Last Night: Slash at House of Blues
Seeing Slash is actually a more value-packed way to get the Guns N' Roses experience here in 2012, a year that saw any hopes of any sort of band reunion sullied by a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction rant -- via letter -- by Axl Rose, the legal leader of the legendary hard-rock act.
Last night's Slash show began with a quick set from Houston's own Black Queen Speaks, who were snagged for the cherry opening slot by the influential guitarist himself. The band is no stranger to the House Of Blues stage, gracing the main hall numerous times.
Slash, joined by Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, perform nuggets from Slash's GNR days, their own material -- which stands on its own -- plus a few Velvet Revolver cuts. Like I said, you are getting your money's worth on a Slash show.
Foxy Shazam, direct openers for Slash and the Kennedy clan, were an odd fit for the bill. The GNR-hungry crowd seemed put off by the Shazam guys but I'm a fan and even I can say they are an acquired taste. They are a band that I want to see get huge, but I wish I knew how they could.
Lead singer Eric Sean Nally was creepy and annoying to your average Slash fan last night. Any other night on a younger bill, they kill. The group of folks next to me were thrilled when they announced their set was over.
Sold-out shows at the HOB have a special claustrophobia to them. You can't really move, you can't sit down, and everywhere you stand you are in the direct middle of human traffic. Luckily I got to park myself on the balcony for this one.
Kennedy and the band do a bang-up job as a proxy GNR and Slash looks no worse for wear, pacemaker and all. He hardly looks any different than he did in those MTV clips. Save for a bit of a paunch and some extra sweat, he looks like, well, Slash.
In some sort of cosmic mix-up, the guys that treated their bodies like toxic landfills, Slash and GNR bassist Duff McKagan, look miles better than Axl. Something something winning the war and losing the battle.