So, I knew Slash was touring with Aerosmith in the US, but thought there were no tour dates in Canada.
Then I had the following exchange with my guitar teacher, Rich, yesterday, towards the end of the lesson:
Rich: so, you going to see Slash?
Me: oh, when’s he coming?
Rich: (pause, incredulous stare) uh, tomorrow night! What kind of Guns N Roses fan doesn’t know when Slash is coming to town?
Me: Huh? I thought he was touring with Aerosmith and there weren’t any Canadian dates.
Rich: well, yeah, I’m going down on Saturday to see that show at the Gorge, but Slash is doing his own show tomorrow at the Hard Rock in Coquitlam.
Me: oh shit. Guess I’ll hit up TicketMaster tonight.
Rich: Pretty sure it’s sold out.
Uh oh. Shit happens when I don’t open a copy of the Georgia Straight for months…
Fortunately I managed to snag a seat via Craigslist.
Got there in time to catch most of the openers Charm City Devils. Pretty solid band, good songs, good performance, and while I was back in the balcony, it seemed like the lead guitarist was rather cute.
So… Good songs + good performance + cute guitarist =
Also grabbed the new single off iTunes.
There’s a lesson in there, kiddos.
But anyway, Slash soon came on along with Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators. They played a mix of Slash’s solo stuff, stuff he’s done with the Conspirators, old Guns N Roses tunes, and also Velvet Revolver’s “Slither.”
And something else I noticed: Slash played for just over 2 hours, and I would have been happy for him to keep on going.
Compare and contrast to November when Nine Inch Nails did a 2 hour show that honestly felt like it needed to be 1 hour and 45 minutes shorter. Basically the one mini-set NIN did where they just banged out a trio of hard rockers on guitars with minimal light show distractions and no back-up singers (“Head Like a Hole,” “Wish,” and I forget the third) was the only great part of that NIN show.
But then, Slash has better material to pick from.
Also, he knows what a rock n roll show is supposed to be.
And, he and his band can all actually play. OK, that’s a cheap shot, obviously the NIN guys can play, but what I mean is Slash’s show does not appear to have any MacBook magic going on behind the scenes: whereas with NIN I could see the guys on the side of the stage with 2 MacBooks running shit out of Logic Pro, and we all know there’s a lot of Memorex (or the modern equivalent) in addition to whatever really is coming from the stage band, with Slash it’s clearly just drums, 2 guitarists, 1 bassist, and a vocalist. And while I am no Slash, I do play guitar a bit, and I’ve learned several GNR songs (it’s become a running joke with Rich, actually) so I can visually match up fingers to notes being heard.
(For example, I noticed during “It’s So Easy” Slash was doing a lower-string power chord riff in the chorus in unison with the rhythm guitarist versus the harder higher octave overdub of the riff. I feel somehow vindicated, because when I was learning “It’s So Easy” my fingers sure as Hell didn’t want to conform to the higher version so I was sorta “cheating” by doing the lower version, which I figured out by watching a video of Izzy doing a guest spot on that track with Velvet Revolver.)
But I digress. Point is I’m fucking sick of seeing shit getting faked on stage.
So, recap: Slash for 2 hours = great. NIN for 2 hours = not so much. Guess who I’ll be checking out next time they’re in town?
Especially considering that NIN hasn’t put out much worth paying attention to in 15 years, whereas Slash played a couple or three brand new tracks off the upcoming new album, and I thought they were all pretty solid.
But anyway… Enough NIN-bashing… For today…
Great show from Slash, good thing I heard about it in the nick of time.