Venue: Terminal 5 (New York, NY)
Opener: Unlocking The Truth
Label: Dik Hayd Records
Now before I get started about this particular show I have to let the readers know that I have been a big fan of Slash and all his accomplishments with Guns n Roses in the past way up to the stuff that he has been doing with singer Myles Kennedy as a solo artist. Okay, I probably missed the boat on Slash’s Snakepit more based on what my interests were at the time, but I did enjoy his contributions to Velvet Revolver even though I was never more than a casual fan of the band and am simply knocked out by the collaboration with Myles that this show would be the focus on. Tonight’s show would be sold out and at Terminal 5 which is a massive event space way down on the West Side and 11th avenue. Opening up the show would be a solitary act, the young stalwarts of music and YouTube videos sensations, Unlocking The Truth. Here is how the event went down if you weren’t able to come out.
Unlocking The Truth: You might have heard about the young band Unlocking The Truth because to say that a LOT of press has been going around about them would be an understatement. However, if the name is still news to your musical database let me educate you quickly and say that the band is comprised of three teenage boys of color who quickly gained what is termed viral notoriety for setting up their equipment at busy areas of NYC and started bringing the Metal breakdowns and riffs to the masses. Sometimes they were shooed away and at other times were captured on video and hence the YouTube sensation factor. Anyway, they were soon signed to Sony Music for a whopping 1.8 million dollar contract if my research is on point and from there the rest is their own building musical history. Opening up for Slash was a great catch for such a band because it was almost always going to put them in front of a sold out room provided that most fans got themselves in the door early enough. Considering how many like to get “the best spot” for the main event this seemed to be the case for the young Brooklyn rockers. The three piece group is fronted by Malcolm Brickhouse who sings and plays guitar while Alec Atkins and Jarad Dawkins handle the rhythm section on bass and drums respectively. With no album to reference and being completely new to the band in the live sense I was not sure what to expect. My only background was these same YouTube clips that I mentioned and I had to say that from the moment the guys hit the stage they were jamming. They are roughly about 14 years old apiece I think but maybe one of them is 15 at this point and they do know how to play a lot better than the riffing in the clips online so that was cool. Glad that they are paying mind to their craft since this is a terribly competitive business even with a record deal behind you. I’m not going to lay down any super hard critique upon the lads because they are still going through the growing pains of being in a band together and trying to make this work out for them. I do wish them luck and hope it encourages many other young musicians to take up the craft. Just don’t’ block too many subway entrances when doing so alright. Now it was onto the main event, the one and the only Slash.
Slash: Now when I started to pen this narrative about the Slash concert I mentioned that I had pretty much been behind all of his musical adventures for a very long time but the part that I neglected to mention was that tonight’s show would be the very first time that I was seeing him in concert. I kid you not. Yeah I saw some benefit gig that was dedicated to him a few years ago with the Road Recovery folks but that was him jamming along with a score of other talent across the span of a night and not a full on concert like this one was going to be so I was pretty excited. By the time that Slash and Myles took to the stage the entire Terminal 5 was packed to the doors and I mean tight. On the general floor you were locked into place so the way I work this space is once I am done doing my photographer thing I head to higher ground and try to rock out as best as possible from any available space. To say that the air was electric as the lights went down would be an understatement and like a shot of adrenaline the band was onstage and opening with “You’re A Lie” from their first collaboration together. It’s a solid opening track but of course I was on the anxious side for some GnR tracks having only seen them being done by the band on YouTube clips before this show. “Nightrain” would serve my craving nice and early as the bands second tune and I had to say I was loving every second so far and very early in. I’ve been a fan of Myles ever since I first heard his vocal register in Alter Bridge with their debut album (the now decade old “One Day Remains”) and love what he is doing with Slash. Now I should stress that he doesn’t exactly sound like Axl when he does those tunes but he manages to command them with such intensity that it draws you into the show all the more.
Slash would revisit his 2010 self-titled solo album with two tracks from that one. This was the album that featured a wide variety of singers and would be the one where this live collaboration first took root. Truly this was a great move by Slash since Myles is one of the brightest vocal talents in Rock at this point in time. Myles would deliver a couple more Guns tunes with “Double Talkin’ Jive” (a mystery tune to my ears I’ll admit) and the T2 film song “You Could Be Mine”. I swear whenever I hear that song I see Ahhnold on the motorcycle blasting a shotgun at Robert Patrick. Ahh memories. After these few tunes Myles would take a breather and let fellow Co-Conspirator Todd Kerns handle the vocals and he truly rocked the house with “Welcome To The Jungle”. I liked seeing the other musicians shine across the night as it makes it truly be a band and not just Slash and company. Through it all the top hat sporting shredder continued to impress with his six-string virtuosity and when they got to “Rocket Queen” there was a super long extended lead guitar section that had everyone’s mind blown in the venue. I lost count of the amount of air-guitars that were going on as various dudes tried to impress their dates with miming skills while all eyes were focused on Mr. Hudson and his blistering riffing. It was really one of the most smoking parts of the night.
Now at the ¾’s mark it was time to show a little more love to the latest album “World On Fire” and though I have not yet gotten myself through it for review purposes at the time of this writing can say that I like what it sounds like in the live sense which makes me a very happy scribe. Sometimes you find tunes sounding great on album and meh in concert and vice versa but this was not the case tonight as these are solid tracks and of course Myles is making them shine quite brightly. With so much material to touch upon with his past solos, new releases and GnR work I was a little surprised to even find a Velvet Revolver tune in the set but one would come with “Slither”. This is one of the former bands best tunes but still the one I like the most is “Fall To Pieces” and I would have loved hearing Myles sing that one. By this point in the night I could have heard him sing the phone book along with Slash’s playing and would have felt that I had gotten my money’s worth.
As the night drew to a close Slash called up a special guest star in Kimberly Nichole who was a contestant on the hit NBC singing competition “The Voice”. She would join him in a smoking version of The Leaves song “Hey Joe” which you are likely saying “no KP that’s a Hendrix song man”, but yeah even he covered it. It really rocked and while Kimberly ruled on vocals I think I would have liked to hear Myles sing this one as well. This brought us to the end which was going to be the show stopping “Paradise City”, a tune that often closed sets by GnR and would serve the same purpose for Slash and Company tonight. From beginning to end this tune sent waves of positive sound out to the crowd and when it got to its most rocking part at the middle section there were small groups of moshing going on but not that much since it was so damned packed in there. When it was all said and done the wave of exhaustion rose across the whole audience as they were as spent as the band was and it was no surprise. This was a hot show and one that I was glad to have finally witnessed in person.
Many fans still lament that there has been no proper Guns N Roses reunion and while it might mean more money for Slash it would put a rock solid enterprise on hold for a long time so I don’t really care if we ever get that. Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and The Co-Conspirators is a must see live act if you are a fan of Rock solid musicianship and delivery in concert. They deliver a hefty amount of the expected classic tunes from his past along with new ones that are likely to become fast favorites. As I close this up I can say that I’ve read some blasts online citing that a live DVD and Blu-ray release will be coming out later in the year from Eagle Rock Entertainment and since those guys are great at live film releases this is surely going to be something that you want to add to your collection. In a few days Myles’ Alter Bridge bandmate Mark Tremonti is playing at The Highline Ballroom and I’m planning on being there and only hope that we shall see a special guest appearance from Myles as well if the singer is planning on staying in town. It is NYC after all and stuff like that is bound to happen. See you there.
Full Slash Photo Gallery: http://piercingmetal.com/slash-wmyles-kennedy-the-co-conspirators-live-photos-terminal-5-572015/
1. You’re a Lie
5. Back from Cali
6. Wicked Stone
7. Too Far Gone
8. Double Talkin’ Jive
9. You Could Be Mine
10. Doctor Alibi
11. Welcome to the Jungle
12. Beneath The Savage Sun
13. Rocket Queen
15. Bent to Fly
16. World on Fire
18. Sweet Child O’ Mine
19. Hey Joe
20. Paradise City