SLASH SHINES IN SCOTLAND
Show Date: July 1, 2010
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Venue: HMV Picture House
Reviewer: Big Al
Band Websites: www.slashonline.com – www.myspace.com/slash
There’s always a sense of anticipation when a gig you’ve been looking forward to arrives, but this was gonna be a big one — Slash was playing Scotland’s capital! Tickets were sold out in minutes and I had one. The Picture House in Edinburgh is a converted cinema/nighTclub which, to be fair, isn’t huge but acoustically is ideal for music and tonight was no exception.
When the lights dimmed the noise level rose and before we knew it the top hat could be seen through the mist. Slash‘s guitar sound was crystal clear and the tightness of the band was astounding. He’s pulled a master stroke by bringing Myles Kennedy on the road… the man’s voice is unbelievable. Kicking off with “Ghost” was the perfect opener as Kennedy stalked the stage in his mirrored shades. Backing vocals from the excellent Todd Kerns and Bobby Schneck really brought this song to life and the place was jumping. We were treatEd to a Slash’s Snakepit number before Kennedy asked if we’d like the “Nightrain”… you’re fuckin’ right we would! Slash‘s guitar kicked into one of Guns N’ Roses‘ best and the roof almost came off the place. Bodies were surging forward just to get near the man… it was just crazy.
An excellent “Back From Cali” really showed what a voice Kennedy has and Slash‘s guitar playing benefitted from an excellent sound — kudos to the engineers, they played a blinder. A wee five song burst including “Rocket Queen” and “Civil War” along with “Beggars And Hangers On” and a truly magnificent “Fall To Pieces” really turned this show into one which will live long in memory.
It was incredible to hear Myles Kennedy apologizing for feeling a little off color as his vocals were outstanding. None more so than when he performed “Starlight”. The man has a range you would not believe. As a fan it’s always good to see a band enjoying themselves and tonight they all appeared to enjoy the interaction with the audience. Myles would often allow audience participation with songs and it really made it a fantastic night for the fans. As you could imagine, the crowd knew every word and when it was announced that Edinburgh was one of the nicest cities they had visited a wee bit of pride swelled up. We’ve heard it all before but, this time, it appeared genuine.
It was now time for Slash to really shine and “Watch This” was quickly followed by a solo which had everyone reaching for phones to record it for posterity. The man is a guitar God. You probably knew that… but he can really play!
The highlight of the night was just around the corner though when the opening chords of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” began. The crowd went ape-shit and as if it couldn’t get any better “Slither” had folks bouncing off the walls.
It had been incredible. There’s usually a fault you can aim at a live band — sound was poor, or they didn’t play my favorite tune — but I can’t use any negatives. They played for nigh on 2 hours. Each one of them excellent musicians. I was amazed at the job Brent Fitz did behind the kit, the man is a machine and the wee solo he chucked in mid set was amazing.
I mentioned the highlight of the night earlier — nah… it was coming! The band left the stage and were back a couple of minutes later. Slash, now shirtless and giving all us over 40s a lift with the lack of six pack action, went out and played Thin fuckin’ Lizzy! “Are you Ready” — you bet your arse we were. There was only gonna be one ending here and “Paradise City” just topped the cake… what a night.
Yes it may sound a bit over the top the praise I’m heaping on this band, but they really were that good. I’ve been going to concerts for 27 years and this one was up there. Come back soon guys.