featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators
Hartwall Arena, Helsinki
19’TH of February 2013
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY MARKO SYRJALA
Legendary guitar hero Slash appeared in Finland for the second time as a solo artist, this time in Hartwall Arena in Helsinki. Slash released his second solo album LOVE APOCALYPTIC LOVE last May and it also features Slash’s longtime touring band members: vocalist Myles Kennedy, drummer Brent Fitz and bassist Todd Kerns. The new album has not only been a sales success, but critics have also generously praised the disc. The success of this album and ongoing tour has proved that ex Guns’n Roses guitarist is doing great on his own without the burdens of the past.
The evening’s special guest was Finland’s very own Michael Monroe. The band is currently giving the final touches to its upcoming album, which should be out later in the spring. The band hit the stage by about 07:30 and opened up with a string of SENSORY OVERDRIVE tracks followed Hanoi Rocks classic “Motorvatin” and Demolition 23 track “Hammersmith Palais”. Well, after witnessing more than 20 Michael Monroe shows during the last three years, there is not much new to say about this performance. The band was sounding great as always and Michael was still the hyper energetic perpetual motion machine on stage. There were no surprises on the set, no new songs, it was just a great high energy rock ‘n roll show.
1.Trick of the Wrist 2.Got Blood? 3.Modern Day Miracle 4.Motorvatin’ 5.Hammersmith Palais 6.’78 7.All You Need 8.Nothin’s Alright 9.Not Faking It 10.Bombs Away
11.Malibu Beach Nightmare 12.Dead, Jail or Rock ‘n’ Roll 13.1970
SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS
Slash and co. kicked off their show at 09:00PM with APOCALYPTIC LOVE track “Halo” followed by “Meanbone” and Guns ’n Roses track “Nightrain”. The whole band was in really good shape right from the beginning and the audience, which was about the size of four thousand, was very well involved right away. The concert stage set was pretty much stripped down. There was not any special stage construction or lighting systems, just a huge backdrop which was based on the new album cover art.
The set list was of course built upon the latest release and there were altogether seven songs from the album on the set. APOCALYPTIC LOVE has got a great response from critics and buying audience. As expected, the singles “It’s a Lie” and “Anastasia” were clearly the crowd favorites, but in fact there were no actual weak or lame moments during the show. Previous album SLASH was present with five songs and the rest consisted of collection of selected songs from Slash’s past bands. Guns’n Roses is and will always be an important part of Slash’s history and it’s great that man now takes the most out of a wonderful past. You can’t go wrong with iconic rock classics like “Sweet Child O’Mine”, “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City” which all are safe choices to satisfy the so-called “basic fans” who are not too familiar with newer stuff. But it’s great that it’s now just about the hits and new material because Slash & co do remember their long-term fans as well. Two Slash’s Snakepit songs “Mean Bone” and “Serialkiller” were the highlights for many and rarely played Steppenwolf classic “Magic Carpet Ride” topped off a great evening. The latter was one of the two songs featuring special guest Michael Monroe on lead vocals and it made the audience completely wild. Slash and Michael Monroe have known each other for decades and they have been performing together every then and now. It’s not a secret that Hanoi Rocks was one of the biggest influences for Guns’n Roses back in the day. Hopefully men will find some common time from their calendars to work out something together in the future?
With the exception of the latest Frank Sidoris who joined the band on last summer, this line-up has been stable since 2010, and yes, it is shown on the stage in a good way. Slash is definitely the predominant element of the show but each band member has their own important role on the stage. Vocalist Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) is truly a great singer. He has a vocal range that most can only dream of and that’s really an important thing to have when you’re singing in a band with a man with such a long history. It can be safely said that the man is very qualified to interpret older material and fans seems to accept him very well. The Conspirators consist of Canadian rhythm section drummer Brent Fitz (Union, Ecoline Crush, Alice Cooper etc) and bassist Todd Kerns (Sin Sity Sinners, Age of Electric etc) reinforced with rhythm guitarist Frank Sidoris. The Conspirators are all experienced professionals. They played tightly as hell but also performed great with tons of energy. Special mention goes to Mr. Kerns who did strong lead vocals on “Doctor Alibi” and Guns ‘n Roses classic “Welcome to The Jungle”.
Well, then there’s Slash himself … Slash is an iconic character nowadays – wearing a massive top hat, black chaps and sunglasses with long curly hair is recognized everywhere by everyone. Physically, Slash is still really in a good condition. He looks healthy and cool and he’s constantly running across the stage like he did back in the late 80’s heydays. But people should pay more attention to the fact that the man is a hell of kind of guitarist with his own very unique style. In general his playing is nothing but enjoyable to listen but to be honest… now things went a way too far when he decided to play something like fifteen minute solo during “Rocket Queen”. It’s good to be good, but enough is enough, right?
All in all this was really enjoyable and warm-hearted event. The band was performing really well and they had a lot of communication with the audience. Unlike most of the arena shows, this evening’s event had more of a club gig feeling and I’m saying that in a positive sense. The concert lasted over two hours and the set included altogether twenty-two songs. Unfortunately, nothing was included from Slash’s Snakepit’s brilliant debut IT’S FIVE O CLOCK SOMEWHERE and there was only one track, “Slither”, from Velvet Revolver, but it’s understandable that band can’t play four hour shows, right? Slash mentioned that there are plans to release another album with this line-up on next year. Hopefully we’ll see then again!
1. Halo 2. Mean Bone 3. Nightrain 4. Ghost 5. Standing in the Sun 6. Back from Cali 7. Serial Killer 8. Mr. Brownstone 9. Bad Rain 10.Not for Me 11.Doctor Alibi 12.Rocket Queen 13.No More Heroes 14.Starlight 15.Anastasia 16.You’re a Lie 17.Sweet Child O’ Mine 18.Slither
ENCORE 1 feat Michael Monroe 19.We’re All Gonna Die 20.Magic Carpet Ride
ENCORE 2 21.Welcome to the Jungle 22.Paradise City
MORE PICTURES FROM THE SHOW!