Slash - 'Live: Made In Stoke' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 28, 2012    
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Better late than never. Axl who?

I need to hold my hands up here and make a confession. I own the Guns 'N Roses 'Appetite For Destruction' album. It's amazing, one of the best rock albums ever made. I also have their 'Lies' EP. I heard both 'Use Your Illusion' albums but decided there was one decent album between them to make a very credible follow up to 'Appetite...' I can sense some people disagreeing, but that's my view. The less said about 'The Spaghetti Incident' the better. As for 'Chinese Democracy', whether that even counts as a GNR record is debatable. I therefore hold the opinion that despite their "legendary" status, GNR are massively overrated because, since 1985, they have, to my mind, released only a handful of albums, just one of which is a classic. There, I've said it. Hate mail to the usual address...

So, I have had a waning interest in GNR, paying very little attention to their solo endeavours. Consequently, when watching the High Voltage highlights, I was (pleasantly) surprised when I saw Slash's performance. He and Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy seemed to have a good vibe together and the three songs shown on TV sounded great. When this new Slash live DVD arrived, featuring Myles Kennedy as vocalist, I put it on and was absolutely, utterly blown away by how fucking good it is!

'Made In Stoke' sees the iconic top-hatted guitarist return to the city where he spent his first few years, and the crowd is thus obviously partisan. A very toned, healthy-looking Slash presides over a string of searing, riff driven rockers backed by the indefatigable Brent Fitz (drums), Bobby Schneck (rhythm guitar) and Todd Kerns (bass). Myles Kennedy is an absolute revelation on lead vocals, owning everything put in front of him, whatever its source.

The opening to the show is as rocking as it gets, with the awesome 'Been There Lately' followed in quick succession by a note perfect 'Nightrain', a rollicking 'Ghost' and the superb 'Mean Bone'. GNR fans will enjoy perfectly replicated renditions of 'Rocket Queen', 'Civil War', 'Patience', a superb 'Sweet Child O' Mine', the powerful 'Mr Brownstone' and a classic performance of 'Paradise City'. But it's by no means all about GNR. Velvet Revolver's 'Slither' is much better than the Scott Weiland-sung version; the first Snakepit album is represented by 'Beggars & Hangers On', and there are also tracks from Slash's solo CD. Bassist Todd Kerns handles lead on the Lemmy co-write 'Doctor Alibi' and Kennedy nails everything else.

I can't say enough good things about this gig - Slash's playing is excellent and I have totally underestimated him as a songwriter and band leader. Paired up with Myles Kennedy they are a rock and roll force to be reckoned with. Hands down the best thing I received this month, and now I've got to go out and rectify the fact that Slash has been putting out material of this quality for ages and I've only just discovered him.

Oh well, better late than never. Axl who?

James Gaden

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