I never thought in a million years (well, not a million, more like 27, but you get the idea) that I would be saying these words: “I just saw Slash, and he played Rocket Queen, Night Train and Paradise City. Can you believe it?!” If ever there was a holy s**t moment, trust me, this was one of them.
Baltimore, Maryland is one rockin’ city. Some of my favorite shows have taken place at the same venue, Ram’s Head Live over at Power Plant Live in downtown Baltimore. The show had been sold out for over three months prior to Thursday, May 3 and the wait was well worth it.
The night kicked off with opening act Hillbilly Herald (HH). These guys are good ol’ fashioned “Attitude Rock” from Indiana. You would know it just by looking at the lead singer’s beer can mic stand. Though at first I felt like I was watching a Rock of Ages reenactment, the guys from HH managed to prove me wrong and win me over. If these guys come to your city, I suggest you grab a beer, throw on your jean jacket and get ready for a fist-pumping, head banging night. Following were Brand New Sin from Syracuse, New York. Self-labeled as a bar band, the guys from BNS failed to get the crowed riled up for the night’s main event. Their set was lacking energy and even though the venue is large enough to hold 1,800 people but small enough to feel intimate, these guys appeared disconnected and distant throughout their entire set. It is a shame that they were the lead up to Slash. In hindsight, the band lineup should have been reversed.
The stage was set and the lights were dimmed for the arrival of Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. The show kicked off with the song “Mean Bone” followed by “Dirty Little Thing” and “Ghost”. Myles Kennedy’s voice was strong and striking, an amazing compliment to Slash’s shredding guitar style and complimentary to the style of The Conspirators (Todd Kerns- bass, Frank Sidoris-rhythm guitarist, Brent Fitz-drummer).
The energy in the venue peaked just as the opening notes to Guns N Roses (GNR) classic “Night Train” started to sound. As a fan of GNR and growing up in Puerto Rico I could not believe my ears; I was actually in the presence of Slash. One would be quick to think that a GNR song without Axl Rose would not be authentic, let me set the record straight: this is truly not applicable. Yes, Axl was the sound along with Slash, but Myles’ delivery and passion in his vocals spins the song in a refreshing way that also throws back to the original sound the track had back in the day with GNR.
The night progressed through the entire career of Slash’s recordings. Songs from Velvet Revolver to the new album Apocalyptic Love, were showcased on this opening night of the 2012 tour. “Fall to Pieces”, “Slither”, “Starlight”, “Dr. Alibi” and of course, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City” were among the songs featured in the set list.
If you ask anyone that attended opening night, they will surely say that Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, has been one of the best rock shows to grace the Ram’s Head Stage. My most sincere thank you goes to Ram’s Head for always bringing high caliber acts and taking the time and attention to producing a kick ass, top-notch show. Lights, acoustics and security are what make Ram’s Head stand out from all of the clubs in the Maryland/Washington DC area. If you want a high quality show at pocket friendly prices, Ram’s Head is the place to go.
If Slash comes to your town, don’t hesitate for a second to get your tickets to the show! You will NOT be disappointed!