By Karen Kunawicz
So the Slash concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum was not filled up to the rafters. But I wouldn’t judge this show by the size of the crowd. Guitar legend Slash (a.k.a. Saul Hudson) played his first concert ever in Manila and he was absolutely awesome and so were Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators.
This is the second time I’ve seen them and once again, they put on an amazing show. For those unfamiliar with rock gods, Slash is best known for being the guitarist of Guns N Roses. The band’s 1987 album, Appetite for Destruction is the best-selling debut album of all time in the US.
I had Appetite for Destruction on cassette and I practically ruined the tape playing it over and over and over again.
After the 30-month Use Your Illusion tour in the early ‘90s Guns N Roses broke up. Slash’s career continued with the on and off Slash’s Snakepit, Slash’s Blue Ball and Velvet Revolver (with Stone Temple Pilot’s Scott Weiland doing vocals).
In the last five years or so, however, Slash has been touring with guitarist and vocalist Myles Kennedy. Kennedy was on two tracks in the 2008 album Slash (which also featured Chris Cornell, Dave Grohl, LemmyKilmister, Fergie and Adam Levine); he sings on all the tracks on the 2012 album Apocalyptic Love which the current tour is named after.
I saw Slash for the first time in March 2011. Along with Stone Temple Pilots, they were part of the Boys Night Out weekend in Singapore. Stone Temple Pilots took forever to hit the stage on their night. Usually all concerts end by 11:30 p.m. Stone Temple had the audience waiting over two hours after the opening act and didn’t come on until 11 p.m. Of course the audience would get annoyed. Me included. Not to mention, while the band was working hard, Weiland was just “phoning it in.”
When Slash came on the next night, he was on stage before 9 p.m. In Manila, there wasn’t much of a wait between opening act General Luna and Slash. He was out there by 8:30 p.m. and rocking it out. Admittedly even if the most crowded section was the mosh pit and many upper level seats were left empty, the band gave 100-percent—I squeezed through the mosh pit so I could at least get to see Slash up close and enjoy his guitar pyrotechnics live. Myles Kennedy as usual delivered with his no nonsense straight up solid rock performance with a voice range that, according to Wikipedia, spans four octaves.
They sang songs from their most popular albums and to make the fans go really ecstatic, from Appetite For Destruction, including “Sweet Child of Mine” and my favorite, “Rocket Queen.”
The audience grew more and more enthusiastic as the show went on. At the end of the night, Slash gave thanks to the crowd, which he described as “small but mighty.” I wish Manila had more rock shows like this.
By the time you read this, Slash will have just wrapped up a show in Tokyo, ending the Asian leg of the tour. He would have completed 162 shows for Apocalyptic Love by the time he plays his last date on July 25 in Las Vegas.