Slash, St Jakobshalle, Basel. 15 November 2014

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, or short : S, MK&C, have been one of my favourite band ever since they released their first album. I bought it straight away as I had loved Slash first solo album, and I got hooked immediately.

So I really wanted to see them live, but until now work always got in the way. I had a ticket in 2012 and had to trash it, I had a ticket in 2013 and had to work overtime and thrash the ticket again, so this time nothing would get in the way. Er actually I had to cut myself in two that day as we also had a very important family gathering, but eventually I just snuck away in the middle of the festive lunch, I hope I don't get disowned for doing that.

My cousin was telling me how he saw Slash a while ago and was a bit disappointed by the lack of crowd reaction, except when a “crowd-pleaser” got played, in this case a Guns and Roses song. I think this was due to the fact that even a year ago this band was really new and maybe not as popular yet, plus at festivals you have a mixed crowd of fans that come for various bands. Well, the first clue was that arriving only an hour early wasn't quite enough if you wanted a good place, the queue was already pretty impressive.

I've been really busy lately so I hadn't really paid attention to who was going to open the show, but the day before I asked the twitterverse, so I knew beforehand that it would be “Monster Truck”. I must say it was more than just a good surprise to discover this band, they were extremely good. It can be a drag depending on the opening band, I try to listen and not look bored as it's not very polite, but sometimes it's hard to forget the aching feet after three or four hours of standing. No such thing here, I kind of wished it would have been longer, I'll sure keep an eye on them.

The only other time I had seen Slash was way back in the days of the Snakepit, in July 1995 during one of the craziest festival I ever saw. I'll never see a line-up like that again, here's part of it just for the fun (it ran for three days) : R.E.M, Clawinger, Bo Diddley, The Beatiful South, Paul Weller, Elton John, Inner Circle,Ugly Kid Joe, Pat Travers, The Kelly Family, Rod Steward, Dream Theater, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Vanessa Mae, Faith No More, Oasis, Megadeth, Sheryl Crow, Page/Plant, The Neville Brothers, Shane Mc Gowan & The Popes, Warrant, Kix, Walter Trout Band, Nathan Cavaleri Band, Status Quo, Chuck Berry, Slash's Snakepit, The Dubliners and many more!

Almost twenty years ago! So it was about time I saw Slash again but the odds seemed to be against me. Until now.

It was well worth the wait, all I want now is to see them again. By now a lot of the setlist is recent stuff, of course you get the odd GnR song (every third song?), but a lot of the set list is actually from the new album, and even so the audience seems to know all the songs and sings along.

From the website:

You're a Lie
Back from Cali
Withered Delilah (live premiere)
You Could Be Mine
Doctor Alibi (Todd Kerns on lead vocals)
Out Ta Get Me (Todd Kerns on lead vocals)
Shadow Life
Beneath the Savage Sun
Mr. Brownstone
Rocket Queen
Bent to Fly
World on Fire
Sweet Child O' Mine
Paradise City

Without really being a GnR fan I must say I really adore “Nightrain” what a great song to hear live.
And as you can see we had an exclusive premiere of “ Withered Delilah” pretty cool and great song. One of my personal favourite is “Bent To Fly” from the new album. And I love “Doctor Alibi” initially sung by Lemmy. Makes you want to start a pogo, but these days people don't seem to do that any more. Probably better for my old bones tough. Todd Kerns does a great job on vocals here.

I didn't review the new album, though I really meant to, I rarely review albums unless they really thrill me, and this is the case here. The rhythm section is so tight, it shines through, really blows you away. So you can imagine how it sounds and works live. Drums and bass are like a juggernaut, pounding through the whole show with such power and the rhythm guitar is just right, discreet but very efficient.

My main problem was that I was very much on the left, under the speakers there, and so an essential part of the mix was lost, we could of course hear Slash's parts but trunkated, which was a shame, particularly during the long solo. That was one of the highlights for me though I heard a few complaints it was too long! Maybe it's a generation thing but I love to lose myself into long solos when they are that good, in this world of immediate consumption and fast pace, I like to take the time to really immerse myself in something. It's in moments like these, kind of trance like, that I get my best ideas!

On the other hand, I was probably the only one who found the encore anti-climatic but I was never a big fan of that song. And being right in front if the big machines that spout out a ton of little “confetti”, I was reminded why I have a phobia of confetti, I once nearly choked to death from a facefull of them and this was close enough. But it's also fun as it reminds me of the end of an Alice Cooper show, getting a few souvenirs.

Good thing I spotted this guitar pick before the ground was completely covered by the confetti:

I didn't manage to get a good photo of Frank Sidoris even though he was closest to me, but at least I have a souvenir.

And yes I keep these souvenirs in little black boxes, it's my only indulgence into collecting. They also look good stacked up on my bookshelves.


Popular Posts