Released last year, Living the Dream was long awaited and highly anticipated.
I say long – 4 years to be precise. And what with Slash sewing up a 20 year split with Guns N’ Roses, we were all curious as to when and if Slash, Myles Kennedy and his band were going to release anything new.
And what an album it was! Perhaps more focussed, shorter songs, definitely a turn on the dial beyond World on fire.
September this year saw the launch of the live recording of the supporting tour.To those who tend to keep away from live recorded albums for fear of poor sound quality, or find poorly balanced crowd reactions a distraction, this could have passed by with little interest. To those that missed it, redemption is within your grasp.
Recorded at London’s Hammersmith Apollo, the relatively recently refurbished building just about managed to keep its roof on. If only just. Eight decades of cumulative, perpetually honed talent, and Myles’ 4 octave range, put the venue through its paces. Veterans of studio and stage, Slash, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators know how to put on a show.
It gets off to a great start with a superb rendition of The Call of the Wild, Then it just keeps the pace and the drive all the way through the next 2 hours and 4 minutes.
I’ll include the song list below for the fidgety detail lovers, but to summarise some of the highlights, Standing in the Sun gives Myles the opportunity to unleash his full range whilst Slash demonstrates the ability to combine pace and complexity while driving the melody. And he just makes it look so easy.
Mastery of what my little girl calls “the twiddly bits” is equally balanced by that anthemic vibe so evident in Ghost.
I couldn’t stop myself from [attempting] to sing the stunning Back from Cali. Evidently, neither could the crowd.
Myles coiled and unleashed his incomparable range on My Boulevard.
Shadow Life has such an amazing intro leading into an anthemic riff and great chorus.
We’re permitted a brief respite from the pace to furnish a haunting rendition of Lost inside the girl.
Then, there are few songs which demonstrate Slash’s incredible talent than Wicked Stone. Just stunningly captured.
A bit of an ode to Guns N’ Roses through a ‘classic’ rendition of Nightrain. Myles Kennedy just rips this out, largely I think, just because he can.
Starlight deserves a mention, just an amazing piece written early in their collaboration effort and still clearly holds a place in the band’s heart.
There’s a really strong finish with World on Fire followed by Avalon and finally finishing breathlessly with an incredible display of the bands talent – Anastasia.
For me, this is a firm rebuttal of the Alter Bridge loving critics, who in the early stages of the collaboration thought Myles was trying too hard to emulate an ‘Axl-esque’ nasal timbre during live sets. Slash fans, Alter Bridge fans alike will just love this performance.
The question is not whether you should invest the time in this album, it’s how you listen to it that is important. It’s available on Blue Ray, CD, DVD… and on all the streaming platforms…. If you do decide to stream/download, then immerse. Either listen to it through a really good set of headphones, or ‘surround sound’ it. At a minimum link your smart speakers to get stereo with a clean unadulterated Slash on your right feed.
Personally, this is one I’m buying to keep.
- The Call of the Wild
- Standing In the Sun
- Back From Cali
- My Antidote
- Serve You Right
- Boulevard of Broken Hearts
- Shadow Life
- We’re All Gonna Die
- Doctor Alibi
- Lost Inside the Girl
- Wicked Stone
- Mind Your Manners
- Driving Rain
- By the Sword
- You’re a Lie
- World On Fire
Thanks to Slashonline for the track list, and to my 7 year old daughter who is finding her passion for rock and sharing her opinion on it.
Review by Martin Kelly for Metal Planet Music