Friday, October 5, 2018

Another Concert Adventure

Last night I went to see two musicians whose careers I've followed for decades...and it was amazing!

It took a little wheeling and dealing at work to get the time off to see Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. A co-worker was nice enough to cover my shift, so I'll owe her big time. Going also involved about ten hours of driving and keeping my kids up later than they should have been one night (my youngest doesn't do well if she misses her bed time).

I've been a Slash fan since Guns n' Roses's first album and have bought all the albums he's put out (I still have Slash's Snakepit on cassette). One would have thought I'd have jumped to see Gn'R on their reunion tour when they came to Toronto, but honestly, I wasn't into it.

When I heard Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators was coming, I wanted to go because I love their albums. I can put one on when I'm having a rough day and it makes things better. They're like comfort food for my soul. Hearing the songs live and seeing them preformed was a touching experience.

Slash wasn't the only reason I wanted to go. As I counted down the days to the show, I told everyone, "X days until I see Slash and Todd Kerns!" Most people know Slash, but everyone asked who Todd Kerns was, which gave me the chance to talk about my favourite Canadian band Age of Electric (if you peek at my What I'm Listening To page, you'll see they've been helping me with my latest book). I was even late leaving work one day because I was educating a co-worker on AoE, playing her songs off my phone. It's not often I get to geek out like that. I've been an AoE fan since I saw their video for Aphrodisiac Smile on Much Music way back when (I've been unsuccessful in obtaining a copy of it though). I saw them at Edgefest in the late '90's but sadly missed them on their re-union tour a couple of years ago.

I've been to two shows at Rama and I always find it a little awkward. I want to get up and rock out but most of the audience sits. We all paid a lot for our tickets so I'm not going to be inconsiderate and stand so no one can see. We had a woman in front of us who stood almost the whole show. I'd sat behind her but my husband switched seats with me so I could see without the obstruction.

The opening band Republica was pretty good. The singer has more of an old school metal sound to his voice that you don't hear often anymore and some of their songs have a thrash tint, but not too much that made them too heavy.

Slash was phenomenal. He gets up there and plays his heart out, and looks awesome doing it. He didn't try to work the audience, but he's Slash, he doesn't have to. It was amazing seeing a rock legend that I've followed since my early teen years play live.

The whole band sounded great. They are tight and played their own material sprinkled with songs from Slash's self-titled solo album and covers of Fall to Pieces and Night Train. My only critique was that there was little interaction with the crowd. I like when bands work the audience a little more. I saw Sebastian Bach in July, and that man knows how to interact with a crowd. But it wasn't a huge deal. I'd go see them again in a second.

As much as I loved Kennedy up on stage, doing his thing, the highlight for me was when he turned the mic over to Kerns to sing two songs. Yup, this woman lost her shit, which amused my husband greatly. He did Doctor Alibi and We're All Gonna Die from Slash's solo album. Kerns was great on stage. While he played bass, he interacted with the crowd and tossed picks like there was no tomorrow. Unfortunately, I wasn't close enough to acquire one. I wished I'd had an AoE shirt to wear to the show.

Nothing has touched seeing Chris Cornell three years ago, and I don't think anything will top that because the circumstances in my life at the time gave that show extra meaning. But I think Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators isn't far behind.