Slash - Talking Stick Resort - 8/1/2014
Jim Louvau Slash at Talking Stick Resort. Full slideshow here.
Former Guns N' Roses/Velvet Revolver axeman Slash brought plenty of nostalgia to Talking Stick Resort Friday night, visiting the Valley for a one-off date in the middle of his North American Tour with Aerosmith. The 49-year-old still looks almost identical to how he looked in the '80s, still sporting his signature top hat and Gold Burst Gibson Les Paul. Another thing that hasn't changed is his history of having some of the best rock singers fronting his band, and Myles Kennedy is no exception, which was unquestionable from the opening lines of opener "You're a Lie."
The GNR classic "Nightrain" sounded great with Slash jumping around the stage with one foot just like he did back in the day. "Halo," from 2012's Apocalyptic Love, followed and didn't get as much rise from the crowd.
Note: It was after that third track that I left the photo pit I put my camera away and headed to the back of venue in my general admission seat that really meant I had to stand in the very back of the venue to review the show. However, I was informed that I wasn't allowed to have my camera bag in the venue, and I would have to dispose of it in my car and come back without it in order to review the show.
That process took nine songs.
But that's why this review has a sizable gap.
When I returned to the show, I found out I missed covers of Guns N' Roses staples like "You Could Be Mine" and "You're Crazy," which featured bassist Todd Kern on lead vocals, the band was in the middle of and extended jam of GNR's "Rocket Queen." There is no denying that Myles Kennedy is one of the top vocalist in the active-rock game today, but onstage he is also very safe and predictable. And as far as a showman, he isn't even close to being on the same level of Axl Rose and doesn't have the charisma of Scott Weiland. What Kennedy lacks in rock 'n' roll showmanship, he makes up vocally, which may be more of what Slash is looking for in a singer after dealing with the baggage that came along with Rose and Weiland.
A highlight of the newer Kennedy material was the band's latest single "World on Fire," which was signature Slash guitar licks that didn't sound like they were dated from 20 years ago. At times it's hard to decipher Slash and Kennedy written songs from Kennedy's other band Alter Bridge.