at The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., March 31, 2024

SLASH Featuring MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS (Live at The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., March 31, 2024)
Photo: Mick Burgess

They say that an apple doesn’t fall from the tree and that could certainly apply to Wolfgang Van Halen from tonight’s support Mammoth WVH. Son of Eddie and nephew of Alex, the Van Halen musical DNA has certainly passed through the family.

A 16 year tenure touring with Van Halen and recording their final album A Different Kind Of Truth, gave Wolfgang an enviable apprenticeship with a stint in Tremonti, adding to an growing CV, not to mention his jaw-dropping three-song set of Van Halen classics at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Show in 2022.

Yet, it is in his own band, Mammoth WVH, that he has really blossomed in his own right producing two impressive, entirely self-written albums where he plays all the instruments, sings and produces making them truly solo, solo albums.

Handling guitar and vocals himself, Wolfgang has assembled a potent band including Garrett Whitlock on drums, Frank Sidoris and Jon Jourdan on guitars and livewire bassist Ronnie Ficarro. Over the course of half an hour or so, Mammoth WVH delivered a thunderous set of modern Metal, cherry picking the most immediate songs from their two albums with ‘Another Celebration At The End Of The World’ and ‘Don’t Back Down’ showing real craft in song writing.

They may have only had a brief time to shine on stage but Mammoth WVH took that opportunity by the throat and left the stage with a ton more fans than they had at the start after a show worthy of a headliner.

There must be no one on the planet who doesn’t instantly recognise Guns N’ Roses guitarist, Slash, with his iconic top hat, ripped jeans and cool shades. He is the epitome of the guitar hero.

While Guns N’ Roses are off the road, rather than sit around watching Netflix, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators hit the road for a series of UK shows and the opportunity to catch such a towering figure of the Rock world up close was too good an opportunity to miss. What is even better about tonight’s show, is that every other date on the tour is in a cavernous, impersonal arena so making this intimate City Hall show all the more special.

While it would have been easy to chuck out a Guns N’ Roses greatest hits set there would be little point seeing as though that band plays those songs every night anyway. Slash instead, wisely focussed on his own solo material with a couple of choice covers with only the obscure deep cut, “Don’t Damn Me” from his Guns N’ Roses catalogue as a nod to his day job and the show was all the better for it.

Kicking off with an explosive duo of “The River Is Rising” and “Driving Rain” the show was up and running with vocalist Myles Kennedy’s soaring, powerful voice and commanding stage presence proving the perfect foil for Slash’s guitar histrionics.

“Halo”, “Too Far Gone” and the talk-box driven riff of “C’est la Vie” came thick and fast, while the classy ballad, “Bent To Fly” and the beautiful “Starlight” showed an altogether different side to Slash’s repertoire while a hugely Funky “Always On The Run”, a co-write between Slash and Lenny Kravitz, brought a real groove to the night.

“Avalon”‘s foot stomping riff had the fists pumping while “Wicked Stone” featured a banging riff that could quite easily have adorned Guns N’ Roses classic Appetite For Destruction.

With four albums under their belts The Conspirators are one tight band with drummer Brent Fitz and bassist Todd Kerns locking together tightly and looking every inch the quintessential Rock stars. Kerns even stepped up and took lead vocals on “Dr Alibi”, originally sang by Lemmy on Slash’s self-titled solo album and on “Don’t Damn Me” and showing what a fine vocalist he is in his own right. Guitarist Frank Sidoris, drew on hidden reserves of energy, playing his second set of the night

“Fill My World” a song dedicated to all of our pets had mobile phones aloft with pictures of everyone’s pets including Slash’s wife sitting at the side of the stage as “You’re A Lie” and “World On Fire” brought the main set to a frenetic end.

Elton John’s “Rocket Man” was a bold but shrewd choice of cover for the encore with Slash on pedal steel guitar and Fitz on piano with a supremely classy “Anastasia” rounding off a breathtaking show of hard hitting Rock proving that there’s a whole lot more to Slash than Guns N’ Roses.


  • 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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