Detroit,Michigan(March 4,2022)-It’s not every day that a legendary guitar hero rolls into town on tour with a hot band, and when the word was out that Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators rescheduled their Windsor, Ontario, “Living The Dream Tour” date to the Motorcity side of the river, tickets soon became a commodity. Even though it was just seven months ago that the generational defining shredder was melting faces at Detroit’s Comerica Park as part of Guns N’ Roses’ ongoing reunion tour, that didn’t stop legions of fans from waiting hours outside in the freezing temperature to see him again Friday night at the more intimate confines of The Fillmore Detroit.
When thinking back to the debauchery, fast living and sleazy lifestyle that Slash endured in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, you can visualize a larger than life rockstar who may have barely held himself together for a live set during the GN’R heydays. Things have clearly changed for the better over the past 30 years and as expected, this show was nothing less than perfection, executed by top notch musicians at the height of their game. Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators take their craft seriously and deliver nearly two hours of some of the best unrelenting powerhouse rock’n’ roll in the business without relying on any of the music that they are so closely aligned with.
Instead, Slash and company built a high octane 21-song setlist consisting of cuts of his own material along with a few surprising covers that spanned from the early solo projects up to Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators latest release, the critically acclaimed new album “4”. Alongside the early hits like “World on Fire” and “Speed Parade,” from Slash’s Snakepit, there was a crowd pleasing sampling off the new album like the rollicking leadoff “The River Is Rising” and the slick “C’est La Vie,” which featured Slash on his talk box for a little crowd pleasing sonic effect. Basked in his signature chaotic curls and top hat, the formidable Slash continues to be the unmistakable general onstage. However, he continues to very cognizant of the musical company he keeps onstage, whether it’s working in Guns N’ Roses’ or Velvet Revolver to the current project, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, the later whom he’s most-often collaborated with since early 2012.
With a 10-year history of making music together the band, consisting of widely respected world class musician always gets equal billing in the project, from the massive backdrop that anchors the back of the minimalist set to the spotlights on stage during the performance, it’s easy to understand why. During the ballad section of “Fill My World” and “The One You Loved Is Gone,” eyes immediately gravitate towards Slash as the guitarist strapped on a Gibson Double-neck Custom SG. But as soon as the spotlights were directed towards frontman Myles Kennedy, the focus shifted as he began to belt out the pitch perfect, mesmerizing lyrics in a way that only he can. Bassist Todd Kerns’ harmonizing vocals were also a welcome touch throughout the set but really came to light, spotlight that is, when stepping up to the mic for a crushing vocal performance on “Always On The Run” and the punk-rock influenced “Doctor Alibi.”
With multitude of of highlights that perpetuated the performance there were a few standouts. Singer Myles Kennedy absolutely shines as a frontman, maintaining incredible control and nailing song after song, closing his eyes and locking in the zone, swaying with the band during transcendent jams. But tonight it was a cover of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” — which the band recorded for the soundtrack behind the newer Disney film “Stuntman” — that stunned the capacity venue and could go on to be a career defining moment for the enigmatic frontman. Subtle with a rough cut that lends credence to the Sir Elton John classic, it was undoubtedly the hit of the night based on the thundering ovation. Conversely, the same could be said for the encore lead in “Nothing to Say,” from Slash’s 2010 solo album. This song featured a blistering extended guitar solo from Slash along with some serious drum work by Brent Fitz. Not to be overlooked due to the presence of Slash was rhythm guitarist Frank Sidoris. His contribution to the song and the overall set was low key amazing and he kept a solid rhythm throughout the night.
The 50 year old Elton John classic gracefully prepared the audience for a few more potent signature Slash rockers, the tour debut of “Halo,” “You’re a Lie” and an absolute barn burner of “Worlds on Fire” that closed out the ambitious main set. Slash, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators returned to the stage one more time for a single encore of “Anastasia,” that featured nearly a 10-minute Slash solo where the fans got to witness a guitar virtuoso stretch his legs and display his chops up close and personal.
When the proverbial curtain fell putting the wraps on the nearly two-hour long set, there was a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction that permeated throughout the venue. It was very difficult to look around and see anyone that was leaving unappeased with the performance, with most wishing that it could have gone on for another few hours. The night was everything fans love and expect from a Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators show – amazing guitarwork by the legend himself, strong vocals from one of the strongest frontman in music today and not one, but two songs with Todd Kerns on lead vocals.
Slash has been a rock staple for three decades now, and if he continues writing music like he has been and performing with the same energy and intensity that he put on display in Detroit, then it’s not outside the realm of possibilities to see him perform for couple decades more. Musically, there is not another group around that has the same ability and stage presence that can put on show as aesthetically appealing as Slash, Myles Kennedy and Co. With a set full of standout moments Friday night, what could be most impressive to fans is that Slash may have finally found a band that allows him to follow his muse, free of expectations, without the risk of imminent implosion. That in itself is impressive. “Living The Dream Tour” continues through March.
Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators:
The Fillmore Detroit: