Featuring Myles Kennedy
Slash - Live At HMV Hammersmith Apollo

During 2001 at the age of 35 Saul Hudson, better known as Slash, had a defibrillator implanted in his heart to prevent heart failure caused by years of alcohol and drug abuse. He’s been clean since 2006. However, judging by his performance on Wednesday night he still has an appetite for destruction.

Earlier this week former band mate Axl Rose confirmed his increasing insecurities by allegedly demanding security staff refuse admittance to fans wearing Slash t-shirts to the disastrous Guns N Roses O2 Arena shows. Slash responded in fine style by delivering sledge hammer assaults on previous Guns N Roses songs like ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, which had a God Save the Queen coda (the national anthem, not the one by the Sex Pistols), ‘Rocket Queen’ and also ‘Paradise City’.

Wearing a Sex Pistols t-shirt with the slogan “God Save the Queen”, to show respect for Her Majesty’s 60th Jubilee celebrations, Slash inspired the band to deliver a set which will go down as an epic performance in rock history. Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) accompanying vocals completed a perfect execution of a set of brilliant songs. Amongst the opening numbers were classics like ‘Night Train’ and ‘Back from Cali’ played at gut wrenching volume. By this time the band was in hard rock mode and storming all over the stage and the packed, worshipping audience were rocking even harder. Slash adopted all his trademark stances with legs wide apart, top hat drawn right up to his sunglasses; he churned out one ace guitar solo after another. Lesser known songs like ‘Slither’ (Velvet Revolver) and ‘Anastasia’ were given a new lease of life and the audience appreciated them all.

Rock icon, guitar god, rocker supreme etc, Slash deserves all of these titles. With a powerful performance like this we can quite easily add the title: rock legend. Did I mention a defibrillator? My heart keeps beating to the sound of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’.

Words and photo by Stephen Fourie

Click here for a photo gallery of the gig.

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