country ballad, “Moonshot”.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • 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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