When Slash hit the road on his debut solo tour last year he decided to make a special stop at the place he'd called home until the age of five, Stoke-on-Trent, England. We all know that the young Saul Hudson eventually made it across the pond to the United States, where he took on the name Slash and formed one of the greatest rock and roll bands in the world, Guns N' Roses. Neither Slash nor the Gunners ever made it over to Stoke to play a gig until now, so Slash wanted to give his old hometown a very special treat by recording his first ever performance there for a live concert video and CD.
Made in Stoke 24/7/11 was recorded at the Victoria Hall in Stoke-on-Trent on July 24th, 2011 towards the end of Slash's world tour in support of his debut solo album, Slash. The album featured an assortment of guest vocalists of such varying styles as Fergie, Ozzy, Lemmy and Iggy — last names not required here. One of the other vocalists was Alter Bridge's Myles Kennedy, who sang on two of the best tracks, and Slash was so impressed with his amazing set of pipes (as well as his personality) that he not only invited him to handle all of the lead vocals on the ensuing tour, but also all of the lead vocals on his forthcoming solo album.
The 21-song setlist features eight songs from Slash, a few Slash's Snakepit tracks, a Velvet Revolver hit, and, of course, plenty of GNR classics. The only time I had seen Slash play live was on the Guns N' Roses and Metallica co-headlining stadium tour of 1992, where I sat about two miles from the stage, way up in the rafters of the New Orleans Superdome. So it was a real treat to see this genuine guitar hero strut his stuff up-close and personal on this new, expertly filmed, hi-definition Blu-ray concert film. Having one of my favorite new(er) singers, Myles Kennedy, fronting the band made this one extra-special, too. Check out Alter Bridge's excellent Live From Amsterdam DVD to see more of this guy in action.
The band hits the stage running with the uptempo boogie-rocker, "Been There Lately," from the second Slash's Snakepit album, Ain't Life Grand, which leads into the propulsive GNR rocker, "Night Train," sending the already ecstatic capacity crowd into an early frenzy. The look, sound, and energy of the performance is amazing right from the start. Other early highlights include "Back To Cali," one of the Slash tracks that Kennedy originally sang on, and a GNR song that I would have least expected them to perform, "Civil War," from Use Your Illusion II.