2019 looks set to be a busy year for Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. Following the release of Living The Dream at the tail end of last year, the band are now undertaking a lengthy tour in support of it which sees them touching down in Europe for six weeks which includes 4 sold out UK dates. Yes there’s the usual London, Manchester and Glasgow favourite stop offs, but the most intriguing show is a little off the regular touring circuit at Doncaster’s Dome; a multi facility sports complex that occasionally hosts concerts in its main sports hall.
Special guests for these four dates comes in the form of Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons. Anyone who’s already bought ‘The Age Of Absurdity’ will already know that Phil Campbell’s new outfit doesn’t stray too far stylistically from the frantic, heavy riffing rock n roll of his Motorhead past. As such, a set that adds a couple of classics such as ‘Born To Raise Hell’ alongside ‘Ringleader’ and ‘Get On Your Knees’ gives balance and is always going to go down well. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the songs, you’re not going to escape their infectious grooves. ‘Ace Of Spades’ suitably whips the crowd up to a frenzy, and as if to say ‘that’s the past, this is the present’, they close out with an impressive ‘High Rule’.
From the moment Slash and co take to the stage, we’re hit with a tour de force that doesn’t let up; opening rocker ‘Call Of The Wild’ segues seamlessly into ‘Halo’. They hit us hard with one song after the next; ‘Ghost’ is followed by a number of newer tracks with Myles Kennedy impressing particularly on ‘My Antidote’. It’s a very slick, professional show and feels a little regimented in its delivery. It’s not until ‘Boulevard Of Broken Hearts’ that Kennedy takes the opportunity to speak to the audience during which he praises Phil Campbell and says it’s been an honour to share the stage with him for these few dates.
Todd Kearns takes over the vocals for ‘We’re All Gonna Die’, and there’s a hint of Robin Zander to his voice. He also takes a moment to thank Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons before introducing the next song as one that Slash co-wrote with Lemmy; ‘Doctor Alibi’, and dedicating it to the members of Motorhead that are no longer with us.
‘Lost Inside The Girl’ allows for a brief change of pace being a slower number, however, a technical fault knocks out the PA halfway through. The band continue to play through with just the backline, but unless you’re in the front few rows, Myles Kennedy is inaudible. After a couple of minutes, the PA springs back into life just as Slash takes the solo.
‘Wicked Stone’ thunders along with its juggernaut riffs, and Slash’s extended solo at the end is absolutely sublime, taking the song to well over 10 minutes. It’s a highlight of the evening. In the same way that Schenker took Rock Bottom or Skynyrd with Freebird and made the live version a showcase of their unique styles, Slash does the same here elevating the song beyond exceptional. Latest single, ‘Mind Your Manners’ gets a great reaction from the crowd. By this point we’re at about the 90 minute mark, but there’s still plenty more to come. A rip roaring ‘Nightrain’ raises the roof and the temperatures further. This is one of the hottest and tightly packed gigs we’ve seen for a long time.
More recent hits, ‘Starlight’ and an extended ‘World On Fire’ allow for band introductions and solos round off the main set, but they’re not done yet – an encore of ‘Avalon’ and ‘Anastasia’ concludes an almost two and a half hours of what is now less dangerous, more dependable Rock ‘N’ Roll.
Unfortunately, the gig wasn’t as enjoyable for everyone. The venue is a large sports hall, but rather than have the stage at one end, it was midway down the side, creating extensive empty spaces either side where there was no view. This meant that the crowd were squeezed into a smaller space and concentrated at the back where the doors, bar and toilets were. Poorly managed crowd control left many people who were simply unable to get into the arena and were forced to listen in corridors or in areas without a view. Soaring temperatures added to the discomfort and there were cases of some fans fainting and others choosing to leave for their own safety. Some lessons need to be learned by Doncaster Dome to ensure the safety of its clientelle.
The Call of the Wild
Standing in the Sun
Back From Cali
Serve You Right
Boulevard of Broken Hearts
We’re All Gonna Die (Todd Kerns in vocals)
Doctor Alibi (Todd Kerns in vocals)
Lost Inside the Girl
Mind Your Manners
By the Sword
You’re a Lie
World on Fire