Written by Nathan Holt
Photo by Nathan Holt
The Orbit Room in Grand Rapids, Michigan was swarming with eager fans for Slash and his band: Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. With two opening bands and decent length sets all around, the show turned out amazing.
Hillbilly Herald was up first. The band from nearby Indiana took the dark stage and played songs like “Greedy Me,” “Dead On The Money,” “Full Throttle,” a great AC/DC cover of “T.N.T.,” “Yellow Belly” and “Rock N’ Roll (It’s All I Wanna Do). Lead singer Jimmy Herald had great stage presence that seemed to compliment rest of the band and definitely got the crowd warmed up for the night.
While the next band was still quite energetic, the crowd didn’t seem to be as interested in Brand New Sin as with the prior band. Front man Kris Wiechmann couldn’t roam around the stage much though, singing and playing guitar, but a good majority of the crowd still seemed to enjoy the set. They managed to put on a great nine song set including the songs Sin “Dead Man Walking,” “The Lord Came Down,” “Bed of Nails,” “The Loner,” “Freight Train,” “My Loved Ones,” “Elbow Grease,” “The Death of One Thing or Another” and “Goddess of War.”
Unlike the first two bands, Slash and the rest of the band had plenty of front lighting that made everyone on stage easy to see. The wonderfully bright LED lights in back certainly helped too as the band kicked off their first song, a cover of Slash’s previous band Slash’s Snakepit: “Mean Bone.” The set interlaced tracks from Gun’s N ‘ Roses, Slash’s Snakepit, Velvet Revolver and some material from the legendary guitarist’s first solo album newest CD titled Apocalyptic Love.
Rocking out with “Dirty Little Thing,” followed by “Nightrain,” “Back From Cali,” “Ghost,” “Sucker Train Blues” and “Rocket Queen” which had an extended solo by Slash where the main stage lights dimmed to focus on him during the solo. Bassist Todd Kerns took over vocals for Myles Kennedy, who was spot on the whole night, during the song “Dr. Alibi.” Picking the pace back up with song after song one of the major highlights of the night was the premiere of the song “Halo” off Apocalyptic Love that was performed live for the first time.
With help from drummer Brent Fitz and guitarist Frank Sidoris, the well-rounded band wrapped up their set with the songs “Speed Parade,” “Apocalyptic Love,” “Fall to Pieces,” “Watch This,” “Starlight,” “Just Like Anything,” “You’re A Lie,” Sweet Child of Mine” and “Slither.” Seeming to sing praise to Michigan, they even included a couple minute cover of Ted Nugent’s famous song “Stranglehold.” The show wasn’t quite over yet though, with the band coming out for an encore of “By the Sword” and “Paradise City” where confetti rained down upon the crowd finally announcing the end of the show. With a busy touring schedule and a great performance each time, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators is definitely worth checking out when they come to your town.