24 Nov, Tuesday
12° C

Review: Slash w/ Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators – Belsonic 2019, Belfast

There’s no denying that Slash is without a doubt one of the greatest guitarists in Rock history. A musician who’s talent has spanned over 3 decades, Saul Hudson  shows no signs of hanging the top hat up just yet. Currently performing with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, Slash and co brought the ‘Living The Dream’ tour to Ormeau Park, kicking off Belsonic with an electrifying two hour set packed with both old hits and new from Slash’s solo career.

Following a day of music from The Screaming Eagles, local rockers No Hot Ashes and Southern Rock charmers Blackberry Smoke, the headliners we’ve all been waiting on take to the stage at 8.45pm. The hard rock five piece waste no time getting the show started, kicking this off with ‘Call of The Wild’ and ‘Halo’.

Hardcore fans sing along to every word of ‘Standing In The Sun’ and ‘Apocolyptic Love’ where others seem happy to be witnessing a legend with his Les Paul in hand doing his thing. There’s no doubt Slash draws the numbers in but the band are tight and compliment each other well. Todd Kerns on bass and Brent Fitz on drums form the rhythm section with Myles Kennedy’s vocals on point from the moment he opens his mouth.

“You want it louder? I think the crowd want it louder!” shouts Myles before the band ramp it up a notch for ‘Back To Cali’.

We’re in full flow now, the rain isn’t easing but nobody seems to care, Slash is on fire taking every opportunity to show off his solo’s and shredding skills and air guitars are seen throughout the crowd.

The band rip through ‘My Antidote’ and ‘Serve You Right’ but there’s some unimpressed gruntles heard amongst the crowd who are complaining that it’s just not loud enough.

“You want it louder. Can you hear over here. It’s not fuckin loud enough is that the problem?” reiterates Myles once more. ‘Boulevard of Broken Hearts’ goes down a treat and gets the biggest cheer of the night so far.

Todd Kearns takes his turn on vocals for ‘We’re all Gonna Die’ and ‘Dr. Alibi’ (a fitting tribute to Lemmy Kilmister) before Myles returns to the mic for ‘The One You Loved Is Gone’, this time Slash is on the double neck guitar for a yet another solo reminiscent of ‘November Rain’.

Addressing the noise issue once again Myles asks ‘Is it getting any better out there? We’re trying! There’s a noise threshold, It doesn’t stop you all from being loud as fuck!’ and he’s right, it’s unfair to blame the band, it’s out of their control.

On ‘Wicked Stone’, Slash plays an epic 13 minute solo. The air guitars are out and there’s a few ‘tops off’ moments in the crowd who are in their element watching Slash go wild he’s met with roars of applause. Undoubtedly a highlight of the night.

Crowd excitement builds as the band play ‘Mind Your Manners’ and ‘Driving Rain’, fans who have followed this tour know what’s coming next, ‘Nightrain!’ A Guns N’ Roses classic. The weather is at its worst but the crowd don’t care, Nightrain gets everyone going. Myles is consistent on the vocals and is more than a match for Axl Rose, my personal highlight of the night comes as Slash centre stage for that signature solo. It’s magical – Nightrain in the night train.

As the night draws to a close we have ‘By The Sword’ and ‘Starlight’. The crowd are on a high as the band burst into ‘You’re A Lie’ before Myles has a ‘Freddie Mercury moment’ with the crowd as they chant back and forth to each other.

The rain has stopped a little too late as the band close their set with an energizing performance of ‘World’s On Fire’.

Crowd chants of “one more tune!” fill the park (standard practice!) and the band return to the stage for ‘Anastacia’ another highlight of the night, that sees Myles pick up a guitar for the second to play with the rest of the band before they say their final goodbyes to the drenched crowd.

It’s been one hell of a night, a chance to see a legend at his craft. Slash may not have brought the L.A. sunshine with him but the rain didn’t dampen the spirit (excuse the pun!) of the fans who armed with ponchos and raincoats had made their way out in force to see the band play regardless of the downpour – Belsonic 2019 is well and truly underway!

Writer for Gigging NI.