Living The Dream Tour
Eagle Rock Entertainment)
As a 'long-time' Guns N' Roses enthusiast, my fascination with Hampstead, London, England-born guitarist Slash began with the release of their groundbreaking Appetite For Destruction (1987) and the multi-Platinum juggernaut of G N' R Lies (1988), Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II (1991). Unfortunately, the group's arguably premature demise would leave me searching for legitimate alternative(s) as the curiously-overlooked Slash's Snakepit jewels It's Five O' Clock Somewhere (1995) and the multi-Platinum Contraband (2004) via the Scott Wieland-led Velvet Revolver did little to quench my thirst). It wasn't until the release of Apocalyptic Love (2012), the full-length debut from the then newly-anointed Slash Feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators that I again found myself wholeheartedly satisfied. As you can imagine, with the release of Living The Dream Tour, their latest, and quite possibly greatest, in-concert document I find myself more than happy to truly overindulge.
On the brilliant Living The Dream Tour (2017), an expertly assembled twenty-two (!) song collection of in- concert Hard Rock and Heavy Metal (recorded during the group's sold-out 2019 performances at the legendary Hammersmith Apollo), each track, beginning with the churning, 'no-holds-barred' gyrations of “The Call Of The Wild” the overtly-muscular “Standing In The Sun” and the swaggering, hook-fueled tome “Serve You Right”, immediately commands the rapt and undivided attention of all parties involved, myself most definitely included. Undoubtedly attempting to capitalize on the unmitigated success of Living The Dream (2018) and, of course, it's subsequent supporting tours, the groups wastes little--if any--time engulfing the listener amid a seamless blend of soaring vocals, blistering fretwork and imaginatively punishing rhythms. Their initial strains, while far from groundbreaking and certainly not revolutionary, are as unmistakably authentic as they are thoroughly gratifying.
Continuing with the rumbling, self-explanatory jewel “We're All Gonna Die” the emotionally-overwrought “Lost Inside The Girl” and the testosterone-laden swagger of “Mind Your Manners”, the all-star combination of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge, ex-Citizen Swing, ex-The Mayfield Four), lead guitarist Slash (i.e. Saul Hudson, Guns N' Roses, Slash's Snakepit, Velvet Revolver), rhythm guitarist Frank Sidoris, bassist Todd 'Dammit' Kerns (Faster Pussycat, Michael Sweet, Sin City Sinners) and drummer Brent Fitz (Alice Cooper, Theory Of A Deadman, Vince Neil), steamrolls ahead with a sickening ease. Deftly showcasing their woefully-underrated ability to 'deliver' the proverbial 'goods', the group drives home each key focal point via an initial assault that transcends each of the guitarist's distinct eras. Flexing their more-than-considerable creative muscles early and often, the listener is repeatedly subjected to the group's unnervingly refined sonic approaches.
Available in a variety of configurations (DVD+2CD, Blu-Ray+2 CD, 3LP Black and Red Vinyl and Digital Audio and Video), the group succeeds by offering both die-hard completists and clueless newcomers alike the opportunities to vicariously partake in the bulk of their finest auditory moments. Other standouts, including the maddeningly infectious lament “Nightrain”--notably the only Appetite For Destruction era title included in an already delightfully varied set--the extended, jam-esque 'band introduction' “World On Fire” and the equally impressive closer “Anastasia” only further solidifies the group's already well-deserved reputation as one of the genre's premier live acts. While it remains unclear if the group's oft-conceited attempt to accurately capture the essence of a live performance will indeed broaden their prodigious (and, for that matter, uniquely dedicated) fan base, one must, at the very least, sincerely admire the intrepidity at the heart of such extraordinary undertakings.
But is it really that good? Absolutely! Although the majority--if not all--of the masterfully-executed wares contained herein wares contained herein are quite obviously intended for their core constituents, what ultimately separates the mighty Living The Dream Tour, and as a result, the group itself, from their few contemporaries is a much-welcomed emphasis on crafting, and then delivering, their now-trademark materials. Undoubtedly their most effective in-concert offering (which, when taking into consideration the more-than-considerable 'weight' of Live In Manchester, 2010 and Live At The Roxy 9.25.14, 2015 is a undeniably significant statement), Slash and his not-necessarily-merry cohorts have documented some of their finest live moments. Accordingly, if you've once again found yourself in search of a refreshingly high-octane dose of unadulterated Hard Rock, then this, my friends, might just be the counterirritant for whatever it is that ails you. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
Living The Dream Tour (2019)
Living The Dream (2018)
World On Fire (2014)
iTunes Session (EP) (2011)
Live In Manchester (2010)
Melody And The Tyranny (EP) (2007)
Ain't Life Grand (2000)
It's Five O'Clock Somewhere (1995)
The Spaghetti Incident (1993)
Use Your Illusion I (1991)
Use Your Illusion II (1991)
G N' R Lies (1988)
Appetite For Destruction (1987)
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