Slash Live in Manila Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators
When In Manila, Slash Live in Manila Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators has been on top of my concert list this summer. This is Slash we’re talking about, man. Together with Guns ‘N Roses, Slash was without a doubt one of the most recognizable guitarists of that glamorous 80’s to early 90’s era of hard rock. And for us guitar players, he is one of the most influential.
Arriving at the Smart Araneta Coliseum at 8:30 PM, hiccups with our media passes meant that we would miss the first half of the concert. Slash and his band were playing the last part of “Bad Rain” as we broke into a half-filled hall with most of the audience crowding to the front to get as close to the guitar demi-god. iPhones were raised as high as their bearers could, as if searching for signal in a barren wasteland.
Slash did not disappoint. I particularly enjoyed the extended solos he played for several songs in the concert. It wasn’t perfect. There were times that he would miss a note or two. At one point, he broke from the progression halfway through, picking the pieces after a brief halt. To be fair, this was during a 10-minute long solo. And in the songs that mattered, his riffs exceeded expectations of how I envisioned them played live in concert.
While most people went to the concert to see Slash and some the addition of Myles Kennedy, I found a hidden jewel in The Conspirators‘ axe man Todd Kerns. Slash introduced Kerns as they began playing “Doctor Alibi”, a song from Slash‘s eponymous album originally sung by Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister. Kerns nailed Lemmy‘s straight-from-the-grave voice – a feat in and of itself. And in the encore, Kerns took to the microphone once more for “Welcome to the Jungle”, this time using his powerful range to cover Axl Rose‘s banshee shrieks.
Don’t get me wrong: Myles Kennedy is a strong vocalist himself. Probably the main difference is that Kennedy has a distinct vocal persona. His performance of “Slither” was infectious, I and the crowd jumping up and down and shouting “Hey!” as that Velvet Revolver anthem was played to our delight. Curiously, Slash was already encouraging Kennedy to be the lead vocalist of Velvet Revolver even before the band went for Scott Weiland for that project. Slash finally got his wish.
When In Manila, you could feel the excitement as Slash played Live in Manila for the first time. The fans, though very appreciative throughout the night, were obviously more alive, kicking and screaming during the latter part of the show. The intricate guitar progressions for “Anastasia” off Slash‘s latest album Apocalyptic Love got the attention of the crowd who were predominantly familiar with GNR and Velvet Revolver material. And it’s a very good thing that Slash and his band saved the best for last, playing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Slither” before leaving and returning for an encore with “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City”. As the confetti popped and fell on the crowd, everyone kept shouting and raising their fists or horns in the air, nobody wanting to leave until they were sure that the 2-hour-plus concert was truly over.
Myles Kennedy and Frank Sidoris were equally pumped, taking to Twitter how amazing the crowd was and their thanks to the fans who came to watch the show.
Slash Live in Manila Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators: All Hail the Riff Lord!