Artist: Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators
Where: Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne
Reviewers: Hear2Zen Team
Photographer: Hang Me On Your Wall Photography
This band needs no introduction. Every member is not only top shelf at what they do, but they are just great people. And 4 years was a long time for Australia to wait to see them once again. Sure, there were breaks where members dipped their toes in the water of other projects, but thankfully in early 2018 they reconvened at Slash’s “Snakepit Studio’s” to record what would become “Living The Dream”, and from there it was only natural that they would hit the road with Australia firmly in their sites. Australia is a very special place to this band, it was literally their first place to tour. They did one warm up show in LA, and then they were here. They do not hide their love for Australia and Australia is not shy about reciprocating.
We were lucky enough to go along and capture 3 of the 4 Australian shows. First up for SMKC was Sydney, and on this run they were joined by “Devilskin” from New Zealand, who did a fine job of warming the crowd up and got a great reception at each of the three shows we saw. Sydney’s crowd was probably the quietest of the three, but they were still super receptive of the band. Brisbane took it up a notch which was really great to see, thank you for representing Brisbane. Of course, Melbourne has long been known as the rock capital of Australia, and there is no way I see them being dethroned of that title any time soon. The Melbourne crowd was just insane. Now onto the shows.
Every show started with “Call Of The Wild” off the latest album, followed up by “Halo” and “Standing In The Sun”, both off 2012’s Apocalyptic Love. The beauty of SMKC as it stands in 2019, is the wealth of material they can chose from. Between Slash’s self-titled outing and the 3 Conspirators albums, they really have no need to fill the set out with any GNR material, though they do throw in “Night Train” in every night and do a fantastic job of it. My biggest surprise was no Velvet Revolver songs, but again 4 albums of material gives plenty of choices.
I have always loved the fact that Slash does his best to make sure every song on the album gets played over the course of a tour, and Living The Dream seems to be no different, with 7 of the 10 tracks being played live, including my favourite track from the album “The One You Loved Is Gone” which made its debut on the New Zealand and Australian shows.
Slash of course is joined by Myles Kennedy. Myles, to put it simply just delivers. He doesn’t take what he does lightly, and you know his vocal performance is super important to him and he really puts his heart and soul into every note that he sings. It was also nice to see him play a bit of guitar live. For those who don’t know, Myles is no slouch with a guitar.
Frank Sidoris plays the perfect foil to Slash on guitar. I might offend some when I say this, and no disrespect to those he has played with, but Slash and Frank just click, the connection and the sound is huge but also clear where you can hear the individual player and their individual parts. You can also hear it on the new album “Living The Dream” which is the first SMKC album to feature his playing. It’s evident they the perfect guitar duo.
Back on the drums is the highly underrated Brent Fitz. Brent not only holds down the groove on the songs, but also doesn’t subscribe to the drum hero mentality. The song is king for him. No tricks, no need for the big drum solo (Though he did rip into a little bit of the drum solo from Kiss’ “100’000 Years in Melbourne and did a perfect job of it). Unlike some drummers, Brent doesn’t need to have his spotlight moment, but prefers to keep the train powering along with great playing, as well as supporting with backing vocals. Young drummers should take note of how he plays.
And before you ask, I haven’t forgotten someone. The front man bursting through the bass players body is Mr. Todd “Dammit” Kerns”. Honestly, I don’t know how he does it night after night. No part of the stage is left untouched by him. He rallies the crowd, he urges them to take it up a notch, and then still pushes them more. When it comes time for him to take centre stage and sing a few songs, it becomes an all-out punk rock show. He is featured on “We’re All Gonna Die” originally sung by Iggy Pop on the Slash Solo album, and then he pays tribute to a dear friend of the band and all-round legend in Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead, with the song again from Slash’s solo album “Doctor Alibi”. He channels some of the man’s power each night he sings that song, I am sure.
And what can you say about Slash, that you probably haven’t already heard a million times over? His guitar riffs will be around long after we are all gone. He will be often imitated, never replicated, but is still the most reserved and humble guy, who just loves to play his guitar. Calling him all this stuff would probably make him uncomfortable but hey, are any of us in our own video game, no we aren’t, case closed.
SMKC play for over 2 hours with no rest. It’s just go, go, go. You will yell, you will scream, you will dance, you will have the time of your life. They are headed to Europe now with South America, North America and beyond in their sights. Don’t be that person that says “I wish I had have gone, just don’t”
Call Of The Wild / Halo / Standing In The Sun / Ghost / Back From Cali / Bent To Fly / My Antidote / Serve You Right / Read Between The Lines / We’re All Gonna Die / Doctor Alibi / The One You Loved Is Gone / Wicked Stone / Mind Your Manners / Driving Rain / By The Sword / Night Train / Starlight / You’re A Lie / World On Fire / Shadow Life / Anastasia
Call Of The Wild / Halo / Standing In The Sun / Ghost / Back From Cali / My Antidote / Bent To Fly / Serve You Right / Read Between The Lines / We’re All Gonna Die / Doctor Alibi / The One You Loved Is Gone / Wicked Stone / Mind Your Manners / Driving Rain / By The Sword / Night Train / Starlight / You’re A Lie / World On Fire / Avalon / Anastasia
Call Of The Wild / Halo / Standing In The Sun / Ghost / Back From Cali / My Antidote / Bent To Fly / Serve You Right / Read Between The Lines / We’re All Gonna Die / Doctor Alibi / The One You Loved Is Gone / Wicked Stone / Mind Your Manners / Driving Rain / Shadow Life / Night Train / Starlight / You’re A Lie / World On Fire / Avalon / Anastasia
We would like to thank Slash, Myles, Brent, Todd and Frank for their hospitality. Their crew and management for all their help. Jeff from Revelation Management. Janine from Dallas Does PR for all her hard work an and help, TEG Dainty for bringing the band out and all the cool people we met over the week.