By Alma Reed
Written by Wes Lytz
Lovers of hard rock guitar solos unite! Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators rocked out at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium Tuesday night. Slash is touring on the recently released Living the Dream album.
The former Guns ‘N Roses guitarist hardly needs introduction. Widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Slash with his top hat and Les Paul Custom has permanently etched his image into the cultural fabric of rock & roll. In 2008, Slash joined forces with legendary Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy and have since released three studio albums. On this night, all 5 members join forces like Voltron at the historic Ryman Auditorium, once home to the Grand Ole Opry and Union Gospel Tabernacle, for a little madness and hard-rocking mayhem.
Arriving at the Ryman after the opening band’s set, one immediately notices the energy in the building is like a statically charged cloud about to release a bolt of lightning. The nearly sold out audience spans the generations as fans young and old prepare to bask in their heroes’ glory.
The lights dim and the crowd erupts. They open with Call of The Wild from their new album. Slash’s jaunty guitar riffs, driving rhythm and Myles’ soaring, sing-songy vocals get the show off to a rip-roaring start. This was followed by several songs from older albums including fan favorites Apocalyptic Love, Back from Cali and Shadow Life.
Bass player Todd Kerns puts on an extraordinarily energetic performance throughout the whole show, in addition to singing pitch-perfect harmonies alongside Myles Kennedy, which is no simple feat. Myles goes offstage and Mr. Kerns signs lead vocals for 2 songs from Slash’s self-titled “duets” album: We’re All Gonna Die, originally performed by Iggy Pop, and Doctor Alibi which originally featured Motorhead icon Lemmy Kilmeister on lead vocals. Before launching into Doctor Alibi, Mr. Kerns paid homage to the historic Ryman Auditorium and humorously remarked how he was “going to sing a Lemmy song where Minnie Pearl once stood.”
Myles Kennedy returns onstage and they pump out more jams. They perform their song Wicked Stone which ends with a Slash signature 11 minute guitar solo - truly an epic feat of guitar playing endurance. The roars of the crowd ebb and flow like crashing waves perfectly in sync with the crescendos of Slash’s emotive playing.
Just when you were ready to begrudgingly accept that they weren’t going to play any Guns ‘N Roses songs, they launch into a fire rendition of Nightrain from the Appetite For Destruction album. This is followed by Starlight, You’re a Lie and World On Fire, and an encore of their hit Anastasia. It was a high octane performance from start to finish by the living legends of rock & roll. Now that we’re all amped up, I guess we’ll go home and try to get some sleep so we can get up for work in the morning.