Slash at The SSE Arena, Wembley: Event Review

Courtesy of centrum.fm
Courtesy of centrum.fm

After leaving Guns N’ Roses 18 years ago, guitar legend Slash proved he was still arena-level worthy with his performance Wembley’s SSE Arena on Tuesday night. As a man of very few words, Slash let his signature Les Pauls do the talking as he played through a vast set covering music from his Guns N’ Roses days to present with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators.

As the eerie sound of circus music faded, Slash took to the stage and Wembley came alive as the arena was filled with the opening riff of “You’re A Lie.” Shortly after the audience went wild as drummer Brent Fitz sounded the cowbell of the Appetite For Destruction hit, “Nightrain.

The backdrop may have had Slash written in bold across it, but Myles Kennedy’s stage presence dominated the show. With his powerful vocals and impressive front man skills, Kennedy had complete control over the audience as the five-piece went on to play “Standing In The Sun,” “Avalon,” “Stone Blind,” and Kennedy’s first single with Slash, “Back From Cali.” His defining voice also brought a new edge to Guns N’ Roses classics such as “Double Talkin’ Jive” and “Mr. Brownstone”, and from Slash’s self titled album “Ghost”.

Mid-set Kennedy picked up a guitar and joined the rhythm section as bassist Todd ‘Dammit’ Kerns stepped up to the microphone. Kerns brought an 80’s Glam Rock vibe to the set as he powered through the hard-hitting “Doctor Alibi” and “Out Ta Get Me”.

Throughout the evening Slash’s guitar skills brought justice to his position amongst the rock gods. The audience stood with their jaws dropped as they watched him execute an outstanding fifteen minute solo in the bridge of “Rocket Queen” and became overwhelmed as the extended solo of “Anastasia” went straight into “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” creating a remarkable atmosphere as they harmonised along to the bass line.

It was clear that fans were not just hoping to hear the classics as they cheered and screamed equally as loud throughout the set which also included “30 Years To Life”, “Beneath The Savage Sun”, “Bent To Fly” and “World On Fire”. Kennedy appeared to take this into account as he thanked the fans during an extended intro to Velvet Revolver’s “Slither” stating “It’s great to see you all singing along to all our new songs. That means so much to us.” Slash also slipped in his first words of the evening to say “This is F-ing amazing, we’re playing Wembley! This is the second time I’ve ever played here.” The show concluded with spectacular performance of “Paradise City,” accompanied by an explosion of confetti as the song reached its high-speed climax.

Having recently disagreed with Gene Simmons’ statement that “Rock is finally dead,” Slash stuck by his words and proved rock is still alive through his no-nonsense performance and his ability to stun an audience with his phenomenal guitar skills. Slash will return to the UK in June 2015 to play the main stage at Download Festival.

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